The Wedding of Eithne by @MDellertDotCom – Interview by #thetoiboxofwords

Greetings readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors and welcome to The ToiBox of Words. I’m your host Toi Thomas, author of Eternal Curse, and today I’m sharing a special interview with author, Michael E.  Dellert, about his fiction book entitled, The Wedding of Eithne. Enjoy! 

Where did the idea for The Wedding of Eithne come from?

“The Wedding of Eithne” (and my books before it) have their origin in the first complete book that I ever wrote. In rewriting that book, I created a “Cuts” file as a place to dump a lot of back-story and exposition that was superfluous to that story. The “Cuts” file eventually came to some 191 pages of good story ideas in their own right. So in a sense The Wedding of Eithne is the last of a series of “prequels” to a book I’m still polishing for publication.

How did the title of this book come about?

For this book, I wanted a simple functional title that linked well with the last book in the series, since this was a continuation of that story from a new perspective.

I also wanted something that spoke to the particular story question: Will the Lady Eithne actually get married after everything that’s happened in the series to date, and what obstacles will come between her and the final decision to accept or reject the arranged marriage of the title?

What genre is this book and why did you choose to make it so?

“The Wedding of Eithne” is primarily a heroic fantasy novel, like the other works in my Matter of Manred series. The title heroine, Lady Eithne, is of relatively humble origin (being from the lowest rung of the aristocracy, and a bastard branch of her family besides), and has been reluctant for three books now to become an arranged bride, but she’s thrust into making this choice by events beyond her control. I wanted a smaller, intimate, character-driven story that explored questions of fate, free-will, pre-destination, family, and obligation, without the world-shaking overtones of epic fantasy.

What would you say is the overall message or the theme of this book?

I was raised Catholic, and have read a lot of “Chosen One” fantasy fiction over the years, and as a father of daughters, and a feminist-friendly person in general, the question of choice and free-will in relation to romance and religion is important me. So questions about fate, free-will, and the nature of evil feature prominently in the heroine’s development. It’s something of an “Abraham & Isaac” story, told from a female viewpoint, with marriage as the sacrificial altar. So these are the predominant themes in “The Wedding of Eithne.”

Tell me about the experience of writing this book; how long did it take.

Parts of “The Wedding of Eithne” go back fifteen years, and the original draft from which the core of this story emerged was written two years ago in about 90 days. And then this particular book was drafted last year in another 90-ish days, and went through about six months of rewrites before I was happy with the final draft. The process involved many years of researching medieval Irish culture, particularly marriage practices, myths, and legends. I even went to Ireland for a few weeks to immerse myself in the culture.

Tell me about the main storyline within this book.

The Lady Eithne has lived her whole life under a magical prohibition: she may not marry until the portents are favorable, but she’ll always have the right to choose her husband. Now, the portents are favorable, AND they coincide with an ancient prophecy. Eithne is left with little more than a day to decide whether to accept marriage arranged for her. But rival religious and political factions have their own ideas about her wedding plans. How can she avoid becoming a pawn for one side or another, yet still exercise her free right of choice?

Who is the protagonist of this story?

The Lady Eithne is the daughter of a minor aristocratic family, raised in a remote mountain village. Because of her magical prohibition, she aspired to a life beyond the typical fate of being married off as a teenager to the first man who could afford her bride-price. When the years went on, she began to think she’d end up an unmarried “spinster,” and learned about “men’s ways” in order to make an independent life for herself. Now that an arranged marriage has been contracted for her, she has to decide what love really means to her.

Who is the antagonist of this story?

This was actually an interesting problem in writing this novel. The visible antagonist is His Reverence Inloth, a priest who believes that his local religious institutions are corrupt and in need of reform, particularly its marriage practices. He is a native of the milieu, but studied abroad and returned with “foreign ideas” and a mission to make his countrymen “see the light” of the larger religious order. But there are also political opponents and “hidden” antagonists. Inloth’s reformation isn’t all that it seems to be, and not all of his villainous allies are honest and earnest.

What is the major conflict in this story?

As a divorced Catholic, I am myself something of an oxymoron, faced with the question of whether my marriage is actually still valid (no according to the State, but yes according to my Church). So the fundamental question in “The Wedding of Eithne” is whether Eithne really has the free-will to choose her own marriage partner, and what the consequences of that choice might be. She is also faced with the problem of whether her choice (if it is truly free) would be legitimate and valid, given the political and religious conflicts currently dividing her land.

Where and when is this story taking place?

