"This is the story of how my third life began. And how my second life ended. They’re the same thing, you know—endings and beginnings. We’re taught to believe they’re different, but in order for one thing to begin, something else must end."
Newly divorced Das MacDermott longs for a fresh start. As he packs up and prepares to move out of the city, he spots a young woman being held at gunpoint by three men. Despite being outnumbered and unarmed, Das does his best to intervene. Once liberated, the victim seems oddly ungrateful, but on an apparent whim decides to join Das in his new life in rural Ontario. Aislinn, as she is called, returns the favour; with her encouragement and support, his start-up photography business takes off, and more importantly, Das is saved from loneliness and self-doubt.
Das, however, is never quite able to fully dismiss the contrary aspects of Aislinn’s nature, and is strictly forbidden from asking about Aislinn’s past. All seems too good to be true, and indeed it is. Aislinn’s unusual talents and odd behaviour, unbeknownst to Das, come from her demigod status. Aislinn is half-Sidhe, daughter of Fionvarra, Ireland’s fairy king, and a human woman. Sidhe wars have so disrupted the mortal world that Aislinn has joined with other immortals in an effort to permanently separate it from Tir N’a Nog, the fairy realm.
Born in ancient Ireland, Aislinn spends millennia as the plaything of the cruel and narcissistic gods. The pain of being neither human nor Sidhe is offset by her relationship to the Fir Bolg, another race of fair folk who take pity on her lonely state; and the refuge she takes in being Das’s lover and protector. As Das comes to accept the possibility that Aislinn belongs to a supernatural world, he discovers that the two worlds are set to collide in a way that may mean the destruction of all humanity.
Thank you, Mrs Llamrei
First person VS third person – how the writer decide? Which are the advantages of each?
A. This is a good question because I did have difficulty making a decision. I originally started the first draft in third person, and then switched to a dual first person narrative. I made the switch because it wasn’t working the way I was writing it.
Third person allows the reader to see everything, but it can be more difficult to relate to individual characters. With first person, the story is closer to the reader, and there is full identification with the characters. However, the reader can only know what the narrators know. As a writer, the challenge was to reveal all of the necessary information, even when the events did not happen in the presence of one of the narrators.
What about two (alternative) points of view – how do you keep the balance between a better image and necessary unknown?
A. It wasn’t difficult because I’m a plotter. I had the entire book planned and outlined before I ever started the first draft. I knew exactly what needed to be revealed and when.
What it takes to build a believable and durable relationship between a human and an immortal?
A. I’m not sure a relationship between a human and an immortal can be both believable and durable, at least not the type of immortals I write about. In the old stories, trickery is generally involved on one side or the other, and once the trickery is exposed, the relationship dissolves. I guess for such a relationship to succeed in the long term, both parties would have to be honest, loyal, and unwavering, and those are not qualities that the Sidhe possess. Perhaps there are immortals from other cultures that do.
There is an ideal mix between damsel in distress and kick ass heroine? Who are your favorite and why?
A. 1) Anita Blake, vampire hunter, because she can hold her own against any human, and most vampires. Plus, she has a certain amount of affection for some of the vampires, which in her world makes her unique. 2) Seichan, from James Rollins’s Sigma Force Series. She’s interesting because she started out as a villain, and gradually changed sides. She has a secret in her past that drives her, but also makes her vulnerable in personal relationships. 3) Because I have young children, Disney is a large part of my life, and so Merida from Brave also makes my list of favorite heroines. In defiance of her family and her culture, Merida takes her destiny into her own hands, and when she messes up she faces it with the same courage she used to assert her right to marry someone of her own choosing.
From Canada/Toronto to Ireland is a long way. Do you have any connection with Ireland and how did you get inspired by Irish mythology?
A. I don’t have any family connection to Ireland. However, I am a follower of Celtic spirituality and, as such, have had frequent exposure to Irish mythology for the better part of two decades.
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