Kingdom of Uisneach: The Prophecy

For centuries fairy tales have entertained, comforted and inspired us. They have offered opportunities for adventure and provided hope for a ‘happily ever after’ life. But real life isn’t always as simple as fairy tales would have us believe. Sometimes the prince doesn’t wake the sleeping princess, or if he does, they discover they are a poor match. Sometimes a happy ending is a fairy tale.

Briana Brennan, aka, Mouse, has a biological clock that is ticking. So is the clock of destiny, started by a visit from a forest witch at the hour of her birth. While is worrying she won’t find her Prince Charming, a kingdom is worried that they won’t rescue their Savior and the kingdom will be lost. Following a sound in the woods, Briana finds herself traveling through a tree into the kingdom of Uisneach. She is met by gnomes who have been waiting for her to come as the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, destined to save King Brath from a cursed exile and take the kingdom back from the evil Lord Shamwa and Druid Artanin. With only a magic map to guide her, she begins a journey that requires her to make decisions at every crossroads. The choices she must make at these crossroads pale in comparison to the life choices she will have to make as she meets and travels with her companions, strong and stalwart, Lord Marshall Sigel, the handsome young bard, Silas of Cedarmara and a wolfhound called Dara. Overseeing the journey and mentoring her are a shapeshifting crow and a forest crone. Together they must learn how to use the black medallions each wears to unlock the curse and release the king.

Magical maps, powerful swords, dryads, fairies, evil druids, good friends, and an Abbess, all contribute something to the journey and to her growth as a woman, a warrior and a queen. She learns the challenging lessons of love, patience, sacrifice, loyalty and commitment. The journey across Uisneach is a grand adventure, but one in which she must endure heartache and physical pain to find love and her happily ever after

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Soundtrack of The Prophecy



Scientists have written extensively about the effect of music on the limbic and paralimbic system, the amygdala and hippocampus. There are chemical and neural reasons that we get a chill when listening to a certain kind of music. Also well documented is how music in a major key usually evokes a happy feeling while music in a minor key makes one sad.
 Good information but what I’m more interested in is how it translates into the writing of a novel, specifically the Kingdom of Uisneach series.  
I discovered in the writing of The Prophecy that some music or musical artists created a mood in me that was conducive to writing battle scenes, love scenes and a few otherworldly moments. Some music or songs inspired me to think about the relationships and the philosophy behind the choices characters made. Some music was instrumental (pardon the pun) in world-building and plotting.
If I could choose one song that represents the essence of The Prophecy, it would be Adrian von Ziegler’s mythic, “Prophecy” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvtOdAZ9Wng). While writing the wedding scene, I looped this on my device and although some would find it more a dirge; for me, it evoked the culmination of all the sacrifice, commitment and love that brought our heroes to the altar and the throne.
Celtic Thunder earned several spots on my playlist with one song, “Voices” nearly appearing in the book. Due to copyright issues, I decided not to use it directly, but it inspired me to write the lyrics to “Crossroads” which made many appearances as a rally song along the journey from Wellsland to Ard Darach. “Noreen” could bring a tear to my every time I heard it as a reminder of Silas’s sorrow.
Briana spent much of her time mooning over her bard with von Ziegler’s “Ashes”.  She also happens to be fond of Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years.” I discovered a less well-known song by the Carpenters, “I Believe You,” that made her (and me) smile.
Most of the battle scenes were planned out listening to another favorite musician, Brunuhville whose haunting Celtic sound transported me to that mythic world. Songs like “Tales of Ice and Blood” and “Heart of Fire” called up images of warriors (and warrioresses) battling it out on the fields and forests of Uisneach.
Ahhh…Silas- ‘man of the forest’ is what the name means and our bard/archer/lover is an emotional force all by himself. He would be represented on my playlist by Keith Harkin’s “Wait On Me” and “My Love Goes On” and his recent recording on Brian Byrnes project Goldenhair, “In the Dark Pinewood”. James Bay’s, “Incomplete” and “Hold Back the River” speak to the soulful nature of their love. From the inception of The Kingdom of Uisneach, I had a vision of Silas on a castle parapet, singing something like “Now We Are Free.” It’s there, not the song, but the inspired scene.
It took me until the end of the second revision to connect with King Brath. I resisted him; oh my, did I resist. He’s handsome, smart and a just and visionary king, but very different from Silas. Eventually, I discovered the good and loving man underneath the crown. Ray Boudreaux helped me out here with his album First Train. A couple of songs, “Why Don’t We” and “I Don’t Wanna Stop,” drew me into this sexy ruler.
Interested in a sneak peek at music for the sequel books? Try out “My Immortal” by Evanescence, which sets the tone for Briana’s grief or BrunuhVille’s “When Love Fails” which is titled exactly opposite of how I feel it and the scene it inspires. “To Where You Are” (Celtic Thunder’s version) shows up in books two and three for different reasons. I recently discovered a new song by Brett Young, “In Case You Didn’t Know,” that I could imagine Silas singing to Briana in book three, although I have a feeling before he can sing that one, he’ll be listening to Yiruma’s “Kiss the Rain.” Our beloved bard has a long road ahead of him and it won’t be an easy one.  I will let you guess the scenes inspired by Brian Crane’s “Song for Rome” in book three.
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this musing.  I would dearly love to hear from other writers about their current work and the playlist for it. Musing is much more fun when it’s shared! 
Until we meet again- I lift my goblet to you! Sláinte! 


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