The Raven Appears Foreword

 

  • The term Udal Cuain inspired me when I began to write. It is a Scottish Gaelic word meaning, to be tossed around by the sea. I found this beautiful word inspirational as I began writing my novel, set in Viking Age Ireland. This is a fantasy and historical fiction novel that is set in a world with Chieftains, Druids, Vikings, Christians and Faeries. Ireland is in a time of change, and this time the Gaelic going to win. The Tuatha de Danaan will rise again.

 

  • I was inspired to write this novel after my first year of marriage. It was tough, and some days it felt every thing around me was crumbling. Nothing about dealing with disappointment or dysfunction is easy, especially when there are toxic people trying to worm their way into your life. It’s hard to stay grounded. This was my way to feel grounded again. By opening my emotions on to the page, to become a better person. Not a Saoirse fighting against the world. Nor a Kinvara too shy to speak.

 

  • The imagery of life tossing us around, like the sea, spoke to me. Life can try to break us. Life tries to drown us. We have to ride the Udal Cuain, surf the waves of uncertainty, until we are no longer drowning. We keep going until life makes sense again. This is a story of reaching rock bottom and rising up again, stronger together.

 

 

 

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How to Pronounce: A Guide to The Raven Appears

Irish Gaelic is not an easy language to figure out, neither is Old Norse. But for authenticity to the Viking Age and Ancient Ireland, I thought it was imperative to choose some truly Gaelic and Norse names.

Here’s a quick guide to the places and characters of The Raven Appears.

  • Riagan (ree-gihn)  — his name in Irish Gaelic means impulsive and furious
  • Saoirse (sheer-sha) — her name in Irish Gaelic means freedom
  • Kinvara (kin-varah) — her name in Irish Gaelic means head of the sea
  • Vidar (v-eye-dar) — his name in Old Norse means warrior
  • Fiachra (fee-aw-crah) — his name in Irish Gaelic means raven
  • Brighid (brih-jid) — her name in Irish Gaelic means force and strength
  • Carrick (care-ick) — his name in Irish Gaelic means rock

 

  • Aoibheann (eh-veen) — her name in Irish Gaelic means beautiful
  • Biorn (be-yorn) — his name in Irish Gaelic and Old Norse means bear
  • Tearlag (teer-lag) — her name in Irish Gaelic means instigator
  • Conn (con) — his name in Irish Gaelic means intellect
  • Seamus (shay-mis) — his name in Irish Gaelic means protector
  • Roisin (ro-sheen) — her name in Irish Gaelic means little rose
  • Brynhildr (brin-hilder) — her name in Old Norse means coat of armor
  • Hrokr (h-row-ker) — his name in Old Norse means rook or crow

 

  • Aisling (ash-leen) — her name in Irish Gaelic means dream or vision
  • Luiseach (loo-seech) — her name in Irish Gaelic means light
  • Murtagh (mer-tah) — his name in Irish Gaelic means skilled in the way of the sea
  • Ciannait (kee-nah) — her name in Irish Gaelic means distant
  • Aonghus (ang-gus) — his name in Irish Gaelic means valor
  • Cahal (cay-hill) — his name in Irish Gaelic means ready for war
  • Annag (an-nah) — her name in Irish Gaelic means gracious

 

  • Aedh (ay-d) — his name in Irish Gaelic means fire
  • Eamon (ay-mun) — his name in Irish Gaelic means guardian
  • Aoife (ee-fah) — her name in Irish Gaelic means radiance
  • Bricriu (brick-cru) — his name in Irish Gaelic means poison-tongued
  • Iona (eye-own-ah) — her name in Irish Gaelic means blessed
  • Gyda (gee-dah) — her name is Old Norse means war-like
  • Barra (bear-rah) — his name in Irish Gaelic means spear
  • Eban (eh-bahn) — his name in Irish Gaelic means young warrior
  • Aesgir (ahs-gear) — his name in Old Norse means spear of the gods
  • Ein (ayhn) — his name in Old Norse means one alone

 

  • MacManus (mac-man-us) — the surname in Old Norse means great
  • O’Connor (oh-conn-er) — the surname in Irish Gaelic means hound
  • O’Flaherty (oh-flair-ih-tee) — the surname in Irish Gaelic means generous
  • Tuatha de Danaan (too-aw-tha | day | dahn-nin) — meaning tribe of the Gods in Irish Gaelic

 

  • Searbh (seerb) — meaning bitterness in Irish Gaelic
  • Innis Aran  (in-niss ehr-in) — meaning bread islands in Irish Gaelic
  • Galway (gall-way) — meaning of the strange Gauls in Irish Gaelic
  • Limerick (lim-mer-ick) — meaning cloaked land in Irish Gaelic
  • Shannon (shan-non) — meaning wise river in Irish Gaelic
  • Connacht (cah-nockt) — meaning brave in Irish Gaelic