The Memory of Myth: 1964

Changelings: The Memory of Myth is two days away!

I took a different approach to the book this time around – both stylistically, and in terms of practicality. The E-Book will be available on Saturday, and the paperback a few weeks after that. Instead of the pages and pages of an in-book appendix – lovingly termed The World of the Changelings – in the e-book, readers will be directed to this site, where I’m working on creating an ever-evolving repository of historical fact vs fiction, reference links and general tidbits. The print book will still have the appendix, however.

Stylistically, The Memory of Myth is an all 1st-person narrative, from three different perspectives. I did not intend it to be that way, but it turned out, it was the best way to capture the now-adult Maureen best.

In the first few drafts, I had a chapter or two from Margaret’s perspective. Ultimately, I struck them from the book because I did not have enough of them for it to make sense, and their themes were easily integrated into other parts of the book. They did give me an excellent insight into the story, however, and the one below particularly gave me the strength to continue with the book at a time when I hated everything about it.

Enjoy!


Changelings: The Memory of Myth, Volume 3 in the Changelings series, will be available via Amazon on May 30, 2020.


1964 ~ Margaret McAndrew

The house was empty without her, but – thankfully – not as empty as it had been. Gerry remained – and Patrice and Jenny, as always – but gone were their worried stares and hushed silences which befell a room when I would sweep around the corner.

As if I could still sweep at this advanced age. I am spry, certainly, but I had never been particularly majestic. Even as a chieftain’s wife, I was more lithe and willowy than imposing.

But, I supposed, if I had been imposing, they never would have taken to me.

“They would have.”

“Perhaps,” I allowed after a moment, without turning to address him. “But not as quickly.”

“I was taken with you the first moment I laid eyes on you.”

“You were but a pup, and a bit teched.”

I turned then, but I knew he was not there.

He came to me often like this – in snatches of conversation, in small whiffs of humour or sympathy.

Were they truly gone? Had war stolen the heir to our legacy – my grandchild more than sixty times removed?

I supposed Dubhshìth’s voice was my foolishness, and though we had made plans – so many plans – to say he and Sean were gone, now and forever. . . I did not believe it.

Maureen did not believe it, either. Not really.

Maureen still waited.

She waited in the hallowed halls of the University of Edinburgh. She waited while she presented the findings of her genealogical search to the trustees of the estate.

She waited while she teased Colin McAlister with the treasure troves I kept hidden from him, and the possibilities of what lay within the Dunn Ussie broch.

Maureen and her professor had begun the preliminary work to excavate the grounds. It would take a year or more before they found anything of note – anything the National Trust would give them credit for. I bit my tongue almost daily to stop myself from giving too many hints about where to find what.

As if anything had survived the last 1,275 years.

Yes, Maureen waited, even as her life continued, as full, if not more so than if she and Sean came back from that faerie war unscathed.

Just as I waited.

Waited while I married a rival chieftain, so he would send his soldiers to save my lover and his clan.

Maureen waited as I had as the lady of Teach na Clochach, for that lover to return to me, and again through Culloden, and again through both World Wars – waiting for men who never came home, or who came home forever changed.

“You promised me.”

“And I shall keep my promise. I swear it.”

† † †

“It’s different this time.”

“I’m sorry – what did you say?”

I saved my spot in my book with my finger.

Gerry and I always took tea together in the library – and sometimes in the back garden if the weather was nice, but the rain hadn’t stopped lashing at the windows in three days, so it was definitely not nice.

We took tea, sometimes chatting, sometimes perusing the papers, or a book, or our faraway thoughts.

Without Maureen, and the rigours of managing the day-to-day of the estate, faraway thoughts and dreamy escapes in books and magazines were often the rule, not the exception.

What day was it, even?

“Tuesdays are for art, I know – and forgive me for interrupting your novel. You’ve read that one before, aye?”

“Whether or not I have read the book before does not mean I do not glean enjoyment from it, Mr. Ballard.” I tried to keep my voice arch.

“Ah, so you forget bits and pieces too.”

I sniffed. “What is different this time?”

“The air. The quiet. Before, it was so sad. I mean, I miss the young lass and all, and Master Sean – I just–”

Gerry pulled out his handkerchief and made a lot of uncouth noises to cover the hitch in his breath.

“Aye well, that one still hurts, but with Miss Maureen gone, the quiet is not so bad as it once was. We know where she is, and the Mach 10 can bring her home any time she likes.”

