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June « 2010 « All Things Moorehawke and Otherwise INCLUDE_DATA

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Archive for June, 2010

Scruffy Author, Beautiful Book.

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Just dashing back in to show you what I got in the post today. OK, so it’s not the most glamorous photo of me ever taken - I just ran in from the rain and I’m wearing my gardening clothes - but look at what’s in my grubby paws! Go h-iontach, nach é?

SO many thanks to my two editors in Orbit, the lovely Bella Pagan (UK) and Song Dongwon Song (USA) and to all in the design and art departments - especially Steve Stone and Peter Cotton - who’ve worked to make this such a sumptuous book! (I love the mat/gloss contrast guys, so fantastic.) I also love how you’ve included the essay I wrote on the history of the Merron and their traditions! I’m delighted you liked it and though it was important enough to include.

WOOT! (now back to writing my current project and trying to decide the winners to the Rebel Prince competition.)

Celine and The Crowded Shadows US

Celine and The Crowded Shadows US

And so the Judging commences

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Alright, folks, so all your entries are in and submitted to the judges. I’m going to be AWOL for a couple of days while I get the curriculum ready for the Graphic Novel workshop I’m giving in Bantry next week. But I’ll be back on the 2nd of July (that’s Friday) to let you know who won :) Til then enjoy the sun shine!

judging the cast

A multitude of Christophers.

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Well, Christopher Garron proved to be his usual awkward self here. It took me forever to get him online. I had to finally chop him into very small pieces before he would agree to show his face. Hmmmm – now that I come to think of it,  that’s quite poetically apt. Christopher, you dawg!

I like the smiling Christophers the best, me. (smiling - not smirking)  Though I must say, Gaspard Ulliel and Ben Whishaw do look suitably amused and dangerous without their smiles. I know who my top three are here, but damned if I can choose between them.

Groan … how are we going to do this?


A Cornucopia of Razis

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Behold, All your Razis! So many fantastic choices…



All the Very Many Wynters

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

So The Rebel Prince competition is closed folks* and we are currently sifting and sorting our way through the photos. I thought you might like to see all our prospective Wynters** all together in one go. You may notice a few repeats in there ( I kept the duplicates small) this is because quite a few folks sent the same photo. If it turns out that we choose a photo which was sent more than once, we’re going to judge the winner as the person who made the most effort ( wrote a little piece about why that photo should win, maybe, or accompanied it with a really good choice for the other two characters.) We think that’s fair, hope you do too.

But look at all these amazing photos! How are we going to choose? How?

Oh, on that note - *cheeky grin* - I have a little bit of good news. Due to the sheer volume and the fantastic quality of the entries my glorious editors have agreed to release THREE copies of The Rebel Prince instead of just one. So there are now to be three winners. One for the best Wynter, one for the best Razi and one for the best Christopher. Hope that makes you happy - certainly it does me!

Barring disaster, I’ll show you the Razi’s tomorrow and the Christopher’s on Thursday. For now, behold your Wynters.



* apart from one very lovely Spanish fan who pleaded extenuating circumstances and got herself an extension til Friday. HURRY UP SARA! :P

Joy and ‘The Same Unusual Vowel Shortage.’

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Joy's Choice for Marni. (Brenda Fricker)

Joy's Choice for Marni. (Brenda Fricker)

Many thanks to Joy who sent me just the most entertaining entry to the Rebel Prince competition yesterday. Not only did she cast Wynter, Christopher and Razi, but it feels like she cast the entire crew of The Poison Throne! What fun. I have so many ‘extras’ cast now that I’ve decided I’m going to do a wee post after the competition showing all the various ‘other’ characters that folks have sent along with their entries. Some of them are hilarious - I love them.

In her mail, Joy mentioned that her choice of actress for the role of Wynter suffers from what she called ‘the same unusual vowel shortage’ in her name. (HAH! Great phrase.) I thought you might like to hear the origins of the name? No? You couldn’t care less? Don’t care, gonna tell you anyway.