“The Wedding of Eithne” is set in the dark, medieval-style milieu of my Matter of Manred fantasy series. The setting and political culture were influenced by 12th-Century AD Ireland in the decades preceding the Anglo-Norman Conquest, and the religious culture was inspired by hybridizing Irish myths and legends and mystic Pythagorean philosophy with real-life Catholic Church conflicts of the period. Robert E. Howard, Evangeline Walton, CJ Cherryh, and Glen Cook were the primary influences on the writing style, but I could probably spend 100 words just naming authors that have influenced me, there are so many.

Who is your favorite character in this book?

Although I love Lady Eithne and her betrothed, two minor characters who first appeared in my second book recur here: Adarc and Corentin. The first is essentially a fourteen-year-old seminary student, acting as a guide and interpreter for the second, a foreign merchant’s apprentice “studying the market” for his trading company. I love them because they have such divergent world-views, the spiritual versus the commercial. In a way, they represent the warring halves of my own soul, the writer (an act of faith) and the publisher (with all my American capitalist commercialism).

Are there elements of your personality or life experiences in this book?

I’ve already mentioned a few of the elements of my own life and personality that have wormed their way into “The Wedding of Eithne,” like my Irish Catholic upbringing, my divorce, and my daughters. I think any writer worth his salt tells very personal–and sometimes uncomfortable–stories. I’ve certainly taken my own fears of failure and success, and my reluctance to disappoint, and weaved these into the characters. I’ve also drawn on my own family history in developing these characters, though it wouldn’t be appropriate to name names, considering how much the characters have diverged from their inspirations.

What is one thing from this book you wish was real or could happen to you?

I suppose the whole book is an act of wish-fulfillment in one way or another. I wish I could find the sort of love that the characters in “The Wedding of Eithne” are looking for, a partner that isn’t just obligated to be a part of my life, as a consequence of chance and circumstance, but who really wants to be there. Someone I can believe in and encourage, and who believes in and supports the person I am and want to become as well.

What is something you wish wasn’t real and hope doesn’t happen to you?

I most certainly never want to be attacked by giant bats, spiders, or snakes!

Let’s say your book is being turned into a feature-length film; quick- cast the main two characters and pick a theme song or score.

Two songs come to mind: “When Will We Be Married” by the Waterboys and “Short-Change Hero by The Heavy. As for casting the film, I’ll have to say Keira Knightley from her roles in “King Arthur” and “Domino,” and F. Murray Abraham as the villain Inloth.

Do you have any special plans for this book in the near or far future?

This book closes out what I call “The Eowain Cycle” of my Matter of Manred Saga, setting up the background for the story in my next major book. But one thing I’d like to do with “The Wedding of Eithne” is create an omnibus edition that combines it with the previous three books in the series. I’d also like to create hardcover editions of my books. Several readers have already asked about it. Like many writers, I’m a total narcissist, so I wouldn’t mind having such a thing on my own shelves, something that will really last the ages.

Okay readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors, that’s all for today. Be sure to follow this blog to see who will be visiting next time. To Pre-order your copy of The Wedding of Eithne (March 28th release), please visit the links provided.

AMAZON | Author Direct links: EBOOK | signed PAPERBACK

This has been a

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#Question of the Month: a #bloghop to think about. No. 9- When have you lost or found love?

A little while ago, Michael D’Agostino, of A Life Examined, brought up the idea of a new blog hop called Question of the Month. He thinks blog readers would like to know a little more about us, the bloggers. So we’re all gathering to show you guys who we are by taking part in the Question of the Month blog hop. On the first Monday of each month, we answer the question that gets posted here.

This month’s question is: “When have you lost or found love?”

Love is such a general term; it’s difficult for me to talk about it without going off on crazy tangents.

I’ve been blessed. I met the love of my life in college, and while I couldn’t stand him at first, we became friends and later fell in love. There really is something special about falling in love with someone you’re such good friends with, but not all love has to be romantic.

I’ve also lost love in my time. I’ve lost friends, people who I thought would always be there for me and vice versa. Alas, when the right circumstances present themselves, you find out exactly where you stand in someone else’s life. That’s not to say that I don’t have some devoted friends, but it still hurts to figure out how not devoted some are.

For me, family is the embodiment of love. I don’t always like or even agree with my family, but I love them and appreciate them so much. It saddens me when I see other people being hateful towards family members, or try to avoid family at all cost, or have a complete disconnect from the people they are related to by blood. However, I also appreciate the fact that not all family members have to be people you are related to by blood. People can say what they will about those “Fast and Furious” movies, but they are a wonderful representation of how family sticks together- if you ignore everything else that’s going on in the movie, hopefully, that message comes across.

