Monday, 17 June 2013

Christy Nicholas: Ireland: A Guide to Hidden Ireland

Today is an extra special day for Tirgearr Publishing. Not only do we get to announce another book release and have a chat with a fabulous author. We're also releasing another nonfiction book! Last winter we saw the release of Just Desserts, a collection of holiday dessert and drinks recipes by all of the staff and authors at Tirgearr. Today, we see the release of our first travel guide. Not just any travel guide, but a guide to Ireland! We're sure it hasn't passed your notice that we're an Ireland based company, so this guide is near and dear to our hearts.

And no better woman to produce such a collection of photographs, stories, and valuable travel information than Christy Nicholas. Christy has traveled to Ireland numerous times and traveled with a focus on the non-traditional aspects of Ireland . . . the mythical, the magical, and the mystical!

First let me say, as a former travel consultant who specialized in Irish travel, this is a fabulous book. In it, one will find information on some of Ireland's historical past, those places nearly forgotten by time and modern life, those places tucked deep into hills and mountains, buried deep within the soil, those places it may take a little extra effort to see. But every one of them a worthy journey. Just don't forget your camera.

In this book, Christy focuses on various facets of non-traditional Ireland travel, but also includes some invaluable information for anyone who's planning a trip to Ireland . . . from researching airfare, to booking a car and accommodation, to what kinds of food to expect, money handling, and more. This book is a must have for *anyone* traveling to Ireland, whether you're visiting for traditional attractions or wish to be swept back in time to a land fueled by bigger than life heroes and pirate queens.

Christy isn't your average writer. By day, she's a mild mannered accountant. On her off time, she's an incredibly accomplished beader who sells her designs in craft fairs, she's a talented artist who creates magical images by using her own photographs (yes, she's a talented photographer too) and combining them with digital wizardry, and she's a writer on top of everything else.

As you can probably imagine, she's a very busy lady. So we're very happy she took a bit of time out of her schedule to have a chat.

Welcome, Christy, and congratulations on the release of this really interesting guide to traveling in Ireland.

So, I'm sure I'm not the only one who's curious about how you work. With such a demanding day job as a CPA and all of your artistic endeavors, you must have a room dedicated to each of your crafts, right? What's your creative space really like?

I write mostly at my computer – dual screens, surrounded by crafty things and some photos I took in Ireland. I usually have stuff open on my second screen for research, inspiration, or just a momentary needed break. I prefer to have something on in the background – Irish music or Raidío na Gaeltachta – to break the silence. I’ve never been comfortable working in silence, as every creak, every book closed, every shuffle distracts me. If there is background noise, I can filter it all out at once. I used to do my studying in the crowded cafeteria, it was much easier for me than at the library.

Dual screens? I tried that but the desk isn't big enough. With so much going on at your place, I can see how having multiple screens would come in handy. And I know what you mean about the silence. While I write in a quiet environment, when I'm creating something else, I love having something on in the background. Keeps the dogs quiet too, I must admit ;-)

With everything you have going on, you must have a massive to-do list, or at least have a strict routine to keep everything in order. Right? Tell us what your daily routine is like.

My daily routine isn’t daily – it’s in bits and spurts of maniacal writing, followed by long bouts of dry and nothing.  It’s sort of like my writing muse (which timeshares with my photography muse, my digital painting muse, and my jewelry muse) can only show up occasionally, and must get ALL of her inspiration out quickly before she must move on. When I do spout out 20 pages at a sitting, I then have to wait a day or two before I re-read and edit it. I’m awful at self-editing, truly.

Don't feel bad. I haven't met a writer yet who can self-edit very well. We're just too close to the work.

I LOVE the description of your muses . . . time-share muses! Brilliant. I know just the feeling.

I would ask what you enjoy doing when you're not writing, but I think we already know ;-) But tell us about your time away from your day job. How do you get all of the things done you enjoy doing?

I love multitasking, and that usually involves beading or some sort of handcraft. I watch TV while I bead, and play games on the computer at the same time. Sometimes I am out walking, or at a medieval event. I enjoy running my booth at art shows, and meeting all sorts of interesting people.

If there's one thing I can take away from our chat today is that you are one busy woman! But I can tell you love everything you do. I've seen some of your beaded work and it's truly stellar.

Thanks for chatting with us today.

Now, let's catch a glimpse of Christy's guide to hidden Ireland.

• • •

Do you find yourself drawn to the magic of the Emerald Isle? Would you like to see places beyond the typical tourist traps? Come, join me on a journey through the mists of legend, into the hidden places of mystery. Immerse yourself in the legends and myths, the history that has made this island precious in the hearts and minds of millions. Along with the tales and history, there is practical information on planning your trip, budgeting your costs, and finding the best places to while away the magical hours of your holiday.

The Mythical Facet – History and Myth-tery
The Magical Facet – The Fair Folk
The Mystical Facet – Gods and Saints
The Personal Facet – Friendly Folk
The Musical Facet – A Song and Dance
The Stunning Facet – Photo opportunities
The Tasty Facet – Irish Fare
The Practical Facet – How do I…?
The Frugal Facet – Budgets, Discounts, and Deals
The Hidden Facet – Undiscovered Places

What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Ireland?’ Perhaps you envision fairies dancing around a mushroom circle in eerie starlight? Enormous pints of Guinness lined up on an antique wooden bar? Men with jaunty caps riding wooden carts pulled by tired donkeys?

Every person has a different impression, a different idea and ideal, when they think of a particular place. Ireland itself has such a varied past and present that the images conjured up are many-faceted, like a huge emerald, glinting bits of its life into each aspect of your mind and memory.

I’ve been to Ireland several times, and it holds a special place in my heart and in my head. Ireland is mo anam an bhaile, my soul’s home in Irish. It is a place I feel comforted, warm, and welcome. I wish to share some of this peace and serenity with others. Please, feel free to join me in my journey through Ireland, its history, mystery and magic.
In this book, I will explore many aspects of Ireland. It possesses a rich mythical and historical culture, and a great part of this culture relates to the magic of the land and its people. There have been, and remain, many mystical parts of the island, but the people are what make Ireland what it is today. Of course, music is also an integral part of the culture. I will explore some stunning landscapes and architecture for the photo bugs, and will then explore some of the practical aspects of travel in Ireland. I have listed some advice on ways to save money while on your journey, and delved into some hidden places which most tourists pass by. In the back of the book, you will find several maps and resources to help with further research and information.

Please, enjoy your journey through my book. And, if I have convinced you to travel to this magical place, please let me know. I think everyone should visit Ireland and be enriched by its incredible sense of the mystical, magical and mythical.

• • •

Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon, has her hands in many crafts, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing, and photography. In real life, she's a CPA, but having grown up with art all around her (her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected her, as it were. She loves to draw and to create things. She says it's more of an obsession than a hobby. She likes looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset, or seeing a fragrant blossom or a dramatic seaside. She takes a picture or creates a piece of jewelry as her way of sharing this serenity, this joy, this beauty with others. Sometimes this sharing requires explanation – and thus she writes. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. She does local art and craft shows, as well as sending her art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad.

Find Christy Online --

To enter today's drawing for a copy of IRELAND: Mythical, Magical, Mystical: A Guide to Hidden Ireland, just leave Christy a question or comment with your email address to be automatically entered.

Or if you can't wait and want to buy a copy of this book, be sure to visit Christy's page on the Tirgearr Publishing website which has all her buy links.

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