Rena Rosner, an old pal from Authonomy, who is a great writer and now also a literary agent, kindly asked me to share in this blog hop and write about my writing. We connected because we both shared an experience of living in Ireland; Rena spent a year at Trinity College in Dublin and I of course live in Ireland still. Rena’s own blog reveals her fascinating background that has led her from America to Israel and her varying interests which resulted in a recently published cook book, Eating the Bible. Her writing seems to cover a wide range of genres including Fantasy, Jewish Fiction, Literary Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Paranomal Romance and Women's Fiction, but all with a Jewish slant.
She also has a wonderful literary novel, Master of Miracles, her agent is submitting to publishers. Please read her blog at:
Now my view:
What Do I write?
For the most part I write anything historical. Which is probably unsurprising since I studied history and have read so many historical books since I was a child. Something about the ‘story,’ in history captured me early and has never let me go. Maybe it was my mother telling me that Anne Boleyn had a sixth finger or Lady Godiva rode naked through the town with just her hair to cover her. And I have to say it was the people that fascinated me, especially the women. Leave the battles for other types, except if it was to learn that English bowmen captured during Medieval times had their middle finger cut off so they wouldn’t be able to draw a bow again.
It’s both sides of history, fiction and non-fiction that I gobbled up and later studied. I wrote many journal articles and essays and a Ph.D. dissertation before turning my hand to full length works. The first was a novel, because I always had stories running around in my head. In 2012 I published Selkie Dreams, combining my years of experience and research working in an archives with my interest in the mythical tales of the selkies.
It wasn’t just stories that captivated me. I became fascinated by the life of a Canadian First Nations woman, Anahareo, who challenged Indian stereotypes, and along with her companion, Grey Owl, was a pioneer in conservation. She became the subject of the biography I wrote and published in 2012, Anahareo: A Wilderness Spirit.
What am I writing now?
I always have many stories running around in my head and some of them make it to paper. I have just completed a novel set in 6th Century Ireland in West Cork where I live about a woman who loses her memory as a result of a brutal beating and takes refuge in a community of women run by an abbess called Gobnait. Gobnait is the patron saint of bees here in Ireland and also the local saint where I live.
I’m collaborating, too, on a novel from a great friend who laid the rough workings into my hands before she died a few months ago. It’s a cracking topic set in 1441, around the scandal of the Duchess of Gloucester. She was accused of witchcraft along with a scholar, Roger Bolingbroke, a physician and canon of Westminster Palace chapel, Thomas Southwell (also an alchemist) and a woman herbalist, Mistress Jourdemayne, known as the Witch of Eye.
There’s plenty of other stories ticking away in my mind that include a sequel to the one I’m working on, another one bequeathed by my dear friend set during the Wars of the Roses, and one set in Italy based on a poem by Keats and another by Boccacio. History never stops giving up stories.
Why Do I Write?
It’s the stories in my head. A conversation that never stops, really. It amuses me when I wait in line, drive long journeys or sit in boring meetings (luckily I don’t have to do that anymore). I have to share the stories, like I do a funny joke and hope that others find it as entertaining as I do. It gets them out of my system.
I usually write in the morning, when I’m not teaching art classes or running one of my book clubs. I go to the spare room and sit at the computer and enter the world. If I’m lucky I can spend a good solid three hours at it and get at least 1000 words, if not more out of me. But there are some months when it’s not possible and in a way that’s good. It refreshes the well.
Tagging the next three:
I want to tag the next three writers to carry on this blog hop. I hope you go on to read their blogs.
Tim Weed: http://timweed.net
Tim’s essays and articles on travel, the outdoors, and the writing craft have appeared in various national magazines and his short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet, and many other literary journals and anthologies. He is also a lecturer in the Creative Writing Program at Western Connecticut College in the USA. His novel, first novel, Will Poole’s Island, will be published by Stephen Roxburgh at Namelos Editions in August 2014.
Frances Kay: http://franceskaywriter.wordpress.com/
Frances is an Actress, playwright and novelist. Her debut novel, Micka, published by Picador, won much praise for its power. She has just released her second novel, Dollywagglers, published by Tenebris, another dark work, this time set in a dystopian world.
Third person to be announced…
Kristin Gleeson is a writer, artist and musician who lives in the west of Ireland in the Gaeltacht.
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