CHARLESTOWN, N.H. – The last thing on Briana Brennan’s mind was leaving Maine for a time-traveling journey through an oak tree to a mythic kingdom. She certainly hadn’t planned on saving a cursed king or marrying him. However, destiny is not something we plan now, is it? It’s more like what happens on the way to somewhere else.
“In some ways, Briana’s journey mirrors my own, metaphorically speaking. While writing a novel was my lifelong dream, it was a dream. Out of the blue, a random comment of someone else pushed me to make the dream a reality.”
In 2014, at 54-years-old, Heidi Hanley, known locally as Heidi Smith, realized that if she didn’t do it now, she’d run out of time to do it all. With the kernel of an idea to turn traditional fairy tales upside down with an Irish flavor and a more adult plot, she began work on “The Prophecy,” the first book in the Kingdom of Uisneach (pronounced Oosh-nay) trilogy.
Her career as a registered nurse and hospice chaplain didn’t contribute much to a novel of mythic fantasy, but her passion for reading and writing did and for four years, in the dark, quiet hours of pre-dawn, she wrote the novel, set up her own publishing company, Sword and Arrow, and learned how to self-publish her trilogy.
In “The Prophecy,” Briana Brennan hears a noise in the forest and follows it through an oak tree, ending up on the other side in an idyllic village of gnomes who believe she is the Mouse of Prophecy, meant to rescue a cursed king and save the Five Blessed Realms. She is given a magic map and the advice that she would find helpers along the way. Her allies include a shapeshifting crow, a witch, a handsome bard, and the king’s right hand. Together they journey across Uisneach to Ard Darach where the king has been in a sort of suspended animation for a decade. In book two, “The Runes of Evalon,” one of her allies goes on a quest to search for ancient runes that will restore magic to the kingdom. And in book three, “The Return of the Bard,” the prophecy comes full circle.
To be clear, this is not a children’s book. It is an adult, romantic version of the hero’s journey with a nod to fairytale fantasy. It would be appropriate for older young adults, but Hanley discourages this as a book for young children.
LJ Garcia, a composer of Celtic music, became so enamored of the books that he asked to write a musical soundtrack. LJ is about to release the first song of a compilation Dec. 27, 2020. Together they are creating a reading and musical experience for fans of these books. For more information about his music and “The Lone Bard,” go to www.ljgarcia.com.
The Kingdom of Uisneach series is available in paperback and eBook on Amazon or by going to Hanley’s website, www.heidihanleyauthor.com.
Especially during this time of Covid fatigue, Hanley hopes to bring a little adventure, romance, and mental relaxation with the story of Uisneach. For more information go to her website or social media platforms which are linked through the website.