Revisiting romantic love briefly, I just wanted to point out that my husband and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day as a couple. It’s too much of a hassle and is no reflection on the true nature of our relationship. We celebrated it once when we were still dating before we were even engaged. We vowed then to never do it again. We do special and romantic stuff for each other all the time- we’re cool…

With that said, we love to see how other people celebrate it. We love hearing stories of how others have expressed their love and celebrated this holiday.

If you’re interested and have the time, please check out my last BooktagsBlogHop post and perhaps join in.

Also, please visit the other participants in this hop and even join in if you’d like.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Author Promo Co-op-Dream Soundtrack for #itslikethefullmoon #romance #IndieBooksBeSeen

Yes people, I’m still touring my first romance. This time around, I’m sharing my dream soundtrack. If you care to follow along, I think you’ll enjoy it. Oh, and of course there is a giveaway.

Source: Author Promo Co-op

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Who would you be in a Love Triangle? #itslikethefullmoon by Glorie Townson #IndieBooksBeSeen #romance

See other reviews and interviews, and follow this tour here.

FullMoon-1frontTitleIt’s Like the Full Moon
Series: Sayings Series 1
AuthorGlorie Townson
GenreContemporary Romance
Reading LevelAdult
Content RatingPG-13
Formats: paperback and ebook
Pages: 235
Words: 57,000

Rebecca has just turned thirty. She’s happy living a perfectly comfortable and predictable life. She’s even ready to marry her long-time boyfriend whenever he finally gets around to asking her. But all that changes when her best friend whisks her away to Italy for a much-needed vacation.
In the midst of site seeing and finally letting loose, Rebecca manages to catch the eye of a young English tourist; but doesn’t let it go to her head. By the time she’s back in the states and back in the arms of her long-time beau, Rebecca has already forgotten about Peter, Paten, Paul…whatever his name was, that is until he shows up at her brother’s cabin in the woods.
A life of normalcy, routine, and stability gets turned upside down as Rebecca decides whether or not she’s truly ready to get married. And if so, who is the one she’s really meant to be with?
Follow this mini-tour below:
Dec. 14th– Tour Kick-off
Dec. 14th– 4covert2overt – Promo
Dec. 15thAuthors to Watch – Interview (Glorie Townson)
Dec. 15thIntrospective Press – Promo
Dec. 16th4covert2overt – Interview (Toi Thomas)
Dec. 17th– DETOUR*
Dec. 18thGirl With Pen – Promo
Additional stops (non-tour related)
Dec. 16thJ. H. Moncrieff – Guest Post (True friends stick with you through the creepy.)
*Dec. 17thThe Wizard’s Cauldron – Interview (Toi Thomas)
This book is currently available for Pre-order as an ebook through Amazon.com and as a paperback direct from the author. Be sure to pre-order your copy at its reduced introductory rate and save your receipt number to earn extra entries into Glorie’s cool giveaway
Pre-order Kindle | Pre-order Paperback | add to Goodreads

So, who were you in the love triangle? 
Share for a chance to WIN below!
 
Glorie Townson is more than just a pen name for the author, Toi Thomas; she’s an entirely different personality. Glorie is the softer side of Toi, who puts down her comic books and picks up a volume of Robert Frost poems. Like Toi, Glorie is happily married to her wonderfully supportive husband, and together they share a home with their pet turtle, Betty. This is Glorie’s first publication, but she’s already feeling the inspiration to pen another tale, to which she’ll gladly share with the world. 

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this stop on the 
It’s Like the Full Moon Tour and will consider
supporting the Thunderclap to announce the 
official release of this book. 
~
The giveaways for this tour will include:
a $5 gift card, or signed and personalized 
digital sneak peek, and or something for everyone.

Top 10 Chick #films this tomboy will stop to watch! Inspiration #itslikethefullmoon, #bloghop.

In celebration of Bish Denham’s eight years of blogging, she presents the Listing Hop Blogfest. Thanks to Bish and the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, for hosting us today.

Here are the Top 10 Chick Flicks
this tomboy will stop to watch at any given moment.

All images sourced from Wikipedia.com

Moonstruck– A direct influence on my book It’s Like the Full Moon

 

A Room with a View
direct influence my book It’s Like the Full Moon

How to Make an American Quilt
direct influence my book It’s Like the Full Moon

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Beaches

Pretty in Pink– indirect influence my book It’s Like the Full Moon

My Girl

Now and Then

Annie (original, but I do like the new one)

Tammy and the Bachelor

All images from Wikipedia.

Click here to see what others are sharing on their lists today!

Also, I’ve started a monthly blog hop for book lovers and
would love for your join. Click the image to learn more.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords