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Guest Blog by Bishop O'Connell, author of Three Promises, The Stolen and The Forgotten


Please welcome Bishop O'Connell to The Qwillery. Three Promises, a collection of 4 short stories set in the American Faerie Tale world, is published in digital format today. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Bishop a Happy Publication Day.



Guest Blog by Bishop O'Connell, author of Three Promises, The Stolen and The Forgotten




Do you want proof that God has a sense of humor?

I’m a writer, and nothing drives me battier than the sound of typing on a keyboard. I can handle it for a little while, but after five minutes or so, it’s like nails on a chalkboard. Oh, and when I’m not writing (day job), I do a lot of developing and programming. Yeah, the irony is palpable. This, combined with the fact I’m very visual in my writing—I “see” the stories like a movie playing in my head, and transcribe what I see—is why music is so important to me when I write. What’s a good movie without a killer soundtrack? Bonus that is also drowns out the maddening sound of striking keys.

For every book I’ve written, I’ve made multiple playlists. They typically surround characters, or specific scenes. Sometimes, when I’m working on a particularly powerful scene, I’ll put a single song on a loop and listen to it continually till I’m done. Music is so important to me that all my characters have favorite musicians and songs. Listening to those artists fuels me emotionally and also helps me get into my characters’ heads. Edward is a Tom Waits fan, followed closely by Diana Krall, Leonard Cohen, and Dave Brubeck. For Caitlin it’s Gaelic Storm, The Elders, Sarah McLachlan, and The Cowboy Junkies. Brendan leans towards The Pogues and The Wolfe Tones, and, despite his anachronistic tendencies, Dropkick Murphy, Flogging Molly, and Flatfoot 56. Dante is more eclectic as a result of his age, and his tastes range from Vivaldi (he’s a sucker for a solid cello concerto) to John Legend, to J. Ralph.

Wraith was a bit more complicated. As I worked on The Forgotten, the music was more about the story. The songs were dark and brooding. “Ain’t no Grave,” by Johnny Cash saw quite a lot of play, and if you’ve read The Forgotten, you’ll understand why. It made sense I wasn’t focused on music for Wraith as a character. After all, she was a homeless kid struggling to keep sane from one day to the next. She didn’t have a lot of time to listen to music. That changed when I started writing Three Promises. Wraith came to life in a way I never imagined, or dared to hope. Her story opens in the aftermath of The Forgotten’s end. I knew she’d be battling severe depression and trying to find a sense of purpose. As someone who struggled with that as a teenager, and still do at times, I know personally how much music can help. I wanted Wraith to have the same experience, to find refuge, and possibly hope, in music. But what songs? What artists? When I found not just the artist, but the song, it was so perfect, that I knew I had to include some of the lyrics in the story itself. The song was “Wonder (Wonder Woman Song)” by The Doubleclicks.

I was introduced to The Doubleclicks through John Scalzi’s blog when he posted the video to “Nothing to Prove.” It’s perhaps their most famous song; an anthem for geek girls. The song is great, and the video is not just powerful, it’s empowering. Fans of Angela and Aubrey, the sisters who make up The Doubleclicks, know that most of their songs are all kinds of nerdy fun. They sing about cats, board games, dinosaurs, burritos, lasers… well, you get the idea. But some of their songs are more personal, and are deeply moving. Their song “Bad Memories” really resonated with me and their cover of “In the Middle” is fantastic. I thought about using “Nothing to Prove” to give Wraith hope, but it just didn’t seem right for her. Then I heard “Wonder (Wonder Woman Song)” and I knew that was Wraith’s song. The Doubleclicks were good enough to let me license the lyrics, and I was thrilled to be able to (legally) include some of them in the story. How does a song about a super-powered Amazon inspire a homeless girl fighting depression? You’ll have to read the story, and I suggest listening to the song as well. Not because you’ll need to know it, just because it’s an awesome song.

