For all the Irish history lovers out there.
After Gáirech by Micheál Cladáin released on September 30 in the Historical Fiction genre.
The battle of Gáirech is over; the armies of Connachta, Lagin, and Mumu are destroyed! Survivors are ravaging The Five Kingdoms of Ireland!
While working to resolve the Kingdoms’ issues and bring peace, Cathbadh is murdered, dying in his son Genonn’s arms. Genonn vows to avenge the death of his father. For his revenge to work, he needs Conall Cernach and the Red Branch warriors of Ulster. But Conall is gone, searching for the head of Cú Chulainn. Genonn sets out to find him, aided by the beautiful Fedelm, the capricious Lee Fliath and the stalwart Bradán.
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B093TF86Z4
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B093TF86Z4
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B093TF86Z4
Micheál Cladáin studied the classics and developed a love of ancient civilizations during those studies. Learning about ancient Roman and Greek cultures was augmented by a combined sixteen years living in those societies, albeit the modern versions, in Cyprus and Italy. As such, Micheál decided to write historical fiction, trying to follow in the footsteps of such greats as Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden. Because of his Irish roots, he chose pre-Christian Ireland as his setting, rather than ancient Italy or Greece.
Micheál is a full-time writer, who lives in the wilds of Wexford with his wife and their border terriers, Ruby and Maisy.
The Most Difficult Part of writing After Gáirech
The hardest part of writing After Gáirech is answering this question.
Humour aside, when first lifting a pen or tapping a keyboard as it is now, there is no part of writing a novel that is not difficult. From moulding a thought into something more concrete than a vague idea of “that would make a good book” to writing and editing, they are all difficult. It all becomes easier with practice.
That’s not to say any of them become easy. The difficulty just lessens somewhat. So, after several novels, what are the parts, and how do I rate them? The following are listed by difficulty (easiest to hardest) and not sequentially.
I never had a problem with ideas. They are always there. I started writing when I was a kid and completed my first full manuscript when I was twenty. It was a tome, and it was awful, but it was there in black and white.
Many writers use the “pantsing” method of writing (writing by the seat of their pants). I am not one of them. I find with a good structure in place, my writing is so much faster. I don’t need to sit down and work out what’s next because the flow of the story is already there. That’s not to say there isn’t flexibility in the flow because there is, which sometimes requires a rewrite, but I have always found a good structure to be essential. It’s probably a throwback to my having spent thirty-odd years in the IT world as a writer and editor.
Having read Classical Studies at Uni, research has become second nature. Writing about pre-Christian Ireland is more problematic than most eras because the Irish Celts did not keep written records. Their history was probably kept as an oral tradition passed down from druid to druid. When Christianity destroyed the druids, the records died with them. Much my research uses transcribed legends written down by monks hundreds of years after the alleged events. There are archaeological discoveries I can use, and the Romans did write about the Celts, but mostly in passing and probably not very accurately. It does mean I have more freedom in what I write than if I was writing, for example, about the Tudors or the Napoleonic wars.
There are several levels of editing required for a novel. Much of those can be done long before any external editor gets a look at the manuscript. As a professional editor, I feel comfortable, for example, performing a developmental edit on a story. A developmental edit involves testing the flow of the novel for areas of superfluity. For instance, does it follow a natural arc? Are all the elements present (such as inciting incident, climax and resolution)? Does each scene move the story on? Are all the characters key, or were some introduced for convenience? Can parts be cut? Should parts or characters be added? A key element to a developmental edit is the rewrite, where superfluous bits and characters are cut. I am sure I’m not alone in this, but I find cutting swathes out of my books hard to do.
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Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Miche%25C3%25A1l-Clad%25C3%25A1in/e/B07BGWK6BD
This post is part of a Tour. Tour Schedule Page: https://www.coffeepotbookclub.com/post/blog-tour-after-g%C3%A1irech-by-miche%C3%A1l-clad%C3%A1in-october-11th-october-22nd-2021