“Yes, Mr. Ballard. I was thinking much the same myself.”

“Aye, I thought so. When you get to thinking about them, you get to thinking about him, too, and it’s almost like your thinking summons him.”

“Him?”

Gerry snorted. “Aye. Him. The one you loved and lost. The one who spirited them away.”

One lonely night, not long after Sean and Maureen disappeared into 1745, I had confided in Gerry – told him of my part in it. He, in turn, trusted me with the part he played in their lives in Ireland.

“There’s this look you get around your eyes, and the tilt of your head is like you’re listening to someone – and the air shimmers around you. Sister Theresa told me what to look for. She thought maybe I was like herself – canny, like, but not able to move about. I reckon she wasn’t wrong either.”

“But I am not like they are – not like you and Sr. Theresa, either. I see no shimmer, or eddies of mist when Faerie is near.”

“No, but he is – and it’s like he’s there. Just beyond seeing.”

It was my turn to cough over a hitch in my throat.

I reached over to pat Gerry’s hand, and he covered mine with his big paw.

I smiled.

“Well, my dear friend, if he is just there beyond seeing, then perhaps Sean is too.”

“Oh aye – I’ve thought that myself. I hope he is. I hope. . .”

“I hope so too, Gerry.”

† † †

The rain had subsided to a mere drizzly trickle – the sky might even stop its weeping tomorrow. Perhaps then the meanderings of memory would leave me in peace.

Maureen still had three years before she completed her doctorate – and a residency after that.

Did this old body – which, the history books and my memory said would not have seen me past 50, much less the 85 I was today – have four more years?

Would I be able to see Maureen to the end?

Would I be able to see myself to the end?

“You promised, my love.”

“And I shall keep it – I swear it.”


Other books in the Changelings series:

Changelings: The Memory of Myth, Volume 3 in the Changelings series, will be available via Amazon on May 30, 2020.

The Memory of Myth: A Look Back

Well, there are 6 days left. The third – and final – book in the Changelings series, The Memory of Myth comes out on May 30. 

The Memory of Myth is my birthday present to myself – a stressful present, but still a present. The book also tells a story I never expected to tell and follows Maureen to a place I was personally reluctant to go to. Maureen, Margaret, and Catherine have made me alternately cry and tear my hair out in frustration. 

The Memory of Myth may not be the hardest story I will ever write, but it certainly is the hardest I have written to-date. And, if I am honest, it is the most rewarding story too (which may come as a surprise to the people who know me, given how much I complained about the bloody thing). Harder – and more rewarding – stories will come, but for now, I am happy the Changelings trilogy is finally complete.

I wrote the piece below for Changelings: Into the Mist – wrote, and then removed and posted here as an outtake. Rereading “The Race” was eye-opening, especially since I have been living with Maureen as a twenty-five-year-old for at least two years now. Going back to who she was as a young woman. . . well, the former girl-pirate was definitely a character! 

This piece plays a part in The Memory of Myth, so I hope you enjoy it!

The Race

“You let that horse lead you too much,” Maureen scolded.

Sean looked up, startled. He had been daydreaming, not watching the road. He trusted the horse to know her way home. Maureen’s voice jolted him to the present, which was, oddly enough, the past.

Today was November 30, 1584. They had been part of Grania Uaile — Grace O’Malley’s — crew of pirates for three months. In that time, they had crossed the breadth of Ireland, rescued Maureen from Sir Richard Bingham — the newly-installed English Governor of Connacht — and thwarted said governor’s plan to destroy Grania Uaile’s hold on the western coast.

Now, they were back in port, back at Grania’s stronghold, Rockfleet Castle. Now, they were home. The only problem: he and Maureen had been born in 1943. Home was a relative term.

“What are you doing here, Maureen?” he asked. He kept a wary eye on her as she sidled up to him on her own horse, Baibín.

Maureen ignored him and instead, leaned over and patted his mare’s neck.

“You have him wrapped around your hoof, Mistress Réalta ” she whispered. She looked over at Sean and winked.

Sean rolled his eyes. He did give Réalta too much lead, but it was a compromise he was willing to make with the horse to remain seated. He was no horseman.

“I’ll ask again, since you obviously didn’t hear me the first time: what are you doing here, Maureen? Didn’t Grania tell you and Owen to clean the stables?”

It had been Maureen’s punishment for refusing to take a knife to her hair. The dark curls always threatened to escape the tight, coiled braid Maureen wrapped around her head. It posed a real hazard when one spent her time among the rigging and ropes of an Irish galley.

