It gives me the greatest pleasure to announce that my novel, The Cry of the Sebac, has gone to print! Previously only available on Amazon Kindle, where it has been warmly received, the book will now be available in a physical print version.
The good news is that you can pre-order your copy, which I will personally inscribe for you, on Mythical Ireland, at this link:
I wrote the book in late 2014 and finished it in January 2015. At the time, I was trying to prove that I could still write a book despite being in full-time employment and having a busy family and home life. I had somehow convinced myself that I could only be a writer if I had time for writing, but wanted to prove myself wrong!
I hand-wrote most of it, in small notebooks, and remember writing the novel in small snatches of spare time. Sometimes I would write while car-pooling to work with my brother, or at the kitchen table, or before bedtime. There were a couple of occasions when, at lunchtime at work, I would get into my car and drive to the Phoenix Park, where I would sit for about half an hour or 45 minutes writing.
Everywhere I went, I carried a small hardback notebook and a pen with me, just in case I got the urge or the time to write. It paid off nicely. Even if I got a small bit written each time, it was progress. I wrote the novel in about three months!
My first work of fiction, the novella Land of the Ever-Living Ones had been an experiment. I wanted to prove that I could write fiction, and found that Irish mythology provides huge inspiration for such fiction. Although my non-fiction books have seen the greatest commercial success to date, I think there is greater scope for exploration of the mythic material with fiction. Time will tell I suppose.
The Cry of the Sebac is inspired to a large degree by the story of Fintan Mac Bóchra, who is said to have survived the Great Flood in a cave on the top of a mountain in Tipperary, where he changed into a salmon, an eagle and a hawk. In Irish myth it is said that Fintan lived for 5,500 years, through many ages of man, and he is occasionally consulted throughout the mythic history of the island as a great sage or druid. He is in essence an ancestor deity, one representing the survival of wisdom and mythic lore throughout the generations of people and all the changes of history. A summary of the novel is presented further down this post.
In early 2015, I presented the manuscript of The Cry of the Sebac to a friend, Laura Murphy, who had also edited Land of the Ever-Living Ones. Laura read the manuscript and made lots of suggestions for improvements. After a number of edits and proofreads, eventually I decided to release The Cry of the Sebac on Amazon Kindle. It was released on my birthday, in March 2016. It was received well, and was given some really warm reviews.
However, a lot of followers of Mythical Ireland revealed that they would like to own a physical printed copy of the book. Like me, they prefer the touch and feel of a "real" book to the digital version. I did not have the wherewithal to fund its publication myself at that time. Nor did I think the conventional publishing route would be viable. I have been (repeatedly) told that small novels (this one runs to 55,000 words) are not marketable. Because I have a not insubstantial following online (48k on Mythical Ireland Facebook), I knew self-publishing would be a viable route, if I could raise the money. I would have an eager audience to sell to. So I set up a GoFundMe page to help raise the money to get it printed. Although I fell short of the total required, I eventually came to a decision in winter 2018 that The Cry of the Sebac needed to be printed.
I sought quotes for its printing from various printers, five in total. Eventually, having done a bit of haggling with two of them, I chose a printer. I also purchased 10 ISBN numbers (nothing wrong with a bit of ambition!) and began to work on a final edit/proofread and a print cover. I did all the design and layout for the book myself. It is entirely self-published.
Of all the books I've had published (five in total), I can safely say that I proofread this one more times than any of the others! Before going to print, I did an edit followed by a proofread, and then a second proofread. And when I had made a couple more small changes, I went back and proofread it again! Eventually, the book was sent to the printer (Anglo Printers in Drogheda) on 22nd November 2018, the day of a full moon. I am hoping to have physical copies in my hand on or before Monday 3rd December, all going well. At that stage, every GoFundMe supporter who donated €25 or more will receive a copy, and I will post out all the pre-orders received through this website. Details of a launch event (most likely in Drogheda) will be announced shortly.
One boy can be more powerful than an army.
A boy meets a mysterious talking bird, a floating hawk who claims to have lived forever. Guided by the bird, he is given glimpses of his own destiny. He must save mankind from rushing over the precipice to his doom. The boy will have to prevent an apocalypse. But how? The bird, who calls himself the Sebac Gaoth (the Hawk on the Wind), takes him on an extraordinary journey through time and space to meet the Tuatha Dé Danann, the ancient Irish deities who are prophecised to come to the aid of man in a final battle to save the world. In the process of revelation, the boy helps the Sebac to realise something of his own origins and destiny. With the gods by his side, one boy is more powerful than an army.
“A fascinating story that weaves together fiction and folklore” – Morgan Daimler, author of Pagan Portals - The Morrigan: Meeting the Great Queens
“This is a story of hope and possibility. It is salve for the soul” – Judith Nilan, author of A Legacy of Wisdom and A Call to Crone
Order your signed copy of The Cry of the Sebac from the author now HERE.
Enter the ‘Ancient Sites’ section of this blog for a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the megalithic and sacred sites of Ireland. Find out all about the Stone Age and prehistoric ruins and learn more about the possible functions and alignments of these sites. Visit the great temples of Brú na Bóinne, the Hill of Tara, the ancient cairns of Loughcrew among many others.
Explore the ancient myths, legends and folklore of Ireland and their meaning. Read the epic Táin Bó Cuailnge, or the place-name myths in the Dindshenchas. Learn about how the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians came to Ireland and how the early texts describe various invasions of prehistoric Éire. Hear about Fionn and the Fianna, and discover how some myths might contain information about astronomy and the stars.
There is no doubt that the ancient megalith builders had a substantial knowledge of the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars through the heavens. Learn more about just how complex and impressive this knowledge was. There is evidence that the people of the Neolithic knew about the 19-year Metonic cycle of the moon, as well as being able to predict eclipses.