IRELAND: MYTHICAL, MAGICAL, MYSTICAL
By Christy Nicholas
Crystal: Today as part of the Goddess Fish Virtual Book tour, I have the opportunity to interview Christy Nicholas. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Christy: I do many things, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing and photography. In real life I'm a CPA, but having grown up with art and around me (my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected me, as it were. I love to draw and to create things. It's more of an obsession than a hobby. I like looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset, or a fragrant blossom, a dramatic seaside. I then wish to take a picture or create a piece of jewelry to share this serenity, this joy, this beauty with others. Sometimes this sharing requires explanation – and thus I write. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. I do local art and craft shows, as well as sending my art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
Christy: How about a favorite place, since this is a travel guide? I love standing on the sea shore, but not the beach – I prefer high, rocky cliffs. I discovered the joys of Sliabh Liag (Sleeve League) cliffs in County Donegal, Ireland on my last trip, and wanted to just stay there, and never leave. These are 900 foot sea cliffs, facing the Gulf Stream on the northwest coast of Ireland. The winds were whipping my hair at 50 mph, and I felt invigorated, strong, and able to take on the world!
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for Mystical Ireland?
Christy: I had always written trip reports from each vacation, and I had written an article on planning a trip there. I had also self-published a couple photojournals of my trips, so this seemed like the logical next step towards professional travel writing.
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Christy: I’ve just started the research to write a similar guide for Scotland!
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Christy: Not really – I write in furious spurts of activity, followed by lazy bouts of disinterest. I’m a rather inconsistent writer. My muse has ADD.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?
Christy: I did – especially for counties I hadn’t yet visited or had only briefly visited. My publisher was of great help, as she lives in Ireland, and was able to make some suggestions. Many of these suggestions are on my next trip itinerary!
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
Christy: Most of my recreational reading is in science fiction, historical fiction and fantasy, so my favorites are Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey, Bernard Cornwell and Diana Gabaldon.
Crystal: Is there any genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
Christy: I’m considering writing some fiction based on true story, my parent’s love story. They finally married, 30 years after I was born!
Do you find yourself drawn to the magic of the Emerald Isle? Would you like to see places beyond the typical tourist traps? Come, join me on a journey through the mists of legend, into the hidden places of mystery. Immerse yourself in the legends and myths, the history that has made this island precious in the hearts and minds of millions. Along with the tales and history, there is practical information on planning your trip, budgeting your costs, and finding the best places to while away the magical hours of your holiday.
Finding the Music
It would be difficult, indeed, to travel through Ireland for any length of time without coming across some of its unique music. However, it is becoming easier to come across ‘prepared’ performances, specifically made to entertain the tourists, glossy and polished without the authenticity of the real folk of the land. My advice is to go off the beaten path. Get out of Temple Bar and Killarney, and go to a local pub which might have a traditional seisiún. A seisiún (session) is a group of local musicians who have gotten together in a pub and just started playing some of the songs they all know. They may have never played together before, or may do so every night. They may not even know each other – but they all know the tunes. And they are playing for the joy of playing and entertaining. They aren’t being paid by the Irish Tourist Board to provide atmosphere to the Euro-laden tourist . . . they are having fun. No, the music may not be as high in production value, but it’s more honest, and in my opinion, much more enjoyable than the staged stuff.
If you are in a city, like Dublin, where tourism is common, it may be more difficult to find the local traditional pub. Your host at the hotel or B&B may give you the standard tourist answer and direct you to a staged performance. However, if you tell them you really are interested in a traditional session, they will likely give you a better recommendation. In some places, you can just walk down the street and follow your ears. Dingle, Doolin, Ardara, Donegal, Kilkenny – I’ve done this in all these places. There is a decent resource at Irish Abroad online for those who wish see an online pub directory.
My name is Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon. I do many things, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing and photography. In real life I'm a CPA, but having grown up with art and around me (my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected me, as it were. I love to draw and to create things. It's more of an obsession than a hobby. I like looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset, or a fragrant blossom, a dramatic seaside. I then wish to take a picture or create a piece of jewelry to share this serenity, this joy, this beauty with others. Sometimes this sharing requires explanation – and thus I write. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. I do local art and craft shows, as well as sending my art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad.
Find Christy here:
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Awesome interview! It's really cool that you created a whole novel out of what could be a travel guide! Cool :)ReplyDelete
andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com
Thanks for stopping by Andra. Christy Nicholas was a fun interview :)Delete
Thanks for hosting!ReplyDelete
Always a pleasure :)Delete
Thank you for hosting me!!!ReplyDelete
You are very welcome! It has been my pleasure :)Delete
I'm loving all the excerpts thank you.ReplyDelete
I'm so glad Mary, I enjoy the excerpts too :) Thank you so much for stopping by :)Delete
You sound busyReplyDelete
bn100candg at hotmail dot com
Thanks for stopping by bn :)Delete
Great interview! Thanks for sharing it and the giveaway. Sounds like a great book. evamillien at gmail dot comReplyDelete
I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview. I enjoyed it as well :)Delete
Thank you very much for stopping by :)
Thanks for the chance to win!
Sounds like a great read!!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com
Good Luck in the contest Natasha! Thanks for stopping by :)Delete
Nice Interview and Excerpt! I enjoyed reading both :)ReplyDelete
Somehow I doubt I will ever visit the land in person but this looks like a great way to visit in my imagination!ReplyDelete
elewkf1 at yahoo dot com