Although it was not used as a first name in medieval or renaissance Europe ( and isn’t in Moorehawke either, as anyone who has read The Crowded Shadows will know.) wynter was a common enough nick-name ( meaning miserable or unfortunate person) and a surname. I might be wrong, but as far as I know English spellings weren’t standardised until some time in the early to mid 18c (1700’s) so it’s not uncommon for there to be may different spellings of the one word. The spelling wynter is one of the many different medieval/renaissance variations of the word we now universally spell as winter, and meant the same thing ( the season of winter.) This variation of spelling is still reflected today in the many many different spellings of surnames which all mean the same thing - so in relation to winter we have the surnames Winter, Wynter, Wintour, Winterr, Winteer etc all basically meaning Winter but reflective of the many historical spellings of the word.

So, why chose to spell her name Wynter when I don’t have pyrates or tygers? Well, originally I did have pyrates and tygers, but they annoyed the be-jazuz out of me, so I changed them. Frankly, Wynter didn’t annoy the be-jazuz out of me, I bloody well liked it. So it stayed. ( good job too - considering I’d like to set a sequel up north in the snow. It’ll be nice not to have Winter suffering the effects of winter, LOL!)

Rebel Prince competition deadline is looming fast folks! Best hurry.

Competition Countdown

Competition Countdown

Perfume, and Only Five Days Left

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Sorry I’ve been so quiet recently I have been knackered and wan, and generally lolling about like a great useless blob. Yesterday I did practically nothing but read. I did watch the film adaptation of ‘Perfume’ though.

Rachel Hurd-Wood as Laure in Perfume

Rachel Hurd-Wood as Laure in Perfume

Not sure what I thought of the film - maybe it would have helped had I not read Patrick Süskind’s book beforehand? After the book ( which I had  thought would be unfilmable) I think this visually beautiful movie feels a little surface. I confess, I watched it mostly out of interest to see what Rachal Hurd-Wood would be like. She’s the actress most frequently put forward as Wynter in the Rebel Prince Competition and this peaked my interest in her. She’s certainly physically suited for the part of Wynter! The photos that have been sent in of her are stunning, and she simply glows in Perfume - but maybe this movie isn’t the best to judge her acting on, as her role seems to consist of opening her eyes wide,  then wider still, then closing her mouth a little bit - but this might have had more to do with the director than herself. I’d like to see her in something else before I make up my mind.

Ben Whishaw in Perfume

Ben Whishaw in Perfume

Mind you, every single actor in the movie Perfume is out shone by Ben Whislow. Boy. Boy oh boy. Boy, oh boy and Wow, can that guy act or what? He has hardly any dialogue at all, almost his entire performance is conveyed via body language and facial expression, and he blew me away. The scene where he realises that his plan has won him only an empty love, the scene where he tries and fails to keep the scent of the dead woman in his hands: Oh, My God. Stunning, it would be worth watching the movie again and again just to see him act the socks off every other member of the cast.

That’s it for me today - and possibly for the next few days as I think I need to crawl under a log and rest for a while. I know I promised you the Finbarr O’Conor tribute posts this week, and I fully intend to do them, but it may have to wait until next week when I have my brain back and I can do justice to them. Til then, adieu my pumpkins! Be good and don’t forget, there’s only five days left until The Rebel Prince Competition is closed. I have no idea how the judges are going to decide this. We have almost 200 photos to choose from and they are all so good. Still - you have five more days, who knows yours may be the one to trump them all.

Rebel Prince Competition Countdown

Rebel Prince Competition Countdown

Christopher’s Mama?

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

I got such a fun e-mail today that I had to share it. I’ve been exchanging e-mails with the lovely and talented Eve Laur ( the award winning Estonian translator of Phillip Pullman’s Dark Material’s Trilogy) We’ve been chatting about the Rebel Prince Competition and all the fun I’ve been having looking at the entries and how different they all are from each other, and how difficult it is to get characters right in graphic novels etc etc etc

Anni Arro

Anni Arro

ANYHOO, this morning Eve sent me this photograph as her ‘entry’ to the competition. She meant it as a joke, this is her ‘female Christopher’ the person she thinks should play the role of Christopher Garron if he was a girl. (It’s Estonian TV chef Anni Arro, btw) But you know what? THIS IS SPOOKY. Because that photograph is pretty much exactly how I imagined Christopher’s mother. Anni Arro could seriously have walked straight out of my imagination! Even her brightly coloured top is spookily close to how I imagined Christopher’s mother’s ornate clothing because I had always envisioned his mother as being of Saami origins ( Laplander)*

