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:

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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.

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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

On the Eve of Battle – The Rise of Kings

Well, 2 years after it was promised, Book 2 in the Changelings saga is finally here. It doesn’t matter that it was essentially written four years ago – which, coupled with my desire to expand the story – caused me so. many. freaking. continuity errors I nearly lost my mind – it’s here now. It’s here and I love it.

Oh, and FYI – forewarned is forearmed: Book 2 is totally the Empire Strikes Back of the series. Just in case anyone was wondering, or hoping for resolution – no. I mean, yes, in a way, but no. Sorry.

In the midst of editing, I realized the truth. While Into the Mist could *technically* be a stand-alone story, Book 2, The Rise of Kings could not. It demands you read the first book (which is free, on July 13!!), and it hopes you read the final chapter, Book 3 (which, I’m happy to announce, is tentatively titled The Memory of Myth).

That said, I love it. I love where it takes Sean and Maureen. I love the people they become in this story – and I love the side characters. If anyone wants to have an in-depth conversation about Martin or Mared (or Elisabeth, or. . . well, you get the idea) hit me up on Twitter or Facebook. I’m not kidding. I love them all and I hope you do, too.

So, here’s to an updated website (hey, we have shopping carts – you all know you want signed copies!!), and a book three years in the making.

Thanks for sticking with me.

. . . Oh. . . I almost forgot! Here’s an excerpt from Changelings: The Rise of Kings. Enjoy!

He came at them not with flame or trembling light, but through the hollow call of a judge’s gavel. His were no longer the shrieking voices of faceless monstrosities, but the sonorous tones of men who claimed to speak for God. With them, Nuada attempted to lay to waste the keepers of memories, the tellers of tales, and the wise women of the woods.

Sean tossed in his cot, aware he was caught in a dream but helpless to do anything about it. He could not force himself to wakefulness, and though he tried, he could not take command of the dream.

As the parade of men and women passed before him, each doomed to die for nothing more than sharing the glimmer of magic in his blood, his powerlessness turned to fury – to action. He would save them.

He had to.

He stood before judges, and attempted to put out flame, but they did not see him, and the flame merely rose higher.

Briefly, tantalizingly, others would see him – those who stood at the edges, neither jeering the condemned nor sobbing for their lives. They could hear his words, and they peered at him with concern in their eyes. He urged them to speak, to stand up for the hunched crone who could not have poisoned the Smyth’s cow. She who had brought their youngest into the world with those careworn hands, and cooled the fevered brow of their brother as he lay with the sweating sickness should not be condemned for imagined evils.

But those who could hear him and see him were almost worse than those who could not. Their concern turned to fear – to hatred. How dare he single them out?

Those who knew, who could sense his otherness, turned on him. They did not want to know. Not anymore.

Night after night he dreamed. All those who could see, and feel, and reach across the barrier to touch his heart – Maureen’s heart – were bright dots that lit the earth. And night after night, they winked out of existence.

The earth darkened – lit only by the fires of those who burned.

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Pre-Order Changelings: The Rise of Kings!

Changelings: The Rise of Kings is now live for pre-orders in the Amazon Kindle Store! Between now and July 13, you can pre-order the kindle edition for $1.99! A print edition will be available on July 13 as well.

Ebook COverIrish teens Maureen O’Malley and Sean McAndrew were lost in time. They fought alongside 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 that not only claimed the life of their friend and mentor, but barred them, the last of the Changelings, 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.

And, to tide you over, you can download Hunted, from the World of the Changelings, at Smashwords for free AND check out how it all started with Changelings: Into the Mist, which is free on Amazon for the next five days.

But wait! There’s more (it *is* my birthday after all – treats for everyone!)! As an extra special bonus to everyone for sticking with me as publication of The Rise of Kings was delayed, below is a special ‘epilogue’ of sorts to bridge the gap between Into the Mist and The Rise of Kings. I hope you enjoy!

The Sleeper

Niamh stood at the head of a silent host whose bodies melted and blended with the mist as they passed through Mag Mell.

The fallen warrior lay sprawled where he took his last stand against the tyrant. Nuada Silver Arm had not even bothered to strip his foe.

Faint wisps of green and white pillowed the man’s head. The vines with their tiny flowers twined about his arms and legs, as if the earth would claim him for itself.

Behind her, awe-struck whispers rose:

“The Plain . . .”

“So much green.”

“Mag Mell – it lives again.”

Niamh crouched beside the Druid and murmured in his ear. “Fallen or sleeping, you give your very soul for your people, Dubhshìth – and yet you claim you are no king.”

No flicker of an eyelid or twist of the lips betrayed his stupor.

“Is he really–?”

“No, though it is well Nuada believed it so. He travels beyond us, but we can bring him back.” Niamh brushed a stray strand of hair from the warrior’s face. “The gods are not yet done with my Druid.”

She stood and allowed her followers to gather the fallen warrior.

“We must make haste. Mag Mell is watched.”

“Is it true, my lady? Do we really go to Tech Duinn? It is said none return from Donn’s domain over the dead.” It was the young healer, Miach, who spoke.

She put a hand on his shoulder. “There are ways.” She looked out into the mist. “Áine will teach us how.”

# # #

Head over to Amazon to get the rest of the story!

The World of the Changelings: The name’s the thing

First things first – how do you pronounce those names?