I’m sure I’m not alone in my love of music. Like any art form, it’s emotionally evocative. Most people know the shameless joy of singing to a favorite song at the top of their lungs while driving, not caring who sees you. We find solace and comfort in songs when we have a broken heart, we celebrate with music and dancing (though if you’re like me, it can only loosely be called dancing), we find comfort in our sad times with the perfect track. Songs mark the passing of the years like signposts. And sometimes, just sometimes, you hear a song and it reaches into your soul from the very first time you hear it. For me, those songs tend to be the bittersweet ones; sad, but filled with hope, and the promise of tomorrow, a new day where anything is possible. What can I say, I’m a romantic. The emotion, the magic, the power of music fuels me, both in my life and in my creative endeavors. Music, books, every kind of art, it all serves to connects us. When the artist creates, that creation is imbued with some of their soul, an emotional snapshot of them at that moment in time. The stories in my books are my snapshots and the tales in Three Promises feel like my best work yet. 
I hope you read them, and that you enjoy them, maybe connect with them or the characters within. If you’d like, I’d be happy to suggest some music to set the mood before you start reading though.

You can pick up Three Promises in ebook anywhere (see below), but if you preorder the paperback (on sale 1/8/16 for only $3.99) from The Fountain Bookstore, not only will it be signed, but you’ll get an exclusive gift, too (and it will be awesome). As a nice bonus, you can also order signed copies of The Stolen and The Forgotten while you’re there, and don’t worry, they ship worldwide.





Three Promises
An American Faerie Tale Collection
Harper Voyager Impulse, December 8, 2015
     eBook, 160 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, January 5, 2016
     Mass Market Paperback, 160 pages

Guest Blog by Bishop O'Connell, author of Three Promises, The Stolen and The Forgotten
Promises bind, but some promises break…

From the author of The Stolen and The Forgotten comes a collection of stories between the stories, a glimpse of the American Faerie Tale series characters in a whole new light.

For more than fifty years, Elaine has lived the life of an outcast elf, stripped of her rank and title in the fae court. Surrounded by her beloved collection of stolen artwork, we may just learn the secret behind her exile, and the one promise too important to break…

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for—Caitlin and Edward are getting married! But few weddings ever go without a hitch. Old promises were broken, and new vows will be made…

In The Stolen, Brendan vowed to help Caitlin rescue her young daughter from the Dusk Court, even if it meant sacrificing himself. Alone and in torment, he has come to accept his fate. Until an unexpected visitor finds her way into his life…

Plus, an exclusive bonus story about the mysterious Legion of Solomon.



Qwill's Thoughts

Since these are short stories I'm not going to delve too deeply into plots. The stories fill in pieces of the lives of characters from the first two novels in the American Faerie Tale series. The first three stories - Elaine's, Caitlin's and Edward's and Brendan's are each moving in their own way. The 4th bonus story about the Legion of Solomon sheds a bit of light on one of  The Legion's recruits first encounter with them.

I enjoyed each of these stories very much. For readers of the series these stories add more depth to the characters or fill in the blanks on what has happened to them. For those of you waiting to find out Brendan's fate you are in for a treat, but may be hoping for more of his story in the future. If you haven't read the novels, Three Promises is a wonderful introduction to and a terrific place to start before reading The Stolen and The Forgotten. Three Promises is a very well done, illuminating and outstanding collection of stories set in the American Faerie Tale world.



Here’s a sample from one of the short stories, “The Legacy of Past Promises”:

