Interview with historical travel guide author Christy Nicholas

Today’s
guest is
Christy Jackson Nicholas. She’s at the front-end of a virtual book
tour where she has a different stop every Monday for her mystical, historical travel guide
Ireland: Mythical, Magical, Mystical – A Guide to Hidden Ireland,
now available from Tirgearr Publishing
.

Christy will
award a $20 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter. To be entered to
win, leave a comment below (and a way for Christy to get in touch with you).
And to increase your chances of winning, visit other tour stops and leave
comments there too.
Welcome, Christy. Please tell us a
little bit about yourself.
My name is
Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon. I do many things, including
digital art, beaded jewelry, writing and photography. In real life I’m a CPA,
but having grown up with art and around me (my mother, grandmother and
great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected me, as it were.
I love to
draw and to create things. It’s more of an obsession than a hobby. I like
looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset, or a fragrant blossom, a
dramatic seaside. I then wish to take a picture or create a piece of jewelry to
share this serenity, this joy, this beauty with others. Sometimes this sharing
requires explanation – and thus I write. Combine this love of beauty with a bit
of financial sense and you get an art business. I do local art and craft shows,
as well as sending my art to various science fiction conventions throughout the
country and abroad.
Please tell us about your current
release.
This book
is a guide to help others to have the chance to be part of the magic that is
Ireland. I have included some myth and history to give readers a context, some
practical tips about the culture and the planning of the trip, and then a huge
section of hidden places to find. I’ve also got it chock full of photographs
I’ve taken on my own travels.
What inspired you to write this book?
I am
enchanted with the land of Ireland, and I think everyone should experience this
magical place.
Excerpt:
The
Mythological Cycle

The
Mythological Cycle is mostly comprised of a set of tales known as Lebor Gabála Érenn, the Book of
Invasions or the Book of Conquests, and is, like the other tales of Ireland,
filled with politics, battle, love, magic, and outrageous tales of feats of
strength and revenge. It recounts, via myth and story, the invasions of the
different peoples of Ireland over the course of its history. How closely these
invasions are rooted in reality we may never know. However, once we reach the
invasion of the sons of Mil (some time before 100 BCE), we start getting into
territory which is corroborated by archeological evidence; these are the Celtic
tribes who migrated from northern Spain. The earliest renditions of these tales
seem to have come from the 8th to 11th century, and are therefore heavily
influenced by this later Christian ideal, but still manage to retain some of
their pre-Christian magic.
Other
parts of the Mythological Cycle are made up of the Metrical Dindshenchas, or Lore of Places, and other stand-alone
tales such as The Dream of Aengus, the Wooing of Etain, and The Tragedy of the
Children of Lir. If you want a delightful rendition of these tales, I highly
recommend the Celtic Myth Podshow. Hosts Ruth and Gary Colcombe create many
engaging dramatizations of these tales on their show, and bring the stories to
life.
But
let us go back, back into the mists of time before time, of land before
remembering, and tales before writing. I have included a small list of names in
their English versions and Irish versions in the appendix, for easier reading
later on. Go back . . . back into the mists of time, a time before writing, a
time before people, a time before the island of Ireland had seen its first
people . . . the mists start to rise, showing the green, rolling hills, covered
in trees, deer and nothing more.
What exciting story are you working on
next?
I’ve just
started working on a similar guide to Scotland – stunning, strange, and secret!
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
I made a
horrible attempt at fan fiction when I was in 4th grade, and
abandoned hope of being a professional writer then. However, I’d always enjoyed
writing reports in school, and have written articles, essays, trip reports and
the like all my life. However, until I actually had a book that was not
self-published, I figured I was just an amateur. Now, with this book, I feel
like a real writer!
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
I do not –
I am an accountant during the day, and an artist and writer in my free time. I
usually sit in front of the computer in the evenings while I work on my craft,
with the TV on in the background.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I am
horrible at self-editing, and I write in frantic spurts. I’ve written 20 pages
at one sitting, and then leave it alone for days, as if my muse has other
things to attend to.
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
That
changed with my mood. At various times I’d wanted to be a travel agent, a
famous artist, a policewoman, an astronaut. When I was in high school, I was
determined to become a Systems Analyst, as I loved computers. However, not
being able to pass Physics threw a monkey into that wrench, so to speak, so I
switched to accounting.

Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
Someday I
hope to actually run mystical tours to Ireland and the United Kingdom. Stay
tuned!

Websites: 
Twitter: greendragon9
Thanks, Christy!

11 thoughts on “Interview with historical travel guide author Christy Nicholas

  1. Ryan says:

    Great interview! You mention the Celts going to northern Spain, do you know if you see many of the stories of the fae showing up in traditional Spanish stories as well due to this influence?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Its nice to have books like this that can guide us completely into places that are unfamiliar to us and uses their own experience as a reference.

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