From Niamh Golden Hair and Nuada Silver Arm, Áine, Manannán mac Lir and Dubhshìth, to Tír na nÓg and Tech Duinn, the world of the Changelings is a challenge when it comes to cultural/historical/mythological accuracy and ease of reading. Not even for me!

The following is a true story.

The boy, who has just read the last two chapters because he was totally responsible for The Rise of Kings ending where it does: Ok, we have Nim… Nimeh? Nimmmm…

Me: “Neeve.”

B: But…

M: or is it “Nimuay”?

B: . . .

M: I don’t know how to pronounce them – I make up pronunciations in my head. Always have. To me, she’s “Neeve.” I’m pretty sure. Or is it “Nimuay?”  Whatever – it’s in the appendix.

B: (muttering to himself) oh my god mom…

M: I have to spell it like that. It’s her name! She’s a real mythological figure.

B: . . .

M: Don’t look at me like that. You know what I mean.

B: Ok.

M: (He has a look, so I keep talking) Don’t worry – aside from the real myths, I cut down on that authentic name thing. There are a lot of Martins, James and Roberts though.

B: And by a lot…

M: Well, see, names stay in families, and the story is cyclical, so it worked.

B: You’re going to have an appendix, right?

M: . . . .

B: (Forestalling the “is the pope catholic, and the sky blue” snark) Ok, so maybe put the pronunciation guide at the beginning?

From the mouth of babes. Even 16-year-old smart-arse babes.

So yes, I know the Irish-language (and some pict/proto-celtic) names can be a bit hard on the tongue to non-Irish speakers. Like I admitted to the boy, I make up pronunciations in my head anyway – you DO NOT want to know how I’ve pronounce words like Houghton Mifflin or even simple words like façade.

And because The Rise of Kings picks up right where Into the Mist left off, the mythology comes fast and furious. So yes, this time, the name guide will be in the front. Lesson learned!

Characters – and their pronunciation – from Changelings 1 & 2

Those with a slash after their name instead of parenthesis have an anglicized name by which they are also known.

Dubhghall, Dubh Súile, Dubhshìth, Dubh, (DOOgal/Doov Sul-e/DOO-she/Doov) Doyle – his name changes with the century, but he will always be the dark stranger, the warrior, monk, and prince.

Gods & Goddesses

Niamh Golden Hair (Neeve) is the rebel queen of Tír na nÓg, and Dubh Súile’s confidante.

Nuada Silver Arm (NU ah) is the king of Tír na nÓg.

Áine (AAN-yuh), Nuada’s onetime queen and Niamh’s mother.

Manannán mac Lir (MaNa-Nan mac LEER) is Nuada, Bres and Balor’s father and onetime ruler of Faerie.

Donn (Don) – brother of Manannán mac Lir, ruler of Tech Duinn, the Land of the Dead.

Lugh (Lu) – a warrior, craftsman, and bard – although known to man, Lugh is new to the pantheon established in Changelings.

The Dagda (Dada) – The father of Manannán mac Lir and Donn, he is the father of all, keeper of time, and god of the earth.

Fomorians (F’MoR-e-ans) i.e. the Fomorian Faction is the name used by Nuada’s enemies in the Fomorian War. Nuada’s brothers, Bres (BRESH) and Balor, led the faction.

Tuatha Dé Danann (TOO-ha da Dah-n’n) – at once old gods and historically, an ancient Irish race.

Warriors

Fionn mac Cumhaill/Finn McCool is the leader of the legendary group of warriors, the Fianna.

Oisín (Ush-EEN) is the son of Fionn mac Cumhaill, a poet, and a member of the Fianna. He tarried in Tír na nÓg for 300 years.

Cú Chulainn (Coo-hullen), the Hound of Ulster, a warrior who many believed to be the son of Lugh. (Listen to his name here!)

The Purely Fictional

Mairead mac Tadgh (Mar-EAD mac Teague) is the love of Dubhshìth’s mortal life and the mother of his child. She was thought to have killed herself when Dubh disappeared in Ireland.

Mártainn mac Aindriú/Martin mac Andrew is Dubhshìth’s rival for Mairead’s affections. He married her when Dubh was presumed dead in battle, and pledged his warriors to help win the war Dubh had been fighting.

Domnall mac Aindriú/Donal mac Andrew is Dubh’s son, who he thought had died with his mother, Mairead. He did not, instead he lived to be an old man whose descendants may or may not include Maureen and Sean.

Places

Tír na nÓg (TEAR na’nog), the Land of the Young, is one of many Irish mythological “otherworlds,”

Tech Duinn (Tec Doon), the House of Donn, which became synonymous with the Land of the Dead.

Teach na Clochach (Tcha n Cluh-hu) House of the Rock aka Cloak Tower – or, in Aunt Margaret’s words: “To me, and to all your ancestors sixty times removed, the keep – as it were – has been called Teach na Clochach – House of the Rock. Clochach sounds an awful lot like a guttural ‘cloak’ to those who’ve lost their native tongue.”

Into the Mist characters – they’ll be back for Book 3

Dian Cécht (deeAAn kay-cht) is the king’s healer.

Credne (KRA-na) is the silversmith who created the king’s silver arm.

Macha (mOH-ka) is handmaiden to Queen Áine.

Miach (ME-ik) is Dian Cecht’s son and a young healer.