Although you may well know me better for non-fiction through Moon Books I’ve been a cyfarwydd, a storyteller, all my life. Cosmic Egg Books, another imprint with John Hunt Publishing, have just given me a contract for my novel Moon Song. It feels very good indeed.
Moon Song is a story about love and sex across the dimensions. So many of the things in my book Elen of the Ways are a part of it but instead of writing about it in a teacher-ish sort of way in Moon Song I tell it as a story.
When I began writing it I was drawn into the old story of Tristan and Isoldé. It’s a Cornish story for me; my dad had strong links with Cornwall and knew the places where King Mark had his castles and strongholds. He took me to visit them when I was a child and told me the stories himself. He was a good cyfarwydd and I hope I’ve learned from him.
For me the story as we mostly know it is far too simplistic, black-n-white, good-n-bad. Isoldé is portrayed as unfaithful, admittedly due to a love potion, but is still cursed and punished for it. King Mark is portrayed as a hard and severe man. I just could never see them this way. As I began to sit-with the story, and ask it how it wanted to be told, the characters shapeshifted through my fingers on the keyboard. Mark became a young man to whom Tristan was mentor and the inspiration. Tristan himself became an older man and one who knew the Faer folk as his own family. Isoldé is nearer to her better-known story-self but no way is she a princess and she is the one who learns most as she walks her way through the story she finds herself in. Indeed she learns to walk between the worlds on the moonpath to the Isle of the Dead … and to return, by the skin of her teeth and with the help of Tristan’s cat!
She falls in love with Mark, and he with her, rather than with Tristan but Tristan does fall in love with Isoldé and thereby gets himself, and the other two, into a whole load of trouble. Isoldé has to rescue him … and Mark must help her.
Three people who all love each other and who all make mistakes which hurt each other too. Add in that they all love, believe in and want to work with the Faer folk and you have a very complex and complicated jumble. It’s scary, spooky, wild and weird, with love and sex across the dimensions.