       Elaine stared at the painting. While her body didn’t move, her heart and mind danced in the halls of heaven. The depth and intensity of mortal passion was astounding to her, and her ability to experience it through art was like a drug. The heavy silence that filled her vast loft was broken by the high-pitched whistle of the teakettle. Elaine extricated herself from the old battered chair, which was so comfortable it should be considered a holy relic. She crossed her warehouse flat to the kitchen area, purposely stepping heavily so the old hardwood floor creaked. She smiled at the sound. It was like a whisper that contained all the memories the building had seen. Unlike the fae, the mortal world was constantly aging. But for those who knew how to listen, it sang of a life well lived in every tired sound. The flat took up the entire top floor of a warehouse that had been abandoned in the early 1900s. She owned it now and was its only permanent tenant. The lower floors of the five-story building were offered as a place to stay to the fifties—half-mortal, half-fae street kids, unwelcome in either world—she knew and trusted. But with all the unrest in Seattle, she was currently its only occupant.
       She turned off the burner and the kettle went quiet. Three teaspoons of her personal tea blend went into the pot. The water, still bubbling, went next. The familiar and comforting aroma filled the air, black tea with whispers of orange blossom. Light poured in from the south-facing wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. But she ignored the view of the Seattle skyline. The twenty-foot ceiling was constructed of heavy wooden beams and slats, broken only by the silver of air ducts, a relatively recent addition. The floor was oak, original to the building but well maintained over the years, as were the exposed bricks of the walls and pillars. The flat was large, 5,000 square feet of open space, sparsely furnished with secondhand pieces. They had been purchased so long ago, they were technically antiques now. But she looked past all that to the paintings that covered the walls, collected over centuries and not always through strictly legal means. Nearly every school was represented by at least one piece. Her eyes followed the heavy strokes of a Van Gogh, thought lost by the general public. The emotions and impressions left behind by the artist washed over her. The melancholy and near madness, the longing and love, all mixed together like the colors of the painting itself.
       The smell of her tea, now perfectly brewed, broke her reverie. As she poured tea into a large clay mug, her gaze settled on a Rossetti. Elaine smiled as she remembered seeing the painting come to life. Gabriel Rossetti—Elaine could never bring herself to think of him as Dante, it was such an absurd name—had captured Jane’s beauty spectacularly. Jane Morris had been a truly beautiful mortal; it was no wonder Gabriel so often chose her as a model.
       Elaine carried the mug back to her chair, sank into the plush cushions, and hit play on the remote. Vivaldi’s Cello Concerto no. 4 in A Minor filled the space. She closed her eyes, letting the music fill her soul. The mournful cello danced with the playful harpsichord. She sipped her tea, opened her eyes, and her gaze fell upon another painting, the one she’d almost lost. Unwanted memories rose to the surface—and just like that, she was back in France, deep in the occupied zone.
       The war—or more correctly, the Nazis—had mostly turned the once beautiful countryside and small villages to rubble. The jackbooted thugs had marched with impunity, leaving only death and destruction in their wake
Even now she could almost hear the voices of her long-dead friends.

