Thank you everyone for your support!
AND... swag! We swiftly reached our stretch goal of $1500, so if you backed this campaign and selected a reward of $13 and above, your mailing will include bookmarks, a free ebook of the next volume in the series, sea-scented pages, and more: check the Updates tab for the "swag" entry for details. Mailing date is currently planned for December 14th if you ordered the Christmas package (priority mail), and December 21st for all others (media mail). Ebook deliveries will arrive in your inboxes the same week. Check the updates tab for, well, updates. I'm looking forward to sending your book very soon!
Once upon a time, I lived in Ireland between the River Shannon and the Black Pig's Dyke. My neighbors told me the mythology of these places, while the amazing landscapes around me inspired me to write some tales of my own.
One of those short stories of mine won first place in a contest sponsored by Ireland's national broadcaster RTE, while another earned me a grant from the Arts Council of Ireland.
The best tales I saved, for the book I'd write "one day".
It took more than "one day" to write that book.
That day became years, as I kept collecting these folktales and origin myths and small histories, because I loved all of the region's stories that made me laugh, or cry, or lie awake at night. Although they seemed small enough tales at first, each story had its own message below the shiny surface of magic and adventure: these were all tales of courage, survival, hope, transformation or triumph, and all were powerful enough in their own ways to change my life.
That photo of Lough MacNean, above? I shot that photo on the day someone told me about the fairy lady who lived there with her three sons. Many years later I returned to stand on that shore again, and her story came back to me, helping me make one of the biggest decisions of my life.
That's when I came back to America.
When I began to tell these folktales to other people, I loved watching their reactions, and still do - some folks laugh, others fight back tears, some stop me mid-sentence to show me their goosebumps, and a few have caught up to me afterwards to tell me how much they loved it, or ask to hear a particular story again.
Or they ask, "Where can I get the book?"
So finally I wrote down the favorites, and dug out all the photographs I'd taken of those wonderful places where the stories were set, and I returned to college to study Folklore, Storytelling, and related studies at Fairmont State University in West Virginia, where I graduated with honors.
Since then I've been putting the finishing touches on this collection of myths, legends, and original tales, from editing the written pages and adding photographs, to practicing the told versions. The first volume, The Book of Water, is ready for printing in time for the 2015 holidays, and in spring 2016 I want to take these tales on the road as a storyteller.
As you might guess from the title, the stories in this collection share a theme of water, from rivers to lakes to the big wild ocean. If you like mermaids, sea voyages, kelpies, heroes and old gods, adventurous saints and strange creatures, or any Celtic and Irish stories, there's something for you in here.
Stories include the origin legend of the River Shannon, the tale of the Lady of Lough MacNean and her three sons, the defeat of Crom Cruach, a tale of a Kelpie and Saint Odran, and another of a mermaid bride. There's also the great sea voyage of Bran, a phantom bell over Carlingford Lough, and several others.
All I'm missing now are the funds to print these books for you, and a few audiences to kick off my new storytelling journey. That's where I hope you come in.
Thank you for your support!
Watch this space! I'll soon be posting a story for you to read while we wait for the end of the campaign.
Risks and challenges
The book is already finished - it's written, edited, proofed, and ready to go. All that's left to do is to fill in the acknowledgements and any sponsored back pages so that I can upload the book for production: a perfect way to pass the days while funds clear.
Shipping will take place in December, and I plan to offset unexpected bureaucratic or postal delays by pre-ordering the number of sold books as soon as the campaign ends.
I'm going with a book printer that I've worked with often for personal photobooks and travel journals, because I know I can trust their quality, customer service, and delivery time. Best of all, there's no minimum print run, so we don't need an outrageous funding level to get started.
For storytelling, my calendar is flexible, and you're welcome to contact me as early as you like, to check availability or reserve a particular date.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (23 days)