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People like stories. They like to read them, they like to hear them, and they like to tell them. I’ll never forget the stories of my wife’s cousin “Uncle” Charles who’d pour a cup of coffee, light up his favorite pipe, and begin to recall his seafaring days in the US Navy as we both sat at his small dining room table under the dim light of a homemade Tiffany-like lamp. He’d casually speak of wartimes as if it were just a Sunday walk in the park, only slowing his tempo a bit when it came to those near-death experiences, like nearly being crushed to death as he got pinned between a ship and a dock piling, waiting and praying as the massive ship eased away from the piling with a swell instead of popping open his barrel chest against the timber. I always anxiously anticipated our story time together. Unfortunately, Charles eventually passed away. Two careers, one ending as a lieutenant commander of the navy and one as a captain in a sheriff’s department, had finally taken its toll on his health. I miss him, but his stories live on in my mind. So if stories within our lifetime can impact us and stay with us so long, what kind of story would it have to be to survive over two thousand years of human history? Just such a story is the legend of Deirdre of the Sorrows. My first encounter with this legend was actually musical in nature. In a little shop outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee, I first heard the music of A Celtic Tale by Hearts of Space, and the sound captured my imagination. Not even knowing what the music was about, I bought the cassette and began investigating the tale of Deirdre of the Sorrows that had inspired this music. Think about it! Some old Irish legend survives several millennia and inspires some extremely talented musicians on the west coast of the USA to orchestrate a whole album of music about it! That’s intriguing. From there, I wrote my own narrative to the music and, in time, began contemplating more deeply about this complex tale of love, betrayal, and human destiny. After reading many versions of this tale and looking at the archeological evidence from this time period in Northern Ireland, a more complete story started to formulate itself in my mind. Whether I wanted to or not, it became apparent over time that I was bound by some unseen force to write this novel. Here is the gist of the story. A dark and powerful druid prophesizes that the most beautiful woman in the world will be born, marry one of three highly admired young brothers in Ireland, and eventually cause the downfall of the kingdom. Instead of killing the baby when she was born, the king decides to raise the girl and marry her on her sixteenth birthday to nullify the prophecy . . . like that was going to work! Well, you can imagine . . . no, wait. You don’t have to—just read the story!
- Xlibris US, November 2008
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