Caiseal Mor will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via
1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?
didn’t really choose this genre. It chose me. Over the course of about fifteen
years I’d collected a lot of folk stories about the famous 17th
century Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan, the central figure in “King of the
Blind”. At some point I realized my research notes would make a great novel so
I started work on it.
2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a first born, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?
a first born, though I was born with brain damage and wasn’t expected to live.
So, my parents were more attached to my younger sister. I was left mostly to my
own devices when I was growing up. Due to my sickly nature as a boy I had to
spend a lot of time on my own. I guess that’s where my imagination kicked in to
keep me sane. My love of stories and storytelling comes from those early
3. Where is your favorite place to write?
like to write in bed with a laptop, though a comfortable sofa serves the
purpose just as well. If the room is darkened I tend to be able to continue
without a break for many hours. I’m easily distracted though.
4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?
of the Blind” is all about life and living it to the full so, death is a very
important part of the story. There’s a tension between life and death that’s
inescapable, even if most of us would prefer not to admit it. In my stories
death always holds a lesson for the characters. And some of my characters are
also undying, which is another side to the coin of death.
5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?
don’t have one favourite author. My taste shifts and changes from one month to
the next. I’d love to have met James Joyce, though. And Tolkien would have been
a fascinating fellow to have a chat with. I probably wouldn’t want to talk
about their books so much as their lives. I’d love to hear about some of
Tolkien’s experiences in World War One.
6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.
I’m classed as a high-functioning autistic. I was diagnosed in the 60’s before there was much awareness of autism. I have the sort of mind that appreciates and recalls details, especially about the subjects I’m obsessed with, such as stories and music. “King of the Blind” is a story about music so I can honestly say it was the novel I enjoyed writing most.
7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a back pack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?
calligraphy pen. A large notebook of very fine, unlined paper. A selection of
coloured inks. That would keep me busy until I got rescued.
8. If you could have one super power in your existence, what would it be?
I’d love to be able to drift about through the human timeline observing and
participating in the history. Before the age of television, stories were a lot
more important and so many have been forgotten…
9. Favorite snack?
10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit? I’ve never been a speed limit kind of person. At the same time, I haven’t really got a clue where I’m going or how to get there. I prefer to watch as life unfolds. Somedays it’s pedal to the metal. Other days I’m coasting along without a care in the world. The trick is to be ready. for whatever life offers you.
King Of The Blind
by Caiseal Mor
GENRE: Fantasy / Historical Fiction
In 1688 a plague of smallpox swept through Ireland. Like many others, eighteen year old Turlough O’Carolan was struck down. He was one of the lucky ones to survive. However, the sickness cost him his eyesight. Within two years of being blinded he’d learned to play the harp and taken to the road as a travelling musician. In time he’d be considered the greatest of all the Irish harpers. His music is still played all around the world today.
To the end of his days he always maintained that Otherworldly beings, known in Ireland as the Shee, had granted him the gift of music and were responsible for at least some of his compositions. This is a story from a time when the veil between the worlds was thinner and belief in the mystical “Good People”, was still strong.
‘And you think you can win back her affection by becoming a great harper yourself, do you?’
‘At least she might look at me if I was a musician and dressed in a fine coat and hat.’
‘What would you give for the chance to win her back?’
Turlough didn’t have to think about the answer. ‘I’d give anything, anything at all, to be a great musician and to have Bridget Cruise look on me as she looked on David Murphy this evening.’
‘A harper’s life is hard,’ Crilly warned. ‘I know, for I myself took to the road with harp and horse in days gone by. You might leave your home and not return for years at a time. You might walk the length and breadth of Ireland in twelve months and barely scratch a living in that whole time.’
‘I would suffer any discomfort to learn the craft of music. I don’t care if I never see the McDermott lands or their fat cows and spindly goats again as long as I live.’
Crilly raised his eyebrows and put a hand on the young lad’s shoulder. ‘You don’t know what you’re saying,’ he replied sternly. ‘It’s the excitement of youth that’s guiding your tongue. So, I’ll try to imagine those words never passed your lips.’
‘I truly would not be grieved if I never laid eyes on this parish again,’ Turlough repeated. ‘I mean you no offence, squire, but I want to be as far from this estate and Bridget’s father as possible.’
Crilly squeezed the lad’s upper arm hard. ‘Do not say such a thing. Not here. Not on a hill where the Fair Folk might hear you. Not on a moonless night when they like to wander from their homes.’
‘Would you teach me to play?’ Turlough asked.
‘Would you learn?’ the squire replied, loosening his grip.
‘If I had the chance I’d spend every waking moment behind that instrument. I’d devote myself to study and
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Caiseal Mor is an Australian sci-fi and fantasy novelist, artist and musician. Ancient Celtic Folklore has been a major inspiration for his thirteen published Fantasy novels. Mór also composes and records music, having produced seventeen albums since 1995. He is well known for his self-designed book and album covers and his intricate artworks in both traditional and digital mediums. Since 2013 he has been developing a distinctive graphic art style and creating digital sculptures in 3D.
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