Though of Scots-Irish descent, I grew up in a small town in rural eastern Washington State, far, far, away from any trace of Celtic culture. I sought to remedy this situation the only way I could—through books about Ireland: Irish history, Irish politics, Irish language, Irish mythology, Irish paganism, and anything else I could find.
Books have always been my friends, and I always dreamed of writing one myself. Eventually I did: a huge, unwieldy, flabby, science fiction manuscript that covered nearly every interest I’d ever had. Through writing classes at the University of Washington in Seattle (including two taught by Charles Johnson), I learned a thing or two, and kept trying.
Finally I completed a novel called The Rising of the Moon and submitted part of it to a writing workshop at Norwescon, the science fiction convention held every year in Seattle. One of the “pros” at the workshop, novelist Tom King, asked to read the entire manuscript. Before he could get to it, his wife, novelist Paula Downing, read it and liked it so much she recommended it to her editor at Del Rey.
The Rising of the Moon was published as a Del Rey Discovery. It was nominated for a Locus award for Best First Novel; the James Tipree, Jr. award; and a Nebula award. I’ve written other as-yet-unpublished novels, including A Night Devoid of Stars, Blood Kin, and The Curse of Macha. Since I’ve had little luck getting a second novel published by a “real” publisher, I’m going to publish them myself.
I’m a writer. I continue to write.