After Grania’s decree, Maureen had stated, rather boldly, that she had no desire to earn a nickname like Grania’s own: Grainne Mhaol — Grania the bald.

She would keep her hair bound while on board, thank you.

Shooting the room a look, Maureen had dared anyone to contradict her.

Sean had stayed out of it. He was not going to be caught between the two formidable women — one old and one young, but both determined. Eventually, Grania yielded and Maureen had been tasked with mucking out the stables.

Now her hair was flowing free over her shoulders, the sun catching the hints of red within its dark waves and making them glow.

Sean shook his head and stared ahead, smiling ruefully.

“We finished,” Maureen was saying now.

He didn’t believe her; he believed Owen — youngest of the O’Neil lads, who were Grania’s most trusted associates — was mucking out the stable by himself.

Réalta the horse wasn’t the only one who knew how to take advantage.

With a blithe shrug, Maureen turned her mare and kept pace with Sean. “I thought I would ride to meet you. It’s too lovely a day.”

Translation: she had nowhere else to go where she would not be caught shirking her duties, and she was jealous of Sean’s freedom.

She smiled brightly at him and he smiled back. Whatever Maureen’s reason, it was good to have her company.

“How was Tomás?” Maureen asked.

Sean had been sent to Tomás Conroy, a smith who lived about three miles inland. The once-empty bags straddling Réalta s rump were bulging with metal-worked, lethal goodies.

“You just missed him — he came out part of the way with me. He said there have been people along the road, unusual people.”

“More unusual than us?”

Tomás had been their first encounter after arriving in 1584. Thanks to Maureen’s wild story about being orphaned runaways-turned-minstrels — to account for their unusual clothes — he had taken them for spies and delivered them to Grania.

“Ah, you know Tomás — he’s worried about the hill,” Sean replied.

They were approaching the hill now. It was a fairy hill — a sidhe mound — and within it was the power bridge the gap between centuries. Sean often wondered how many other superstitions were really truths buried by centuries of lost knowledge.

“He says they — whoever ‘they’ are — have cut more trees. He’s afraid the good folk are mad. Given we’re here, I’m inclined to agree with him.”

Maureen nodded her head and gazed up at the hill.

The sun was starting its descent. As it slipped behind the hill, a shadow spread across the path.

Sean would never admit it aloud, but the hill scared him. At the sight of it, dark premonition slithered over his shoulders. Dubh’s letter had said they would be able to use the hill to return home in three months’ time. How — and by what power — he did not want to know.

He shook her head, banishing the thoughts, and turned to Maureen.

“Moseying past the hill seems a bit like walking on our own graves,” she said, as if reading his mind. “I’ll race you back to Rockfleet!”

“Maureen,” he protested, “I’m no horseman — you’re the one who had the lessons, not me.”

“The way Liam tells it, you did fairly well on the trip to Dublin.”

“Don’t remind me.” Sean rubbed his backside. There was a reason he preferred life in Grania’s fleet to life on land — in the sixteenth century, anyway.

He looked at Maureen. She was waiting patiently for his acquiescence. He made a face.

“Fine, woman. We’ll race — but no cheating this time!”

“What, me? Cheat? I’m offended, Sean!” Maureen leaned over; there was a wicked gleam in those green eyes and Sean held Réalta s reigns tightly.

“Just for that, I’ll give you a head start!” Maureen whistled and slapped the horse smartly on its behind.

Réalta snorted and shot ahead. Sean bounced on her back and tried to hold on with his knees. Maureen laughed behind him and he cursed, loudly. Réalta took it for encouragement and somehow galloped faster.

They rounded the bend which skirted the hill, its shadow damp and chill in the already-cold November air. Something snapped in the scrub and Réalta gave a startled whinny.

†††

Maureen chuckled as Réalta took off with Sean clinging to her back. She dug her heels into Baibín’s flank; Réalta was a fast horse, but Baibín was faster.

She was within a tail’s length of horse and rider when she heard Réalta s frightened whinny and Sean’s desperate call. She watched, helpless, as he nearly lost his grip and struggled to keep his place. The panic in his voice was real, and she urged Baibín on.

They were hurtling through the countryside. Its barren winter splendour was a blur as they raced, yet Réalta was not tiring.

She would have to do more than muck out the stables if they ran roughshod through the huts, carts, and stalls of the village abutting Rockfleet Castle.

