Monday, September 2, 2013

Interview with historical travel guide author Christy Nicholas

Today’s guest is Christy Jackson Nicholas. She’s at the front-end of a virtual book tour where she has a different stop every Monday for her mystical, historical travel guide Ireland: Mythical, Magical, Mystical – A Guide to Hidden Ireland, now available from Tirgearr Publishing.

Christy will award a $20 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter. To be entered to win, leave a comment below (and a way for Christy to get in touch with you). And to increase your chances of winning, visit other tour stops and leave comments there too.

Welcome, Christy. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon. I do many things, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing and photography. In real life I'm a CPA, but having grown up with art and around me (my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected me, as it were.

I love to draw and to create things. It's more of an obsession than a hobby. I like looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset, or a fragrant blossom, a dramatic seaside. I then wish to take a picture or create a piece of jewelry to share this serenity, this joy, this beauty with others. Sometimes this sharing requires explanation – and thus I write. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. I do local art and craft shows, as well as sending my art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad.

Please tell us about your current release.
This book is a guide to help others to have the chance to be part of the magic that is Ireland. I have included some myth and history to give readers a context, some practical tips about the culture and the planning of the trip, and then a huge section of hidden places to find. I’ve also got it chock full of photographs I’ve taken on my own travels.

What inspired you to write this book?
I am enchanted with the land of Ireland, and I think everyone should experience this magical place.

The Mythological Cycle

The Mythological Cycle is mostly comprised of a set of tales known as Lebor Gabála Érenn, the Book of Invasions or the Book of Conquests, and is, like the other tales of Ireland, filled with politics, battle, love, magic, and outrageous tales of feats of strength and revenge. It recounts, via myth and story, the invasions of the different peoples of Ireland over the course of its history. How closely these invasions are rooted in reality we may never know. However, once we reach the invasion of the sons of Mil (some time before 100 BCE), we start getting into territory which is corroborated by archeological evidence; these are the Celtic tribes who migrated from northern Spain. The earliest renditions of these tales seem to have come from the 8th to 11th century, and are therefore heavily influenced by this later Christian ideal, but still manage to retain some of their pre-Christian magic.

Other parts of the Mythological Cycle are made up of the Metrical Dindshenchas, or Lore of Places, and other stand-alone tales such as The Dream of Aengus, the Wooing of Etain, and The Tragedy of the Children of Lir. If you want a delightful rendition of these tales, I highly recommend the Celtic Myth Podshow. Hosts Ruth and Gary Colcombe create many engaging dramatizations of these tales on their show, and bring the stories to life.

But let us go back, back into the mists of time before time, of land before remembering, and tales before writing. I have included a small list of names in their English versions and Irish versions in the appendix, for easier reading later on. Go back . . . back into the mists of time, a time before writing, a time before people, a time before the island of Ireland had seen its first people . . . the mists start to rise, showing the green, rolling hills, covered in trees, deer and nothing more.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I've just started working on a similar guide to Scotland – stunning, strange, and secret!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I made a horrible attempt at fan fiction when I was in 4th grade, and abandoned hope of being a professional writer then. However, I’d always enjoyed writing reports in school, and have written articles, essays, trip reports and the like all my life. However, until I actually had a book that was not self-published, I figured I was just an amateur. Now, with this book, I feel like a real writer!

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I do not – I am an accountant during the day, and an artist and writer in my free time. I usually sit in front of the computer in the evenings while I work on my craft, with the TV on in the background.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I am horrible at self-editing, and I write in frantic spurts. I’ve written 20 pages at one sitting, and then leave it alone for days, as if my muse has other things to attend to.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
That changed with my mood. At various times I’d wanted to be a travel agent, a famous artist, a policewoman, an astronaut. When I was in high school, I was determined to become a Systems Analyst, as I loved computers. However, not being able to pass Physics threw a monkey into that wrench, so to speak, so I switched to accounting.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Someday I hope to actually run mystical tours to Ireland and the United Kingdom. Stay tuned!

Twitter: greendragon9

Thanks, Christy!


Mary Preston said...

I wish I had a cool other name like Green Dragon.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Green Dragon said...

Thanks for hosting me!

Ryan said...

Great interview! You mention the Celts going to northern Spain, do you know if you see many of the stories of the fae showing up in traditional Spanish stories as well due to this influence?

Rita Wray said...

I enjoyed the interview, thank you.


MomJane said...

What a great idea for a book. I am anxious to read it. I love stories about Ireland.

bn100 said...

Nice inspiration

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

Where does the name the Green Dragon come from?

fencingromein at hotmail dot com

Stormy Vixen said...

Thanks for sharing Ireland and the giveaway. Sounds like a really good book. evamillien at gmail dot com

Natasha said...

Great interview!
I would love to visit Ireland!
Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Its nice to have books like this that can guide us completely into places that are unfamiliar to us and uses their own experience as a reference.