       “Êtes-vous attentive?”
       Elaine blinked. “Pardon?”
       François narrowed his eyes. “I asked if you were paying attention,” he said, his French heavy with a Parisian accent. “But you answer my question anyway, yes?”
       There were snickers from the collection of men, scarcely more than boys, gathered around the table and map.
       “Sorry,” Elaine said, her own carefully applied accent fitting someone from the southern countryside. “You were saying a convoy of three German trucks will be coming down this road.” She traced the route on the map with her finger. “And this being one of the few remaining bridges, they’ll attempt to cross here. Did I miss something?”
       François turned a little pink, then a deeper red when the chuckles turned on him. When Paul offered him the bottle of wine, François’s smile returned, and he laughed as well.
       “Our little sparrow misses nothing, no?” he asked, then took a swallow of wine before offering her the bottle.
       Elaine smiled and accepted.
       Six hours later, just before dawn, the explosives had been set and the group was in position. She sat high in a tree, her rifle held close. Despite having cast a charm to turn the iron into innocuous fae iron (a taxing process that had taken her the better part of three weeks), she still wore gloves. On more than one occasion she’d had to use another weapon, one that hadn’t been magically treated.
       As the first rays of dawn touched her cheeks, she had only a moment to savor the sublime joy of the morning light. Her keen eyes picked up the telltale clouds of black diesel smoke before she ever saw the vehicles. She made a sparrow call, alerting her fellow resistance fighters.
       A thrush sounded back.
       They were ready.
       Elaine hefted her rifle and sighted down the barrel, her fingertip caressing the trigger. She watched the rise, waiting for the first truck to come into view.
       Her eyes went wide and her stomach twisted when she saw the two Hanomags, armored halftrack personnel carriers, leading the three big trucks. That was two units, more than twenty soldiers. She made another birdcall, a nightingale, the signal to abort.
       The thrush call came in reply, repeated twice. Proceed.
       “Fools,” she swore. “You’re going to get us all killed.”
       She sighted down the rifle again and slowed her breathing. They were outnumbered almost three to one and up against armor with nothing but rifles and a few grenades.
       “Just an afternoon walk along the Seine,” she said. Of course Germany now controlled Paris and the Seine, so maybe it was an accurate comparison.
       The caravan crawled down the muddy road, inching closer to the bridge. Looking through the scope, she watched the gunner on the lead Hanomag. His head was on a swivel, constantly looking one way then another. Not that she could blame him. This was a textbook place for an ambush.
       The first Hanomag stopped just shy of the explosive charges.
       Her heart began to race. Had they spotted it? No, it was buried and the mud didn’t leave any sign that even she could see. No way could these mortal goose-steppers have—
       An officer in the black uniform of the SS stepped out of the second Hanomag, flanked by half a dozen regular army soldiers. Elaine sighted him with her scope, noted her heartbeat, and placed her finger on the trigger.
       The tingle of magic danced across her skin as the officer drew a talisman from under his coat. “Offenbaren sich!” he shouted.
       There was a gust of wind, and the leaves on the trees near her rustled. She whispered a charm and felt it come up just as the magic reached her. The spell slid over her harmlessly. Her friends weren’t so lucky. A red glow pulsed from the spot where the explosives had been set, and faint pinkish light shone from six spots around the convoy.
       “Aus dem Hinterhalt überfallen!” the officer shouted and pointed to the lights.
       The gunners on the Hanomags turned and the soldiers protecting the officer took aim.
       “Merde,” Elaine cursed, then sighted and fired.
       There was a crack, and the officer’s face was a red mist.
       Then everything went to hell.
       Soldiers poured from the trucks and the Hanomags, the gunners turned their MG-42s toward the now-fading lights marking François and the others. The soldiers took cover behind the armored vehicles and divided their fire between her and her compatriots. She was well concealed, so most of the shots did nothing more than send shredded leaves and bark through the air. Only a few smacked close enough to cause her unease.
       Elaine ignored them and sighted one of the MG-42 gunners.
       “Vive la France!” someone shouted.
       Elaine looked up just in time to see Paul leap from cover and charge at the soldiers, drawing their attention and fire. She watched in horror as the Nazi guns tore him to shreds. Somehow, before falling, he lobbed two grenades into one of the armored vehicles. There came a shout of panic from inside the Hanomag and seconds later came two concussive booms. Debris flew up from the open top of the halftrack and the shouts stopped.
       François and the others took advantage of Paul’s sacrifice, moved to different cover, and started firing. A few Nazi soldiers dropped, but the remaining MG-42 began spraying the area with a hail of bullets.
       Elaine gritted her teeth and fired two shots; both hit the gunner, and he fell. This again drew fire in her direction.
       The fight became a blur after that. She took aim and fired, took aim and fired, over and over again, pausing only long enough to reload. It wasn’t until she couldn’t find another target that Elaine realized it was done, and all the Nazis were dead or dying.
She lay on the branch for a long moment, until the ringing in her ears began to fade. When she moved, a sharp pain in her shoulder brought her up short. More gingerly, she shifted and saw tendrils of white light filled with motes of green drifting from her shoulder. At the center was a growing blossom of gold blood. She rolled and dropped from the tree, landing only slightly less gracefully than normal. Still, the jolt made the pain jump a few numbers on the intensity scale.
       She clenched her jaw, hefted her rifle, and carefully inspected the scene. The Germans were all dead, but the driver of one of the Hanomags was still alive. He took a couple shots at her with his Luger, but he’d apparently caught some ricochets or shrapnel because he didn’t even come close. Elaine put him down with a shot through the viewing port.
       “Please, help me,” someone said in bad French.
       Elaine spun to see a German soldier lying on the ground. He was little more than a kid, maybe sixteen; it didn’t even look like he’d started shaving. She just stared at his tear-filled eyes, blood running down his cheek from the corner of his mouth. He had at least half a dozen holes in his chest. He was already dead, he just didn’t know it.
       “Ja,” she said.
       “Dank—”
       His thanks were swallowed by the loud report of the rifle as she put a bullet between his eyes. There was nothing she, or anyone else, could’ve done for him. She wiped tears away and muttered a curse at Hitler and his megalomaniacal plans.
       After double-checking that all the soldiers were dead, Elaine made her sparrow call. Her mouth was so dry, the call was hardly recognizable.
       Only silence answered her.
       Swallowing, she hardened her heart and went to where François and the others had been taking cover. She couldn’t bring herself to look down at the bloodied mess that had been Paul. She just kept walking. Her rifle fell to the ground, then she went to her knees, sobbing, covering her mouth with her good hand.
       They were dead, which wasn’t a surprise, but it didn’t make finding them any less heartbreaking. Rémy was almost unrecognizable. If it wasn’t for his blond hair, now matted with blood—Elaine’s stomach twisted and she retched to one side. Michel, Julien, Daniel, Christophe, and Christian were in slightly better shape, for the most part. Julien’s left arm had been chewed up by the machine gun, and Christophe’s torso had been ripped open, allowing his insides to spill out. Elaine sobbed and turned to François. His rifle had been discarded and his pistol was still clutched in his left hand, two fingers having been shot off his right.
       Sadness mixed with anger, and she screamed curses at him.
“You arrogant fool!” she said between sobs. “Why didn’t you just call off the operation? You got them all killed!”
       It wasn’t long before Elaine grew numb inside. She used her fae healer’s kit to remove the bullet from her shoulder, and a liberal smearing of healing ointment numbed the pain enough to give her almost full use of her arm again. Lastly, she set the pinkish, putty-like dóú craiceann over the wound, sealing it like a second skin. She’d never been much of a healer herself, but she got the job done. With effort, and still careful of her wounded shoulder, she dragged Paul into the cover to join his brothers-in-arms. Elaine whispered a charm and the earth drew itself up and over her friends. A moment later, lush green grass covered the seven mounds.
       “Adieu, mes amis,” she said softly.