“Try to avoid the stronghold, Sean,” Maureen called out. Just beyond the stronghold was a protected dune and shallow inlet. If Sean could steer–

“You think I’m in control of where she goes?” Sean managed to shout back.

Maureen grinned. At least he had not lost his wits.

“Hold on!” she called out. To Baibín. she muttered: “Go fast, girl — fly!”

And they flew. She caught up to Sean, and with Baibín close to her flank, encouraged Réalta to veer off the path. They cut through tall grass and bramble, ignoring the sting as thorny branches slashed at their legs. The inlet was ahead; Maureen hoped the sandy dune, the pebbled beach or the shifting waters would stall Réalta s frantic gallop.

“Maureen, get me off this thing!”

“I’m doing the best I can!” she shouted back. She did not trust her skills as a rider to reach over and grab Réalta s reigns — was not sure it would even work.

They careened over the dunes and slammed into the shore faster than she thought they would. Both animals reacted too quickly for Sean and Maureen to do anything other than scream as the horses deposited them into the shallows.

Recovering first, Sean sputtered and wiped seawater from his face. He grabbed at Maureen and helped her stand. Baibín and Réalta up to their knobby knees in the water, snuffled at their drenched heads.

“Well, that was fun,” Maureen muttered as she pushed Baibín away.

“Fun?” Sean shot back, his blue eyes wild. “Maureen O’Malley, you’re mad.”

“Aye well, Sean McAndrew, you’re off the horse and alive, aren’t you?”

Sean slapped at the water and Maureen shrieked, laughing. She splashed back, and they giggled — giving into hysterics as they tried to help each other out of the water.

†††

Liam O’Neil, Grania’s first mate, and his brother Owen observed the spectacle from the dunes. Owen turned to Liam.

Carrickahowley Castle, photo via WikiCommons, uploaded May 2007 by Brholden

“So, who do you think won the race?”

It was not the first time Maureen had challenged a fellow rider.

Liam turned to see two older women from the stronghold rushing towards Sean and Maureen and attempt to help them out of the shallows.

He laughed shortly. “The washerwomen.”


Changelings: The Memory of Myth, Volume 3 in the Changelings series, will be available via Amazon on May 30, 2020.

Other books in the Changelings series:

Changelings: The Memory of Myth

The war between Man and Fae is over.

Nuada is dead, but so too is Sean. Dubh has disappeared back into the mists of time, and Maureen is alone.

But not quite. Aunt Margaret, torn from her own time, is waiting for Maureen to come home – to bear witness to the family she saved. With Aunt Margaret’s help, Maureen will unlock the tragedy at the heart of the family she created.

The war between Man and Fae is over, but the War of the Gods is just beginning.


Changelings: The Memory of Myth, Volume 3 in the Changelings series, will be available on Amazon on May 30, 2020.

Other books in the Changelings series:

Day 3: Dream

D: This is such a spoiler, A.
A: I know! I know but I can’t help it!
D: You must!
A: But! But it was so perfect and everything made me cry yesterday but this really made me cry. And I just had to share it, because, crying.
D: Who are you, and what have you done with A?
A: I know, right?!
D: You don’t really get all emotional . . .
A: Well, not with you.
D: Gee, thanks, A
A: No seriously – I’m so used to you and your theatrics and dramatics–
D: My what now?
A: Oh, come on. You know what I think of you – you have this . . . this feel to you that’s a little overblown. We all know you lost your true love. You’re pained. You’ve hidden yourself away bla bla bla – but Sean and Maureen. . . They were separate from all that.
D: This is why you don’t like me.
A: Well. . . . yeah. Yeah, that is why I don’t like you. Your story was known to me from the beginning. And seriously, it’s soooooo melodramatic. I mean, I like it, sure, but gods, there was nothing for me to explore there.
D: Or perhaps you’re just exploring it from Maureen and Sean’s point of view.
A: . . . Don’t make points I can’t argue with, Druid.
D: Ha!

Score one for the Druid; he’s not wrong. And weirdly, not upset with me for that whole melodramatic bit.

Whatever. He knew his author when he took up residence in her head.

Some days, writing can suck. It can be lifeless and uninspired, uninteresting and meaningless, and all the other un-and-less words out there.

Last night was not one of those nights.

Until last night, I hadn’t read what I wrote for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo.

This book is a definite challenge for me, and re-reading what I’ve already done either confuses me because it’s not linear, or makes me want to get down to the granular details, which is not in this book’s best interest, yet.

