Author Interview with @DavidHMillar Conall: The Place of Blood – Rinn-Iru

Conall: The Place of Blood – Rinn-Iru – Buy Now on Amazon

About the Book:

Over four hundred years before the birth of Christ, the island of Ériu (Ireland) is a patchwork of feuding kingdoms, wide plains, and impassable bogs. Battle, intrigue, betrayals, and courage are part of life for the Celts who call Ériu home, while from their underground halls the mysterious Aes Sidhe seduce brave warriors, turning men into kings and binding them with fearsome geis.

Conall Mac Gabhann is content with his apprenticeship to the local blacksmith. Content, that is, until his family is slaughtered in their home. Two men share responsibility for the massacre: a mad Irish king and a dissolute Roman. Conall will have his vengeance on both or die in the attempt.
Accompanied by his childhood friend Brion ó Cathasaigh and the veteran warrior Fearghal ó Maoilriain, Conall’s hunt takes him northward through unfriendly kingdoms and treacherous bogs to a confrontation beyond the ancient earthworks of the Black Pig’s Dyke.
Along the way, Conall will gather an army, and come to the attention of the Aes Sidhe. An apprentice blacksmith could become a king with their help—if he so desires.

Conall: The Place of Blood – Rinn-Iru – Buy Now on Amazon

About the Author:

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, David H. Millar is the founder, owner, and author-in-residence of Houston-based ‘A Wee Publishing Company’—a business that promotes Celtic literature, authors and art.
Millar moved from Ireland to Nova Scotia, Canada, in the late 1990s. After ten years of shovelling snow, he decided to relocate to warmer climates and has now settled in Houston, Texas. Quite a contrast!
An avid reader, armchair sportsman, and Liverpool Football Club fan, Millar lives with his family and Bailey, a Manx cat of questionable disposition known to his friends as ‘the small angry one!’

Conall: The Place of Blood is the first novel in the Conall series of which four are currently available. The final book in the series is scheduled for release in late 2020. All are available in print and eBook formats from all major online and retail channels and distributors. If any of the books are not on the shelf of your local bookstore, then please ask them to order a copy for you.

Author Interview:

Qn 1: Can you tell us more about Conall: The Place of Blood – Rinn-Iru What is it about?

A vicious slaughter robs Conall Mac Gabhann of his family, sending the young blacksmith’s apprentice on a quest for vengeance across ancient Ériu (Ireland). Set in Ireland 400 years before Christ, Conall: The Place of Blood is the first of five novels that follow the life of apprentice blacksmith Conall Mac Gabhann. Alongside his friends on a journey for vengeance and retribution, following the slaughter of his family.

Conall Mac Gabhann just watched his life implode. Before him lie the butchered bodies of his father, mother, and sisters. Yesterday, the young man was an apprentice blacksmith. Today, if he wants vengeance, he’ll need to become a warrior.
Two men must die to satisfy Conall’s revenge. Eochaidh Ruad is a king, subject to fierce tempers and unpredictable, almost mad, behavior. Cassius Fabius Scaeva is a Roman, whose debauchery is only equalled by his cunning.

As Conall’s small band of followers swell into an army. The young man comes to the attention of the Aes Sidhe, the mystical faerie-women whose powers can make kings of common men. Their power is at Conall’s disposal, but as with everything Sidhe-related, it comes at a price.
A rousing adventure in the spirit of Ireland’s ancient legends. Conall: Rinn-Iru is the first in a series of novels to focus on Conall Mac Gabhann, the blacksmith’s apprentice turned warrior-king.

5-Star Reviews (Amazon/Goodreads)

“This is not my usual genre to read, but I was given the book as a gift, and was intrigued with the cover. So, I read Conall. From the first chapter… I was gripped. It tells the story of a simple blacksmith’s son whose parents and sisters were brutally murdered. Conall starts off on a journey of vengeance with a band of young followers, most not much older than children. The story leads the reader through his growth as a man, a warrior and the leader of his army. The narrative used is authentic, the battle scenes satisfyingly vivid, and the antics of the Sidhe will both terrify and delight you. If you like Games of Thrones – you will love Conall.”