The American Faerie Tale Novels

The Stolen
An American Faerie Tale 1
Harper Voyager Impulse, July 22, 2014
     eBook, 464 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, August 5, 2014
     Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages

Guest Blog by Bishop O'Connell, author of Three Promises, The Stolen and The Forgotten
Tonight, for the first time in over a century, a mortal child will be kidnapped by faeries.

When her daughter Fiona is snatched from her bed, Caitlin's entire world crumbles. Once certain that faeries were only a fantasy, Caitlin must now accept that these supernatural creatures do exist—and that they have traded in their ancient swords and horses for modern guns and sports cars. Hopelessly outmatched, she accepts help from a trio of unlikely heroes: Eddy, a psychiatrist and novice wizard; Brendan, an outcast Fian warrior; and Dante, a Magister of the fae's Rogue Court. Moving from the busy streets of Boston's suburbs to the shadowy land of Tír na nÓg, Caitlin and her allies will risk everything to save Fiona. But can this disparate quartet conquer their own inner demons and outwit the dark faeries before it's too late?




The Forgotten
An American Faerie Tale 2
Harper Voyager Impulse, March 17, 2015
     eBook, 448 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, April 14, 2015
     Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages

Guest Blog by Bishop O'Connell, author of Three Promises, The Stolen and The Forgotten
Across the United States, children are vanishing. Only this time, faeries may not be to blame …

Dante, Regent of the fae's Rogue Court, has been receiving disturbing reports. Human children are manifesting magical powers in record numbers. Shunned and forgotten, they live on the streets in ragtag groups with the already-booming population of homeless changelings. But the streets aren't a haven; someone, or something, is hunting these children down.

Wraith, a teenage spell slinger, has no home, no family, and no real memories of her past. She and her friends SK, Fritz, and Shadow are constantly on the run, fleeing from a dark and unknown enemy. But when her companions are taken by "the snatchers," Wraith is their only hope. Her journey to find them will test the limits of her magic—and her trust. A dark force is on the rise, and it could spell the end of our world as we know it.





