Hello guys I had the pleasure to ask some questions Brendan and he was so kind to not only answer them, but also send me the second book in the series of Beyond the Gloaming!
Thank you soo much!!
1.Hello Brendan, thank you for joining me! Please tell us a little bit about what/whom inspired you to write Beyond the Gloaming, Book I of Sebastian and the Hibernauts.
I wanted to write a rip-roaring adventure series like the ones I had grown up with but set in a Celtic mythological landscape. As a lonely boy, I escaped into a magical world of books. It was this—this rare and noble alchemy compressed between the covers of a children’s book—that I longed to recreate. I also wanted to portray a number of adult themes: the loneliness of childhood trauma, how children deal with grief, the soothing power of dreams and dissociation, and the external forces acting on the moral and psychological landscape of a child-turning-teenager. There is far more besides, of course, there are ghosts and gobbleratches, hunkypunks and barguest, leprechauns and cluricaun, mechanical fireworks and quizzing glasses, night rainbows, a whodunit, there’s even a secret romance nestled in there somewhere.
2. The story is based on an Irish folklore, which I love and find really intriguing. From where that idea came from?
I’d always had a love of mythology – Greek, Egyptian, Nordic, and Celtic. I’d been dipping in and out of Celtic mythology for years and wanted to write a book loosely based upon it. While I was born in England, all my ancestry is Celtic. My father was Irish, and my mother’s blood is Irish-Scottish. Most of my relatives are still in Ireland. That being said, we can trace our in-laws back to William the Conqueror!
3.I really liked the aspect of bullying and abusive parents, as it is reality to a lot of kids and not only all over the world. What are your thoughts on the matter?
In my other life, I am youth psychiatrist so I take a very dim view of childhood abuse. Many of my patients have had their lives ruined by such trauma.
4.Does Sebastian reflects you in a way? If yes share some of the traits you both have in common.
Sebastian was not based on me at all, other than we both came from Sheffield and had unusual childhoods. Any notions I had of moulding him in my image were quickly dismissed by the character, himself, who leapt Peter Pan-style from the book to tell me—in no uncertain terms—that he was the hero, not I. Then again, we are both left-handed, clumsy cowards…
5.What was the most difficult part to write?
The fight scenes. It takes a tremendous amount of time choreographing everyone involved. Other than that, the traumatic earlier passages when Sebastian is still at home.
6.Any favourite quotes/passages from the book you want to share?
1 He turned to see a pinkish glow coming from the smaller room, and shrank back instinctively. The glow grew brighter, casting a long shadow across the cellar, a grotesque silhouette of a tall, thin man with fizzing hair. Sebastian watched in horror as the shadow began to move, growing ever larger as its owner reached the entrance. Terrified, he raced up the stairs, his eyes glued to the shadow. He was about to beat the door down when the figure finally emerged. He stared in disbelief. Standing before him was a firework with little arms and legs, and a head from which a cloud of pink smoke erupted, and it was smiling at him. The firework gave a deep bow, its smoke changing to purple as it straightened up. It proceeded to cartwheel before him, changing colour with every turn. Over and over it flipped until it stopped at the foot of the steps, grinning.
2 Sebastian raised his squinting eyes to the duelling creatures overhead, darting specks against the blushing backdrop. How could he have slept in the teeth of such terror? He figured he must have zoned out as a precaution, to enable him to do what was needed, hours ago judging by the advancing sun. Why had he been asked to do this? He knew the answer lay tantalizingly close, just out of reach. Not that it mattered. He would do it anyway, though he had no idea why they needed a boy. As he shifted his feet and turned to look at his left hand, the chain mail dug into his shoulders and his stomach reared. There were his fingers, curled around the object that had brought him here. Something flew close by and called to him with words so indescribably beautiful, he could not understand an inner compulsion to ignore them. He sensed the presence of his friends around him, yet each time he turned to look they slipped from view, determined to watch from the wings. This was his moment. He heard a chant picked up. One voice, then a dozen, now scores, hundreds, thousands and finally the entire army reciting the words till they were all he could hear. It was in a foreign tongue, a language he had never learned, yet its words lay at the root of his being and he understood everything. It was time. The warriors began to beat their weapons against the ground until it shook. He felt the first vibration reach him and began to count. Wait for the ninth wave, he told himself as he raised his arm aloft.