Last night was different. I re-read what I wrote in April and I was surprised – hell, I was moved.

It wasn’t the jumble of words I thought it was – I mean, there was enough of that to last a lifetime, sure, but it wasn’t all bad.

It took me by surprise; it made me cry – for real! And most importantly, it reminded me that there is a story here – it reminded me that I’m completing a story and it’s hard. It hurts. These characters have been hurt and – no pressure – it’s up to this book – it’s up to me, and them, and everything – to address it, to write it out, and complete the story.

There’s something to this week – maybe it’s the new moon, maybe it’s the eclipse, maybe it’s some magic I can’t quite name – but for once, I’ve acknowledged I’m a writer. Or storyteller. Or something.

It only took 6 years.

Dream, Maureen.

Dream.


Day 3 Camp NaNoWriMo Total: So far, 560 (the post above), but I still have a goal of 1,000 WIP words, so those 560 don’t count.
Words To Go: 47,211
Day 3 Brainwave: We need more (spoiler).
Day 3 Reminder: Just because they’re not likely to end up in the final draft, some scenes just need to be written so they’re there. It’s a repeat of Day 2, but honestly – this might just be the standing reminder.


Welcome to the World of the Changelings. Pick your Poison:

Day 2: Mouldering Detritus

Aunt Margaret collected bits of silver and books, mouldering paper and the detritus of our families’ lives like other people collected coins, or stamps.

Aunt Margaret collected bits of silver and books, mouldering paper and the detritus of our families’ lives like other people collected coins, or stamps.

D: Moulding Detritus? Oh, that’s just a delightful turn of phrase, A.
A: Like it? I thought it was lovely, myself.
D: You would.
A: Whatever – read on, D.

Besides Maureen, my favorite character in the Changelings series is Margaret McAndrew, Sean’s Great-Aunt. Of course, I had no idea who she really was – or rather, the entirety of who she really was – until midway through the redrafting of Rise of Kings. I’ve always liked her though – ever since Margaret tossed a pot of paint at Maureen for entering her art studio unannounced, I knew I finally had a female character who could go toe-to-toe with my very headstrong, determined Changeling.

Grace O’Malley, in Into the Mist, could have been that too, but she was very much concerned with leading her men and staying one step ahead of the Crown – and I was very much concerned with not ascribing too much to an already-known historical figure.

Grace was someone Maureen looked up to – idolized, even. I suspect – and hinted at it in the text – had Maureen and Sean stayed, as Maureen wanted, eventually she and Grace could have had a relationship like the one she shares with Margaret. Of course, Maureen would have become a dyed-in-the-wool pirate and heaven help Queen Elizabeth, the Realm, and everyone else, then!

So, I’m glad it was Margaret who popped up when she did – she’s less an ideal and more a human. She’s eccentric, certainly, but she’s strong, smart, independent – and still shows her scars. Despite everything she’s been through, she’s not afraid to love Sean and Maureen. She doesn’t just protect them as was her task; she guides them, teaches them, and loves them. Their relationship humanizes her as well, as much as it humanizes Maureen (see: pirate).

D: I like Margaret, too.
A: Well, I would hope so, D.
D: No, I mean, of course I do – but I don’t know her as Margaret – I only get to read about her and . . . and . . .
A: And pop in occasionally and cause her a great deal of anguish?
D: I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t causing brooding somewhere, A.
A: (eye roll) No kidding.
D: But that’s what I mean – I do only pop in, as you so eloquently put it. So, seeing her from Maureen’s eyes. . . it’s–it’s gratifying. Thank you, A, for giving me that.
A: I’m not sure how to react to this, so I’m just going to go with it. You’re welcome, D.


Day 2 Camp NaNoWriMo Total: 1,171 (not including the post above)
Words To Go: 47,211
Day 2 Brainwave: Explore Catherine’s childhood. It can be a spoiler if you’re not careful, but that’s ok. Right now, she has no tether, no humanizing influences. It’s needed to understand why she has a certain comfort with where she is.
Day 2 Reminder: Just because they’re not likely to end up in the final draft, some scenes just need to be written so they’re there.


Welcome to the World of the Changelings. Pick your Poison:

Day 1: Kicking off – where I left off

I dreamed we were young again. . .

We were in Grace O’Malley’s stronghold, the first time we traveled in time… We were bright with the belief we were simply biding our time… that winter day, we had no knowledge of what was to come.

And so, Day 1 of Camp Nano begins where I left off – with the dream sequence that put me over the edge for my April goal.

