Please welcome one of my Soul Mate Sisters, Adrienne Clarke, as we celebrate the release of her new novel! Thanks so much for visiting today, Adrienne, and I have to say that I absolutely love your cover! I'm a huge Fae fan, can't get enough of it, so I can't wait to read your new release :)
Please join in with Adrienne and find out what inspired her to become a writer!
Writing and the Unlived Life
People often ask me what attracted me to writing. My usual answer is that I loved reading so much writing became a natural extension of that passion. Equally powerful, however, was the feeling that writing allowed me to see and do things I couldn’t experience in my real life. When I was little I used to spend hours in my mother’s walk in closet hoping to find the way into Narnia. I stopped doing this when I discovered writing was a more heady and satisfying way to transport myself to all the magical places I longed to visit.
I’d been dreaming about the setting for my novel To Dance in Liradon long before I sat down to write it. Although I’d never been to Ireland, I’d devoured so many Irish fairy tales, ballads, and mythical retellings that the Ireland of my imagination had become as real to me as my own small Canadian town. Of course, the real Ireland is very different from my fantasy world of Liradon, but I was greatly inspired by Irish tales of the Sidhe or ‘Fair Folk,’ as I refer to them in my novel.
Brigid, the heroine of To Dance in Liradon, is a perfect example of my living vicariously through my characters. Although I always dreamed of becoming a writer I had another passion as well, ballet. I loved everything about it, the music, the costumes, the artistry, and most of all the mysterious, often tragic, and fairy tale like stories. I wasn’t good enough to become a professional dancer, but the dream remained, and when I began thinking about Brigid I knew she would be a dancer; someone whose body tingled “with the familiar urge to dance until she felt her very soul underneath her feet.”
Brigid’s love of dance fitted beautifully with Irish faerie mythology where dance and music are considered the special gifts of the Fair Folk. One of the scenes from the novel has Brigid competing for “the cake.” The dancers take their place in the ring and dance around and around in a circle showing off their fancy footwork until they can’t take another step. The last dancer standing wins a beautiful cake festooned with ribbons and meadow flowers, and more importantly, the distinction of being the best dancer in the village. I discovered this early form of competitive dancing in my research of Irish culture, and I knew I wanted to include it in the novel.
If I have a wish for To Dance in Liradon it’s that readers have the feeling of being transported to another time and place. That like Brigid, they enter the world of Faerie, and in spite of all their human ties, a part of them never wants to leave. I think that’s what the best stories do, take you somewhere you long to go, even if you didn’t realize that place was for you until you started reading about it.
Despite my best efforts, sitting in wardrobes, hiding behind oak trees, and leaving gifts of milk and soda bread (faeries have a fondness for soda bread), I’ve yet to meet a real fairy. I haven’t given up hope though. My daughter, Callista, is convinced they’re biding their time waiting for the right moment to reveal themselves. “Faerie’s are quite haughty mommy,” she told me recently, they don’t come out for just anyone. I suspect she’s right. In the meantime, I shall continue to read and write about faeries, and hope that one day when I least expect it, one of the fair folk will make their appearance.
Here's where you can find out more information about Adrienne and her upcoming events:
And here is where her novel, To Dance in Liradon, can be purchased:
Thanks again, Adrienne, and I wish you nothing but success in all your writing adventures!