The Hill of Tara

Tara started out as Neolithic site, with a Neolithic passage tomb, called The Mound of Hostages, built around 3200 BC and holding the graves of over 300 individuals. Then, in the early Bronze age, some thousand years later, a giant ‘woodhenge’ was built on the hilltop to surround the passage tomb. The Celtic period begins with the Iron Age, starting roughly around 500 BC. Several large enclosures were built on the hill, the largest of which, The Enclosure of the Kings, had a circumference of 1000 meters. Another two structures were built in a figure eight—one called Cormac’s house and a second that is the royal seat. It is at this point that Tara unites history and religion. In Celtic mythology, Tara was the capital of the Tuatha de Dannan, the Irish gods, and its Neolithic passage tomb was seen Read more…

Writing Historical Fantasy: a Conversation with Jules Watson

Guest Post by Anna Elliott:  A Conversation with Jules Watson.    Jules Watson writes amazing, lyric historical fantasy set in the Dark Age Celtic world.  Her newest book, The Raven Queen, will be out next month.  And she has an absolutely fantastic historical fiction workshop on her website.  If you write historical fiction or fantasy, go check it out immediately, it’s one of the best resources for writers in the genre I’ve seen.  http://juleswatson.com/fictionworkshop.html  Where do your ideas for a book start?  With a known historical fact or myth?  A ‘scene’ that pulls you into a story? A particular character?  Or maybe none of those? The Raven Queen and my previous book The Swan Maiden were inspired by the heroines of two ancient Irish myths. For The Swan Maiden, I had always adored the Celti story of Deirdre of the Sorrows, Read more…