Separated from her best friend, and first love, Maureen lives quite a bit in her head in this book. It’s a change I wasn’t exactly prepared for – she was the driving force of almost all the adventure in the last two books. Her headstrong drive landed her and Sean into quite a few scrapes – as this passage later explores.

It was an interesting experiment, to have her review her memories through the haze of dreams – particularly since I wrote the original scene for an early draft of the first book, but only published it on this site, as the short story, The Race.

Maureen is still the driving force in the narrative – hers is the frame for Catherine’s story – but she really is alone now – and while–

D: Alone? She’s not alone. She has Margaret.
A: Well, yes but it’s not the same thing. And gee – thanks for interrupting me.
D: You weren’t going anywhere with that sentence and you know it. Anyway, Margaret has some of the same memories – some of the same experiences–
A: Margaret is there. You know she’s there. You left her there.
D: Ahem. Spoilers, A.
A: It’s not the same, D. You know that. That’s why you feel guilty.
D: Guilty? Me??
A: . . .
D: Ok, ok point taken. But honestly, where am I in all this?
A: Excuse me?
D: I thought this was my book?
A: It is, but–
D: And you’ve written near-50,000 words to date and I think all I’ve gotten out of it is a pithy ‘I am born’ statement.
A: Are you really calling David Copperfield pithy?
D: No, I’m calling your reinterpretation of it pithy.
A: . . .
D: But I digress – where am I?
A: That’s a good question, D. One Maureen is currently asking.
D: Oh… oh dear.
A: Yup.

Why did Dubh never come to say goodbye – or hello? It was not he who had died that day, and it had been a year – 215 years – and at least a day for him since that horrible morning.

Was he afraid, or ashamed? Or was he still fighting on the Plain?  Would he fight every day, every moment of his life, to try to reclaim the one who’d passed from the realm of men before his time?

The fierce blue eyes shone bright again in my memory. They blazed across the seething battlefield, just as they had when he revealed himself across the sea of flame as a ship was lost, and again through the faerie mists, which boiled red at my command.

Always apart from us – always on his own. Always promising he’d make it right.

But he’d always kept his promises – even as he kept his secrets.
Excerpted from Changelings: The Memory of Myth (c) KM Sullivan/ktirsh


Welcome to the World of the Changelings. Pick your Poison:

Ready. Set. Go. Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo is kind to me – always has been. I’ve attempted the official NaNoWriMo in November three times, and three times, I’ve failed – or rather, allowed a variety of life events take precedence. I even have a category here dedicated entirely to that failure!

I’ve done a camp three times too – and all three have been a success in their own way. While April and July tend to be chock-full of their own particular brands of catastrophe, I’ve always managed.

The ability to adjust one’s goal at camp probably helps – but really, I think it’s the 30-day forced focus combined with the lightheartedness of the ‘camp’ atmosphere that works for me. I mean, I write blog posts with a character in my head – lighthearted is always going to win the day!

Of course, The Memory of Myth – book 3 in the Changelings series – isn’t exactly lighthearted. It’s really kind of a monster. It makes me cry (which is good, but still…). It writes differently than the other two – it’s more a series of vignettes than a book right now. I also never expected to be with these characters at this stage in their lives – Catherine’s story originally had a much different genesis, but here we are.

D: A? A, I have the oddest sense of déjà vu. A: {Sigh} Oh, do you? D: Yes, indeed. It seems as though we were just here... but years ago. Several years. Decades, even. Eons-- A: Two years, D. It has only been two years.  D: Only?! My dear A--  A: You're a time traveler - you of all people should know time is just a construct.  D: . . .  A: Fine. Yes. I've kept you waiting for 2 years. At least it wasn't another 20. D: At least?! Wait, that's a threat, isn't it? A: You do catch on quick, Druid.

The dialogue still lives!

And here – in the July Camp NaNo – I hope to finally put “the end” on the first draft of book 3. And, I’m going to do it with the help of a project that makes use of the several gigabytes of pictures I’ve taken over the last few years while I wasn’t writing. There’s a collection of about 80 photos I’ll be choosing from to inspire scenes, vignettes and whatever else it takes to get into the heads of these irascible characters of mine and finish these books! I’ll be posting them here with some “daily line” and D/A commentary – and on Instagram!

