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Mermaids, Kelpies, Celtic Heroes! These Irish water folktales, stories & photos are ready for December delivery, & for touring in 2016.
42 backers pledged $1,811 to help bring this project to life.

About

$1,811

42

Thank you everyone for your support!      

Click here for a free sample story from the book, photos, and the latest news on how to get the book or its sequel, after its big fun Kickstarter adventure. 

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!

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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". 

Lough MacNean, County Cavan
Lough MacNean, County Cavan

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. 

the fairy bridge at Lough Key, County Roscommon
the fairy bridge at Lough Key, County Roscommon

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.

The bog and the road and the stone...
The bog and the road and the stone...

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.

It's in there somewhere -- swan on the Shannon
It's in there somewhere -- swan on the Shannon

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!

St. Patrick's Well, County Fermanagh
St. Patrick's Well, County Fermanagh

 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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank you! Every supporter and every dollar are deeply appreciated. You'll receive a full-size digital photograph, too, to use as wallpaper or print out.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    EBOOK et cetera

    Now you've got the Kickstarter-exclusive e-book edition of the story collection, featuring over a dozen original full-page photos. Plus, three additional photos from northwest Ireland emailed to you, for wallpaper or printing out.

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    Pledge $13 or more About $13

    STORYBOOK, SHIPPING INCLUDED

    All the stories in a text-only paperback edition - no inside illustrations or photographs, with the same full-color cover as shown. This includes shipping to anywhere in the USA.

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    Pledge $27 or more About $27

    THE FULL-COLOR ILLUSTRATED PAPERBACK STORYBOOK, PLUS:

    You'll be getting the full story collection in a paperback book that includes over a dozen full-color full-page photographs from northwest Ireland where most of the stories take place. (Includes free shipping within the US.) PLUS, you'll be listed in the Acknowledgments page of the book, PLUS, all the rewards for the $10 level are included.

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    THE KEEPSAKE HARDCOVER EDITION, PLUS:

    Here's the gift-worthy edition of the book: the full-color illustrated hardcover signed by the author, with matching bookmark. PLUS, your name listed in the acknowledgements of all editions of the book - if you like, you can make the acknowledgement listing a gift or memorial to someone. As always, shipping is free within the US. You'll also get the ebook and all the other rewards for the $10 level, included.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    CHRISTMAS PRESENT

    The keepsake hardcover OR two illustrated paperback editions, OR four text-only versions: your choice. These will be pre-ordered before the campaign ends, then signed, gift-wrapped, and shipped by priority or express to arrive in time for Christmas to wherever you choose within the US.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    BETA READER SIGN UP

    You’ll receive a personalized signed copy of the basic paperback edition, and the $10 level rewards. Then, in spring 2016, you'll be among the first to receive an advance-copy PDF of the next book in the series, The Book of Earth and Stone, with an invitation to provide feedback, comments, and/or advance reviews. Your quotes may be used on the cover, and you shall be known as "Supporter" in both books, online and beyond. Includes a signed copy of the second book, delivered on publication.

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    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    THE SIGNED ILLUSTRATED EDITION, WITH YOUR VERY OWN PAGE

    Take a page from my book - literally! The final 10 pages of the book are reserved for you to put your artwork, message, poetry, you name it (within reason!) You'll also receive a signed copy of the illustrated paperback edition, with matching bookmark, plus all the rewards of the $10 level.

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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    STORYTELLING PACKAGE

    A customized storytelling session at your store, church, school, home party, or other venue, ordinarily charged at $320, anytime in 2016. (Travel expenses apply outside central Florida; this reward is limited to the US and Canada. Dates are first come, first served.) PLUS I'll bring you 5 free copies of the book. You'll also be listed on the Supporters page in the book with any brief message you wish, PLUS, all the rewards of the $10 level.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    MEET THE KELPIES! (for individuals or groups up to 4 people)

    ...more accurately, choose a day in 2016 to spend with the author and meet the horses who inspired the rendition of the kelpie in the book. Best part? Those horses live at Walt Disney World, and their stable is only a short walk to a beach! So take five hours to enjoy soft sand and sparkling water, with stories and conversation, in the company of beautiful horses and ponies. Lunch for everyone is included, and everyone gets a signed copy of the keepsake edition to take home. Plus, you'll be listed at the top of the Supporters page of the book.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    12 ORIGINAL STORIES (FOR PUBLISHERS, BLOGGERS, ETC.)

    Twelve original stories for your magazine, podcast, blog, or inbox: written or spoken, Irish or not, name your genre. Choose a theme if you like, or mix it up. Each story will be exclusive to you until the end of 2016, copyright remaining with the author. You'll also receive:
    - three signed copies of the book
    - your name among the Sponsors in the book's acknowledgments
    - a full page in the back of the book for your subscription form, ad, etc.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    CD PRODUCER

    Because your generous contribution has made CD production possible, you'll be listed as a Producer on the album cover, and you'll receive 10 complimentary copies of the CD, PLUS signed copies of all three print editions of the book, which will feature your name listed first among Sponsors. Plus, if you have a favorite story you'd like me to add as a bonus track, consider it done.

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Funding period

- (23 days)