About Bishop

Bishop O'Connell is the author of the American Faerie Tale series, a consultant, writer, blogger, and lover of kilts and beer, as well as a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Born in Naples Italy while his father was stationed in Sardinia, Bishop grew up in San Diego, CA where he fell in love with the ocean and fish tacos. While wandering the country for work and school (absolutely not because he was in hiding from mind controlling bunnies), he experienced autumn in New England. Soon after, he settled in Manchester, NH, where he writes, collects swords, revels in his immortality as a critically acclaimed "visionary" of the urban fantasy genre, and is regularly chastised for making up things for his bio. He can also be found online at A Quiet Pint (aquietpint.com), where he muses philosophical on life, the universe, and everything, as well as various aspects of writing and the road to getting published.

A Quiet Pint  ~  Twitter @BishopMOConnell

2014 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR Winner!


2014 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR Winner!


The votes are in and the winner of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR is The Stolen by Bishop O'Connell from Harper Voyager Impulse. The cover artist and designer is Tom Egner with Patricia Barrow as the second designer.


There was a quite a battle between The Stolen and Lemongrass Hope by Amy Impellizzeri, but The Stolen edged out its greatest competition by 6 votes! We don't use statistical ties at The Qwillery. To tie each cover has to have exactly the same number of votes (see 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - 2012 COVER(s) OF THE YEAR!)



The Stolen
An American Faerie Tale 1
Harper Voyager Impulse, July 22, 2014
     eBook, 336 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, August 5, 2014
     Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR Winner!
Tonight, for the first time in over a century, a mortal child will be kidnapped by faeries.

When her daughter Fiona is snatched from her bed, Caitlin's entire world crumbles. Once certain that faeries were only a fantasy, Caitlin must now accept that these supernatural creatures do exist—and that they have traded in their ancient swords and horses for modern guns and sports cars. Hopelessly outmatched, she accepts help from a trio of unlikely heroes: Eddy, a psychiatrist and novice wizard; Brendan, an outcast Fian warrior; and Dante, a Magister of the fae's Rogue Court. Moving from the busy streets of Boston's suburbs to the shadowy land of Tír na nÓg, Caitlin and her allies will risk everything to save Fiona. But can this disparate quartet conquer their own inner demons and outwit the dark faeries before it's too late?

Mass Market Paperback





The Results

2014 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR Winner!






Cover Wars started as a way to recognize and celebrate the talented individuals who bring books to life with their eye-catching covers. While I may not judge a book by its cover, a terrific cover will certainly make me want to know what is on the inside.

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Winner


The winner of the July 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is The Stolen by Bishop O'Connell with 101 votes equaling 34% of all votes. The Stolen was published by Harper Voyager Impulse in digital format on July 22, 2014 and will be published in Mass Market Paperback on August 5th. You may read an interview with Bishop here.



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Winner





The Final Results

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Winner





The July 2014 Debut Covers

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Winner



Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue with voting on the August Debut covers starting on August 15, 2014. Look for the list of August's Debuts on August 1st.

Interview with Bishop O'Connell, author of The Stolen - July 22, 2014


Please welcome Bishop O'Connell to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Stolen is published today digitally by Harper Voyager Impulse and will be out in Mass Market Paperback on August 5th. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Bishop a Happy Publication Day!



Interview with Bishop O'Connell, author of The Stolen - July 22, 2014




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Bishop:  Thanks for inviting me. The first story I wrote that got a positive reaction was penned in Mrs. Bugg’s (yes, her real name) first grade class. It was three pages long, and I was very proud of it. I can’t remember what it was about, but she read it to the class at story time. It was well received and for a short time, I was a minor celebrity. I’ve always been a storyteller. Even as I pursued other career paths, I still wrote short stories, and even poetry. I also took to the stage for a while, with aspirations of becoming a professional actor. I eventually gave that up, but I did learn how to verbally tell a story as well as write one. I love the connection, the escape, and being able to bring others into a new world. Or show them a new aspect of this world. To me, that’s a special kind of magic, a real kind of magic.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Bishop:  I really try to be a plotter, but I’m a panster to the core. In both The Stolen and its sequel, I tried outlining but in no time at all, the story went down a different road. I’ve even tried just outlining what key things I want to have happen in specific chapters, but that doesn’t work out either. My characters are very real to me, and I’m often surprised by them and how they shape the story. I’d liken it to planning a road trip. I have a destination in mind, but if I see an interesting side road, I take it. Sure, sometimes I hit a dead end, but other times I find some truly spectacular hidden places.