FREE STUFF

In April, I found the calendar on the NaNoWriMo blog really helpful (ok, I found the stickers I rewarded myself with really helpful, but whatever), so I made one of my own for July. There are 2: a blank one to write in your daily goals/daily word count, and one that’s editable in PDF, if you want to be paper-free – it’ll even tally up your goal/daily word count!

CampNano July Calendar – blankCampNano July Calendar – now updatable in the PDF itself!


Welcome to the World of the Changelings. Pick your Poison:

Daily Lines: Here we go!

“I was once told my daughter would be a queen.
The man who said it had tears in his eyes as he kissed my fevered face. He stared at me as though he would burn the memory of me into his soul.
Goddess, he called me.
It was those words, and the look of loss in his eyes, which would eventually allow me to forgive him all that followed – which would allow me to forgive him for dying.
I think, when our small company parted ways, he lost so much more than I – though I can admit now that my life was never the same without him in it.”

D: . . . Well, way to start on a melancholy note, woman.

A: This is your story, D.

D: My story?  I’m pretty sure that’s Maureen speaking, my dear A.

A: It is. You put her through a lot.

D: I put–

A: Oh yes – you, Druid. You put – you continue to put – that poor dear through the ringer.

D: That poor dear, who would have brought down the British Empire with her bare hands? I’m fairly certain she can handle herself.

A: *No longer containing the ridiculous smile that accompanied D’s Return(TM)* That she can. So, what do you think?

D: I told you what I think – that’s a rather melancholy way to start!

A: Well sure, but it’s’ the third – and final – foray into your world. That is a little melancholy, even if it is wonderful and ridiculously exciting!

D: I saw you publish a “World of the Changelings” short earlier this year, A – don’t think you’re going to get rid of me that quickly.

A: *rolls eyes* heaven forbid. I’m not hoping to get rid of you – did you not see that grin when you showed up?? You’ve been a bit MIA, Druid.

D: I have not – I have simply been biding my time. A druid is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.

A: You just stole that from Tolkien.

D: I think you will find, given our respective timelines, that Tolkien stole it from me.

A: *eye roll* Right – my mistake.

D: Indeed, my dear A. Indeed.

Well, there you have it – Book 3, tentatively titled The Memory of Myth is underway. As I remarked to friends today – as a way to explain my sleep-deprived self – this is the

This trunk has been around the block a few times in the last 40+ years, but most notably – or recently – it’s seen 5+ books written on (or near) it’s surface

first time in about 4 years that I’ve written anything from whole cloth. Once upon a time, this book was slated to be the second in the series, and a stand-alone tale of Catherine McAndrew.

The threads of Niamh’s tapestry dictated, however, that it become the final story. The 120,000-word behemoth I wrote at this same yellow trunk 16 years ago while my then-baby boy slept is to be pared down and incorporated into a Möbius strip of timelines and stories that will bid farewell to the O’Malley, McAndrew, and McAlister clans, who have kept me company these last 25 years.

I hope you’ll join me (and D – who is indeed with me again!) – it’s been an interesting road, made even better by the people I get to share it with. I’ll share daily/weekly lines here and on Facebook, and as always, pictures of my world and writing buddies (otherwise known as my cats) on Instagram.


Welcome to the World of the Changelings. Pick your Poison:

It’s Here! Changelings: The Rise of Kings

Irish teens Maureen O’Malley and Sean McAndrew were lost in time. They fought at the side of a pirate queen, and raised the flag of a new nation. They defied the will of the Faerie king, and set in motion a revolution, which claimed the life of their friend and mentor – which barred them, the last of the Changelings, of from Faerie, forever.

Or so they thought.

Facing expulsion for their misadventures, Maureen and Sean are sent to live with Sean’s aunt, deep in the Scottish Highlands. There, Faerie whispers reach out to snatch them once more – and this time, returning home is no longer an option. This time, to thwart the king, they must become myth themselves, and fight a war none may win without dying.

Gods and rebels and kings, oh my!

The Rise of Kings is the second book in the exciting Changelings trilogy, and it is available in print and digital from Amazon today! And, lucky you, if you want a signed copy, you can buy one directly from me, using the products page on this site!

As an added bonus, the first book in the series, Into the Mist is available as an Amazon ebook for FREE today only!

 

Homecoming

“Changelings and foundlings – and chasers of faerie gold. Wanderers, the lot of you.”

The chills skittering up Maureen’s arms were at odds with the hollow ache in her heart and head.

Dubhshìth mac Alasdair was dead. The gateway between the realms of man and Fae was closed. There would be no more wandering now.

