There might be multiple story-lines in an author’s work but they’re not advertised. My debut novel, Clochán, is a coming-of-age adventure about children growing up during a time of monsters. Kevin, who is introduced at the age of reason, grows to become a young man of twenty-one. His friend Anty has two years on him which leads to confusion, misunderstanding and a modicum of distress in the later years. The name Anty, short for Anastasia, was common along Wexford’s mountains, but almost non-existent in the rest of Ireland during the early 1800s.
The fantasy narrative involves several monsters. The main one is the Púca. A Wexford writer by the name of Patrick Kennedy described rural life along the mountains. He and Oscar Wilde’s mum were revealed the local Púca’s secrets to the world. In my work, I have taken the Púca beyond the treeline.
An epic quest evolved from a loss. My father died in 2007. The next year, while sitting where the children (Anty & Kevin) sat in the introductory pages, overlooking the fields of my father’s people I came up with an outline of what I needed to write.
The phrases quoted in the epitaph are sourced from local myths that explain how my father’s ancestors came to settle. For defeating a monster there was a promise of good fortune and the hand of a good woman. She of course was more of a challenge than the beast.
The historical tale is confined to life in a rarely described period after an Irish revolt in 1798 and before the famines.
My father’s people, the Briens, had ruled the lands along the mountains for several centuries until Cromwell stepped in. The clan held title to Duffrey Hall and Tintern Abbey until the confiscation. After changing hands a few times, the Colclough family acquired them. The properties are cited often throughout the book.
There may be many reasons why an author writes something, but a good story well-told is all that matters. The rest is relegated into the background.
Mr. O’Brien spends his days as a Systems Analyst and Technical Architect for Security and Intelligence concerns. The days long past in another life as sailor, hard rock miner, surveyor, logger and even a carpenter influence his writings. His debut novel “CLOCHÁN”, was published in the Fall of 2021. The book received national recognition through winning in 2022,
The INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD®! for the Cross Genre category, (https://www.independentpressaward.com/2022winners) and
Reader Views (Canada) award for the Fantasy Category (Silver), (https://www.readerviews.com/2021-award-winners)
CLOCHAN Book trailer: https://youtu.be/-QNxRQVovtk