Friday, November 23, 2007

Book Descriptions for Storyteller and Flight of the Hawk

Since I've been posting links to this site on some of my yahoo lists, I thought I'd also post the back cover descriptions for the two books here.


“Blood and fire, gold and steel and poetry, a river’s voice in the silence of the night, and the shining strings of a harp – all these and more I have known in my time. Steep mountains, dark forests, and the endless song of the rain; music and laughter and feasting in the fire-bright halls of kings; a dusty road, and a fast horse, and a good friend beside me; and the sweet taste of the mead of Dun Eidyn, with its bitter aftermath: a dragon’s hoard of memories I have gathered, bright-colored as a long summer’s day. Now they are all gone, the men and women I knew when I was young, gone like words on the wind, and I am left here in the twilight to tell you their tale. Sit, then, and listen if you will to the words of Gwernin Kyuarwyd, called Storyteller…”

So begins the tale of the young Gwernin’s adventures as a wandering storyteller and would-be bard in the chaos and contradictions of 6th century Britain. Along the way he encounters allies and enemies both human and supernatural, finds love and friendship, and learns the lore – and the true meaning – of a bard’s profession:

“Na, there will always be need for Bards,” said Kyan. “If not to sing the warriors’ deeds now, then to remember those who fought before, and teach those who will fight afterwards the way of it… We are like the pin in the cloak-clasp, the smallest, plainest part, and yet without it the brooch falls away and is lost, and the cloak with it, and the man perishes from the cold. So it is with us. If the Bards should ever take the Druids’ road west, it would be a black day for the Cymry, for what is there to hold a people together who do not remember their past?”

Flight of the Hawk:

Britain in the summer of 551 AD: The North is a tinderbox about to burst into flame, the Saxons are stirring again in the east, and Cynan Garwyn, Prince of Powys, is doing his best to foment war in the South. In the midst of this simmering chaos, two young bards — Gwernin the Storyteller and his friend Neirin mab Dwywei, the Poet-Prince who some call “Taliesin’s Hawk” — are sent by their master to investigate the rumors and do what they can to prevent a war in the North. At least, that was their mission — but the two young men find plenty of other adventures along the way. Girls and beer, bloodshed and magic: will they survive the summer and make it home alive?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Things Have Been Busy...

I hope to finally get a book review up over the Thanksgiving holidays. In the meantime, for those of you in the U.S., enjoy your turkey!


Friday, November 16, 2007

It's available!

Flight of the Hawk is finally available from Amazon, B&N, etc. - links on the sidebar!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Well, I didn't get a book review up over the weekend, but I did get the first chapter of the new book written. That first step seems like a big one - you circle around thinking about when and where and who, how much of a frame, how to work the backstory in without overwhelming people, ditto how to introduce six or seven characters with strange names (an inescapable problem when writing about medieval Wales). I think I struck a fairly good balance, although inevitably tweaking will go on for a while. Now I should be able to settle down and get on with the story. The first book "just grew", the second one was vaguely planned, and the third one is showing signs of an alarming amount of plot complexity (necessary when planning to fit several story strands in a limited amount of pages). I am fending off the temptation to box it in too much, though - if I knew it all before I started, it wouldn't be fun!


Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I'm finally getting started on the new book - I wrote the first couple of hundred words this afternoon, and I'm looking forward to really getting into it this weekend. The beginning is there, and waiting any longer would let it get stale. It's good to be setting off again, starting a new adventure, with hopefully some quiet time in the winter ahead. Although I keep saying this one won't be done until sometime in 2009, I realize that sooner would be better.

I should have another reference book review or two up soon, as well. I've been reading up on the Irish this time.

But that's a post for another day.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Hawk Was Back!

Not my novel, mind you, and not Neirin either (although he will reappear in the next book), but the falcon at the bird feeder. He (or she) didn't arrive in pursuit of sparrows this time, just flew down and perched on the cross-bar of the clothesline and sat there for a couple of minutes looking around. This gave me a better sense of scale than I had the first time, and led me to rethink my identification: I think it's a peregrine falcon! Unlikely to have two different hawks a week apart, and I know there are peregrines in Denver, originally introduced downtown to keep down the pigeon population. Explains the occasional excess of pigeon feathers (and once, gobbets of pigeon) I've seen around the feeder from time to time.