Skann Saami woman and child from Inari Finland

Skann Saami woman and child from Inari Finland

This is a photograph of a Saami woman and her child, taken sometime before 1930 in Finland. Look at that little fellow! What was it Christopher described himself as?  ’A terribly wild infant.’ ? Something like that. Can’t you imagine this little guy giving his mother some right grief? Though this image gives a small idea of the features I wanted Christopher’s mother to have passed down to her son ( Anni Arro is a much better example) it doesn’t give a true taste of how vibrant the colours are in the Sammi or Laplander costume. The photograph below does give a better idea. This is the (then) Crown Princess Sonja and Crown Prince Harald wearing traditional Saami (Laplander) clothes in 1969. Aren’t they amazing?

traditional Saami costume

traditional Saami costume

Funnily enough, Saami Laplanders also traditionally inhabited conical tents ( as opposed to yurts) which was a lovely surprise to me and helped tie them in nicely with the Merron. Ah, it was great fun revisiting this inspiration. Things drop so quickly from my head once I’m immersed in another project. Being surrounded as I am now, by 1890’s horse carriages, top hats and sword-canes it was a real treat to go back and revisit some of the earliest inspirations for The Moorehawke Trilogy.

Thanks Eve! I enjoyed that!

Albi?  How many days left in the competition? OOooo, look, time is running out…

Competition Countdown

Competition Countdown



I figured Christopher’s mother would have been a native Sami woman who ran with her ’sevenths’ child after a Loups-Garous pack had ‘visited’ her tribe.  I always thought maybe Christopher’s father might have been a Merron or Sami or Swedish Loup-Garou)

Graphic Novel Workshop, Bantry

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Workshops terrify me. Not the actual workshop itsself - I’m always ok once I’m there and in the room with the participants - just the anticipation of hosting one shivels my spine. And yet I keep agreeing to do them. So, I’m currently a ball of barely contained nerves as I get the curriculum together for the Graphic Novel Workshop I’ll be hosting in Bantry this year.

ARGH! ( as they say in the funny papers) I feel all at sea. Pretty much like Thomas and his mates swanning about on shoreleave - only without the exotically clad squid aliens and skeevily lecherous blob creatures ( though it is Bantry! You never know)

Excerpt Kaii: Vol I Thomas Clarke Goes to War

Excerpt Kaii: Vol I Thomas Clarke Goes to War

The Graphic Novel Workshop is part of the West Cork Literary Festival ( Go Cork!) and will run from July 5th to July 9th inclusive. I’m going to talk about distilling ideas into script format (I won’t be giving a ‘how to write a script’ lesson - my approach to script formatting is a little quirky. But if you want to follow studio rules I can point you to the best resources to learn.) My workshop is more of a ‘how do I get my great big epic fantasy idea and distill it into four lines of dialogue per tiny panel, type thang. I’ll be talking about visual narrative and panel flow and all that happy stuff too. Hey - Now I’m looking forward to it! Yeay ( this joy will last for three minutes, then I’ll start gibbering again.)

Thinking about my own graphic work has made me want to highlight the fantastic artist who drew/designed the internal illustrations for the Irish editions of  The Moorehawke trilogy. I really want people to know the amount of research and detail that has gone into the chapter headers and internal illustrations. So for the next few posts I’m going  to be showing you the artwork which Finbarr O’Conner has done for Moorehawke, and filling you in on the thought processes behind it.

In the meantime entries to the Rebel Prince Contest are pouring in. I swear, I did not expect this many entries! I’m loving it. Keep them coming. Here’s Albi to tell you how many days you have left. Albi? Take it away.

Rebel Prince Competition

Rebel Prince Competition


Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Celine and Hayden

Speak of the devil! Do you remember in the last post I said that the lovely Laura may well have been pipped at the post as my youngest reader by a young man whose name I mercilessly misspelled as Hyden? Well, HAYden* e-mailed me  to say hello, and to tell me that he was in fact 9 when he first read The Poison Throne. ( NINE! and I know he really read it too because I was chatting to him about it at a book signing.

He also sent me this fantastic photograph which his Mam took on her mobile phone at the Launch of The Crowded Shadows. I love this photo Hayden. It really captures how much fun we all had. ( You’re coming to the Rebel Prince launch, right?)

Hayden sent me three great photos as his entry into the Rebel Prince competition too. I wonder how many days are left in that. Albi? Do you know?

competition Countdown


*I’m so sorry about the spelling Hayden - I should be thrashed.