As most of you know, I'm in the middle of writing my biggest project EVER–a seven-book biographical fiction series, based around the true-life stories of two giants of Irish history, the activist Maud Gonne and the poet WB Yeats.
These two, together with Maud's daughter, Iseult, have obsessed me for decades. Although their lives are well documented, I'm telling their stories as they've never been told before–with more respect for the great woman (much as I see her flaws and failings) and less adulation of the great man (much as I appreciate his wordcraft and wizardry).
A magical romancer, Rosy Cross, “the oldest woman in Ireland” is our guide to how the Gonnes and Yeats lived and loved–a wise and witty guide through the twisting highs and lows of love, loss and redemption.
A Life Before is the first book in the Gonne Yeats series, which goes on to explore seven kinds of love:
- I: A Life Before. 1885 – 1889. Infatuation
- II: The Holy Tree. 1889 – 1894. Desire
- III: Her Secret Rose. 1896 – 1898. Romance
- IV: Dancing in the Wind. 1903 – 1909. Loyalty
- V: Memories of You. 1916 – 1919. Affection
- VI: A Fanatic Heart. 1921 – 1923. Devotion
- VII: But A Dream. 1925 – 1926. Compassion
I am now finalising the final draft of the first book: A Life Before. I had to write the series to the end, to know exactly what happens at the beginning, so I have a first draft now of each of these books, some rough, some in better shape.
I've invested countless hours in writing these interweaving stories that connect a host of fascinating characters–not just the Maud Gonne and WB Yeats but also Iseult Gonne, Maud's daughter and the writers Ezra Pound and Francis Stuart, to mention just three.
The plot lines follow their lives for 40 years, across two generations that live through the land wars, rise of women and the working classes, the first world world war and 1916 Irish Rising and their aftermaths.
Over a million words written, so far! And who knows how many hours spent reading and researching? I'm not counting, it's a labor of love.
It would be impossible, I think, to find a third-party publisher who'd take a chance on investing in such a huge literary project. But I believe readers might.
So I have created a Kickstarter campaign to help me launch the series with the first book, A Life Before, a standalone novel in its own right.
The campaign is an invitation to you to become part of my very big plans and goals for this unique book series and to launch it on its way.
With your help, my aim is to create:
- an exceptionally beautiful print edition for Kickstarter fans only;
- a multi-narrator audiobook;
- an intimate and inspiring launch event, in Sligo (the small town in the West of Ireland that so inspired the characters in the book) and online.
To be notified when the campaign goes live, go here.
If you’d like to see some more of what's in store (and support my mad, mammoth undertakings!) my patrons get early access to extracts, hot off the creative presses. Become a patron here.
Note: this kickstarter is not to be confused with my creative planning kickstarter, which is just around the corner, for indie authors & poets.