3 A sharp hiss echoed around the room and he sensed movement behind him as he continued, full pelt, for the door. It was only a few feet away, yet it never seemed to get any closer. He gazed down at his feet as they moved swiftly over the floor, then back up to see the door retreating from him. A movement in his peripheral vision prompted him to look sideways. The aiia had raised her arms and was spinning on the spot. As she did so, the hair unravelled from her neck and the mane that had fanned out behind her divided into two tresses that plaited over and over to form limbs. He looked ahead in desperation. The door was galloping away. Fear turned his legs to jelly and they buckled under him. He lurched forward as he hit the floor, striving for the entrance, his fingers suddenly inches away. It was too late. Braids of hair coiled around his arms and he felt himself lifted upwards and backwards.
4 It took Sebastian a moment to notice the whirling spinning wheel, behind which sat a small, pale, middle-aged female, her foot working the treadle as her hand fed a skein of wool. She was a sprite of a creature, with plaited grey-ginger hair, long lips, and a hook nose and curled chin that seemed determined to meet.
“Blessed Beltane!” she said, without looking up. “There’s tae in the pot, help yourself. How’s the boy?”
“Ask him yourself, Dilly,” said Porrig.
Addedilli looked up, gave a high-pitched yelp and sprang to her feet.
“Upon my soul, is it really him?” she cried, clasping her hands together and advancing. “Ye gods it is! Oh, bless, bless. We’d no idea you were coming and today of all days. Please forgive the mess; it’s not usually like this. Porrig, you should’ve told us,” she added, shooting him a look as she seized Sebastian. “Let’s be looking at you. What a fine boy!” she continued, holding him at arm’s length and looking up at his face. “Would you look at those dreamy blue eyes and that mop of blond hair, and just look at that peachy skin, fresh as the month of May, a regular prince and no mistake.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he said shyly, unused to compliments of any kind.
“Did you hear that Finnog? The voice of an angel and the manners of a prince. Now come and sit yourself by the fire. It’s dying down, but we’ll be kindling it soon. Would you like a cup of lilac tae?” she added, glancing at Porrig who gave the barest of nods.
“Yes, please, Mrs. Toohill,” said Sebastian, easing himself into the rocking chair.
“No need to be so formal, just call me Dilly. And I reckon you’d be famished. You’ll be having some homemade scones and bilberry jam, won’t you? Oh, I’d say you would.”
Without waiting for a reply, she turned and disappeared through a door.
7.If you had the chance to time travel in what time period you would go back to and why?
England in the 1700’s, though I’d want to be rich. The period was rich in my heroes and I’d love to meet them all: Lawrence Sterne, Samuel Johnson, JMW Turner, William Blake, Jonathan Swift, Joshua Reynolds, and Daniel Defoe. And I could hop across the pond to see Diderot, Voltaire, and Rousseau.
8.Describe yourself in 3 words.
Optimistic. Determined. Kind.
9.What is one piece of advice you would tell everyone?
Live the life you truly want, not the life others expect of you
10.Is/are there any upcoming projects/events you would like to share with us?
The third book in the series, The Dandelion Graveyard, will be published in early 2017 by Phantasm Books in America. The new book will have a ‘Story so far’ for those who have not read the first two books, and a glossary of Hibercadian terms. In the lead-up to the release, I have overhauled the series website. It has two really cool trailers, a map of Hibercadia (with an amazing new one coming soon), a miscellany of all things Hibercadian, a cast list, The Daily Eclipse (a newsletter), and A Hibercadian Digest (the blog). The trailers were made by Berlin filmmaker, Kaleb Lechowski, the logo by 2012 World Fantasy Artist of the Year, John Coulthart, and the new map will be crafted by renowned fantasy cartographer Robert Altbauer.
As Brendan said once
Magical wishes! 🙂