Tag Archives: Irish fiction

By Golly, It’s a Book!

As much as I loved the first printing of Irish Firebrands in paperback, there’s nothing quite like seeing it in hardbound form!

Two hardback copies of Irish Firebrands visit their friends in my Irish research bookcase. (The bookcase is made of real oak, five feet high, and there are two more full shelves to it; some of the shelves have two rows of books on them, and two more double-row shelves of Irish books live on the other side of the room, at my computer desk. Am I an anorak?)

The new dust cover makes an eye-catching presentation, whether it’s face up on a table, or spine outward on a shelf. The text is printed on cream paper in graceful Garamond font with American Uncial accents (chapter numbers, page headings and page numbers), and the lines are spaced at the classic distance for ease of reading. The boards are bound in dark-blue linen, with the spine labeled in gold leaf, and with its traditional frontispiece map (and a bonus central illustrated section to provide a brief intermission), it holds its own with the best that printing presses have produced for the past 200 years.

Although it has more pages, plus the flyleaves and linen-bound boards, it weighs the same as the single-volume soft cover, but this does not constitute the same kind of disadvantage that the weight and thickness give to a paperback, because the flexibility of a hardbound spine permits the book to lie flat when open on a reader’s lap or a table.

What I don’t like about it is what the list price is required to be, just in order for all of the retail outlet middlemen to take their cut. It’s in the same range as the list prices for a few of the newer hardcover First World War nonfiction books I’ve bought recently, but that’s a specialty subject. For fiction – even for a 200,000-word epic like Irish Firebrands – it seems artificially inflated, and at that, if any lovely reader does buy one from a hand-in-the-till retailer, I will net less than 3% of the list price.

The good news is that readers will be able to buy the hardbound printing of Irish Firebrands at the Lulu Store for a much more reasonable 20% off list (which results in a price more in line with traditionally published hard cover fiction), and I will receive a realistic return for all my work.

Indie Author-Publisher colleagues: I’ve begged you before, on behalf of readers like myself who have visual disabilities, to print your books in paperback as well as to publish them digitally. I renew that request here, and I present a challenge: Do yourselves a favor, and print deluxe editions of your works in hard cover, too. Treat your writing with the respect it deserves, by giving it a presentation of which you can be proud, and which will compete on equal terms with traditionally published fiction, in a format that will increase its endurance on a reader’s bookshelf.

Hardback. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Click HERE to shop at Lulu Press.

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To All My Loyal Readers….

Out in the Parallel Universe, it’s been eleven years since American genealogist Lana Pedersen climbed through the kitchen window in Drumcarroll farmhouse, the ancestral home of Irish journalist Dillon Carroll, and into a series of romantic adventures that she’d never imagined having. About two years later, after Lana’s dust had settled, a Muse traveled from the Parallel Universe to our Universe, and told me to start writing Lana’s story.

That was an adventure I never imagined having: experience of documenting what happened to Lana when she arrived on the inside of that window. The result was a minor-epic-length multi-genre novel, which I published in its current edition five years ago this month: Irish Firebrands.

Irish Firebrands, second printing, available worldwide in hardback and paperback.

Some may wonder why I chose that name for the book. Well, the story is full of firebrands who contributed the sparks that turned Lana’s genealogical research trip to Ireland into a wildfire she couldn’t control: Dillon, Frank, Medb – even Dillon’s deceased father and his friend, Fr Ó Tuathail.

Others may wonder, if the story is a romantic adventure, why I didn’t choose a conventional bared-bodies piece of cover art. Well, it’s not that kind of romance. Irish Firebrands is literary fiction, and the love story is only one of several inflammatory subplots it contains; thus the painting of a Celtic cross grave marker (suggesting Lana’s profession) on the background of a fiery sunset (suggesting the trouble she gets into).

And what has a wellie filled with wildflowers to do with all this? Well, Lana has two love interests, both of whom are classic bad boys, one of whom turns out to be the nice guy who finishes last. It was only when I wrote “The End” that I found out for sure which one was which – but that’s what I get for being an organic writer (a “pantser,” not a “planner”): I was the novel’s first reader, and every chapter held in store another surprise. Even now, when I re-read Irish Firebrands, I’m astonished that such a story could have emerged from my own fingertips.

 

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Bitten by the Genealogy Bug?

Help is on the way!

Announcing the Family History Autograph Album!

Combining the attributes of a family tree record and an autograph book, the Family History Autograph Album is a unique way to introduce children and teenagers to the fascinating and useful pursuit of genealogical research. It would also make a fine gift for a new mother on behalf of her infant.

It was designed for beginner genealogists, who can gather family signatures from the relatives they interview while they garner ancestral names. It features nine 4-generation pedigree charts, which can record at least six generations of ancestors, on up to eight surname lines.

Also included are a reference chart for identifying horizontal, vertical and oblique relationships (illustrating the concept of “cousin [number] times removed”), nine descendant charts, and plentiful signature pages illustrated with a family tree icon or watermark.

Autograph books first appeared in Europe during the 15th Century. Signed albums are valuable to genealogists, historians and collectors. A well-documented family tree has several important uses, such as when it’s used to record a family’s medical history.

The Family History Autograph Album is available NOW from Lulu Press, which frequently offers free or reduced-price shipping:

It’s at Amazon, too (ISBN13: 9781978255029; ISBN10:1978255020), but ONLY at full retail price (Lulu copies are 25% off).

The Lulu edition is also larger (9 in. X 7 in.) than the Amazon edition (8.25 in. X 6 in.). Relative sizes:

 

And remember, Lana Pedersen, the female main character in Irish Firebrands is a professional genealogist! Read the first eleven chapters of her adventures in Ireland HERE.

Happy ancestor hunting!

And as always, Thank You for your support! 🙂

 

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