Two years she and Sean – best friend, fellow orphan, and Changeling – had spent chasing after the phantom warrior whose name changed with the century: Dubhghall, Dubh Súile, Captain Doyle and finally, Dubhshìth. Two years, which had sped by in the space of a day. But then, a night in Faerie was six months to the minds of men. That’s what Sr. Theresa had always told them.

Maureen glanced at the raw-boned nun who kept a protective arm over her shoulder as if shielding her once-young charge from the smoking ruins of the tiny chapel destroyed by faerie fire not a half hour ago. Ruined by King Nuada Silver Arm to rid himself of the last of the Changelings – the last of the descendants of Man and Fae.

Had Sr. Theresa known, all this time? Had the Benedictine nun, their guardian and teacher of ten years, been grooming her and Sean for their journey between the worlds? Had a secret part of her soul recognized in them the magic of the Fae – had she given them the tools they would need, in the form of stories and half-remembered superstitions, to guide them on their way?

She shook her head as she allowed herself to be guided from the chapel’s wreckage. She didn’t mind leaving it behind, and a quick look at Sean said he did not either. There was nothing left. The church had held only memories of who they once were – and of a birthright they would never be able to claim.

If Sr. Theresa had been grooming them, the smouldering remains were a testament to their failure.

Because Dubhshìth was dead, and the gateway was closed to them forever.

Get your copy today!

Other books by KM Sullivan

The Changelings Series

Signed paperback copies of the Changelings books can also be purchased direct from this site.

The Three Ghosts Series

Katie SullivanAbout the Author

Descended of pirates and revolutionaries, KM Sullivan is a lover and student of all things Irish. Born in the States, she is a dual US/Irish citizen, and studied history and politics at University College, Dublin – although, at the time, she seriously considered switching to law, if only so she could attend lectures at the castle on campus. She lives in the American Midwest with her son, two cats and a pesky character in her head named D (but you can call him Dubh). She can be found writing at her blog, The D/A Dialogues.

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‘Twas the night before. . .

As I was putting the final touches on Rise of Kings a few weeks ago, a suggestion from one of my beta readers led me down the path of -gasp- prose I’d written as a way of getting inside D’s head. While I don’t consider any of it *good,* it is insightful. None of this made the cut in the book, but I wanted to share it anyway – there were plenty of easter eggs to be had, which I enjoyed and I hope you do, too.

Originally posted on April 17, 2014 as Lives Entwine.

Warning: Prose ahead! The Daily Post’s challenge-of-the-week was to write a post in prose. Now, I know quite a few excellent poets, and I know I am not of their number. However, as my brain steadfastly refuses to leave D’s world, I thought a bit of prose introducing the players in Book 2 might be in order.

As I said, prose ahead – you’ve been warned!

Maureen

I live.

Queen and goddess,

He said, the mother of kings.

Yet, power withers in my hand

And nothing to claim but portents and lies

Out of the way of history I step,

Out of the way of kings.

Let their magic die upon the Plain

I will be their pawn

No more.

*

Sean

I stand.

Stalwart and true

Hers is the gift of whispers

Twisting a song of power

While mine screams loud with terror.

For her I’ll taste the bitter sting of steel

In wars of men and battles of Fae

Yet his fate we will not echo

For our time, I swear,

Will come.

*

Dubh

I fall.

Crippled druid,

A thousand times I die,

A sacrifice, upon the Plain.

Now I move as myth amongst men – a god

Of terrible vengeance,

A father of kings.

At my call, the sleepers shall arise

And his tyranny will be

No more.

*

Niamh

I fight.

Daughter of gods

Weaver of spells, I see far.

Magic withers upon the Plain –

Death and decay mark his reign.

I will call to the heart of my people

And weave their songs once more.

With his champion at my side,

The age of peace

Will come.

*

Nuada

I rule.

Sons of mac Lir we were

And fierce were our battles

‘Till the day he graced my door.

Cloaked in mist and forgotten power,

He won for me my crown.

Lies I twisted, all to tame him

Until the day, he slipped from my side.

My kingdom is myth,

No more.

*

Mairead

I love.

I stand through the centuries,

A guardian and friend.

Mentor and mother,

The lineage of gods in my keeping,

And his word my only salvation.

I know when wars be over,

And kings awakened,

On that day my love

Will come.

***

Get your copy of Changelings: The Rise of Kings (Changelings, Vol. 2) today – ebooks and paperbacks available at Amazon, and signed paperback copies available here