“A very well researched novel that brings you back to 415 BC in ancient Ireland and follows an orphaned young man on an epic page-turning quest for revenge. Just think of an ancient Batman that Batman would run from 😉 The descriptions of armor, weaponry and battle tactics were so thorough that I could almost hear the battle cries and I loved the bit of folklore blended in. Thanks for the fantastic read.”

Qn 2: Who do you think would be interested in this book? Is it directed at any particular market?

I originally considered my books as historical fiction. All are well-researched and pretty accurately reflect the society and culture of that time period (400 B.C). The challenge is that the Celtic/Gaelic society was largely based on an oral tradition – lots of storytelling. There was little written down and most of that was by their enemies, e.g. the Romans, so mostly propaganda. The boundaries between reality, myth, and legend tend to be quite blurred. Hence, my novels also include characters with a more paranormal/mythical persona. I continually wrestle with whether my true genre is historical fantasy.

If you like a good yarn and have an interest in Irish/Celtic/Gaelic culture (and let’s face it every on the planet loves to claim a connection to Ireland!) then my books are for you. The books are gritty (it was a hard life and violent age) and do contain some scenes of sex, so I recommend them for readers aged 14+.

Qn 3: Out of all the books in the world, and all the authors to choose from, which book and author would you suggest to be your favourite and why?

That’s a challenging question. I have quite an eclectic reading range. From historical fiction to sword and sorcery, urban fantasy and steampunk as well as the classics.

My first love is historical fiction and my #1 author would be Bernard Cornwell (Sharpe, Last Kingdom/Saxon Tales, and Arthur). I also buy all from Conn Iggulden, Gordon Doherty, Peter Darman, and Simon Scarrow.
In urban fantasy, I consider Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files to be the best of the genre. In the quirky/urban fantasy, I also like Charlaine Harris’ Midnight Texas series.

I also love a good detective series, from Ellis Peters’ medieval Cadfael series to Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus, and Reginal Hill’s Dalziel and Pascoe. And, who can not enjoy the first of all detective mysteries in Wilkie Collins Woman in White.
Given my Celtic background, I do like Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles.
Of the more classical I have a personal liking for Anthony Trollope’s Chronicles of Barsetshire.

Overall, I just like a good yarn, well told, which I hope describes my own novels.

Qn 4: What guidance would you offer to someone new to the writing world, or who was trying to enhance their craft or business?

The first piece of advice, start much earlier than I did! I find it curious that while I consider myself a “newbie” at writing, because of my age (yes, I’m a senior), I get young people asking me for advice on writing and promotion. A young woman approached me at a recent author event and asked for advice. And so, I told her just to keep writing as she had the advantage of time over me.
The second piece of advice is if you can afford it, hire professionals. I have seen (and continually see) more than a few good stories- or plot-lines ruined by inadequate attention to editing, cover design, and formatting. Editors, graphic artists (cover design), formatters (interiors) are essential.

The problem is that they are expensive (especially copy, structural, and proof editors) therefore, the reality for many authors is that they never generate enough revenue to justify the expenditure. A good group of honest beta-readers is also vital.
Promotion and marketing is a challenge for authors — indie or traditional. You could spend all your time (and money) in promotion and marketing and not have enough time left to write – a fatal error. I have tried various channels and continue to experiment.

Besides, it is only in the last two years, that I found my most successful (and informative) activity was to participate in author events. The experience of actually meeting your audience and other authors is invaluable.

Qn 5: Where can our readers find out more about you?

Twitter: @DavidHMillar
Amazon Author Page:
YouTube Video:

Finally, I love to hear from readers and am happy to answer any questions.

Conall: The Place of Blood – Rinn-Iru – Buy Now on Amazon

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