Saturday, 28 September 2013

Working on the cover design for LOTELO

I have been referring to 'Land of the Ever-Living Ones' by its acronym, LOTELO, and I have become quite fond of its short name. I came up with three possible cover designs and asked people on my Facebook pages to vote for their favourite, and to rate them according to a list of key words relating to the book's themes. Here are the three cover designs:

I asked people to consider the following key words when they were choosing their favourite: air, wind, fire, water, earth, monuments, prehistory, Ireland, mythology, otherworld, heaven, stars, celestial, cosmic, mysticism, ancestors, transformation, learning, knowledge, wisdom, death, rebirth, solstice, night and day.

The middle cover was by far the most popular, with the votes working out at a ratio of 1:2:1. I ruled out the right-hand cover altogether because many people thought its colouring was similar to the cover of 'Island of the Setting Sun', even though it is a beautiful cover nonetheless. Several people thought the middle cover could do with a bit of colour punch and depth, so I decided that, in keeping with one of the central themes of the book, I would add some stars into the sky and darken it up a bit. What I ended up doing was taking the sky from the left-hand image (stars over Dowth) and pasting it into the middle image. Here is what I came up with:

A draft cover for LOTELO.
I continue to work on editing the book. One major edit was done last weekend, and a second major edit is now being completed. When that's done, hopefully in a day or two, I will give a copy of the manuscript to two proof-readers to ensure it's all okay. At that stage, I hope to select a printer and get it off to print. In the meantime, I will try to format it for Amazon Kindle, where it will be available as an eBook.

All going well, I will be launching the book in Drogheda in early November, to coincide with Samhain. Hope to see you there!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Announcing my first work of fiction - 'Land of the Ever Living Ones'


I am taking a giant leap into the realm of fiction!

My first work of fiction, a novella called 'Land of the Ever Living Ones', is nearing completion. The text is finished, and is currently being edited. I am planning to publish the book at Samhain, and if all goes to plan there will be both a printed version and an eBook version.

Land of the Ever-Living Ones is an extraordinary dialogue between an old man and a young boy that reaches into cosmic and spiritual realms. In one fireside conversation, they sweep the universe with discussion about many different things, including natural phenomena, the mysteries of life and the question of what happens to us when we die.

The old man (sean draoi) has gained much knowledge and wisdom during his life, and readily imparts it to the eager young boy, who is full of questions.

Tír na mBeo (Land of the Ever Living Ones) was an ancient Irish name for the otherworld, the place to which the soul was believed to have gone after death. In this wide-ranging conversation, the man takes the boy on a journey into his own ancestral past, and through lesson, metaphor, story and dream, creates for him a stunning insight into his spiritual existence and his quest for eternity.

The journey is a magical and powerful one, evoking both ecstasy and melancholy, for lost ancestors, for the frailties of mankind, and for the sometimes harsh lessons of worldly life. However, it is an optimistic tale, one that stirs up great hope for the eventual destiny of the boy, and for all his kin.

Its central message is one of hope – that there is some reward beyond this life, and that all our struggles on this earth are not in vain.