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Bishop:  Honestly, it’s finding the time. Unfortunately I don’t have as much free time to write as I’d like. I travel a lot for my job and work long hours on top of that. I’ve never been someone who could sit and write for just half an hour. When I write, I become lost in the story. It takes me a good twenty minutes, though often times more, to get into the groove, but when I do, I don’t want to stop. Hours go by without my realizing it. It takes times to cast a proper spell. I try to give myself one day a week to write, and it’s normal for me to spend the entire day doing so. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been hard at work and, at seeing the time, realize the reason I’m so hungry is I haven’t eaten in twelve hours.



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Bishop:  I have the usual suspects on my list of favorites: J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis, R.A. Salvatore, and such. But, I really enjoy The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. I love his humor and how his characters are flawed, but those flaws just add to the depth of those characters.



TQ:  Describe The Stolen in 140 characters or less.

Bishop:  What happens when a normal person learns faerie tales and magic are real and then gets thrown feet first into a world they thought existed only in children’s stories.



TQ:  Tell us something about The Stolen that is not in the book description.

Bishop:  It’s based on a true story. Just kidding.

Or am I?



TQ:  What inspired you to write The Stolen? Why write about the Fae?

Bishop:  I’m a big fan of W.B. Yeats, and “The Stolen Child” is one of my favorite poems. It’s also been nicely done by a few artists into song—The Waterboys and Loreena McKennitt specifically. Those songs and the poem make the idea of being taken away by faeries sound so beautiful and magical. Then I began to wonder about the other side of that story. What about the parents? What happens after the child is stolen? Why would faeries take a child? How would the average person react to having her child stolen?

As for writing about the fae, I’ve always loved faerie stories. As a kid playing D&D, I invariably wanted to play the elf. However, I found it incredibly unfair that elves couldn’t be bards. I started reading about various mythologies in the fifth grade. My grade school offered elective courses during the year, and for two hours, two days a week, you studied some subject outside the normal curriculum. Most kids picked music, or dance, or sports, the usual things. I took a mythology class and was hooked! It started with Greek mythology, but quickly grew. I’m also very proud of my Irish heritage, and I have a special place in my heart for Irish faerie stories.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Stolen?

BishopThe Stolen has a lot of Irish myth and legend in it, so I read the old stories again to familiarize myself with them: Fionn McCool and the Fianna, Tír na nÓg, Diarmuid and Grainne, the story of Oishin, the Wild Hunt in its various incarnations, and the like. Ultimately though, the mythology in the An American Faerie Tale universe is my own, if heavily influenced by traditional faerie tales. I wanted it to be familiar to those who know and love the old stories, but different enough to make it interesting and a bit intriguing. Not unlike visiting a country that speaks the same language, but a different dialect.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Bishop:  The easiest was probably a tie between Edward and Brendan. From the start they felt the most real and complete to me, the most relatable. Edward, for me, is an homage to geeks everywhere who’ve always wanted to be a wizard (myself included). He’s what I think would happen if any of us ever got our wish.

The hardest, without a doubt, was Caitlin. I struggled with her from the start. Not because she’s a woman, but because she’s a mother. I don’t have children and I think it’s hard for someone without children to understand the pain and fear of losing a child. I talked with my friends who are parents, but it’s not the same. It took a lot of hard work, but in the end, I think I’m happiest with how she turned out.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from The Stolen.

Bishop:  There are two examples, though more than a couple lines each, that I think really show everything you need to know about the characters.

The first is when Edward is alone and doesn’t hear Dante come up behind him. Edward speaks first:

“No, that’s not creepy at all.”
“What isn’t?” Dante asked.
“Jesus!”
“No, but people confuse us all the time,” Dante said through a smile. “Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.”
“I know cats that make more noise than you.”

The second is when Brendan, who wears a kilt, encounters a security guard in a dance club who won’t let him into the VIP section:

“Not going to happen,” the man said. “Now, why don’t you go back to your renaissance faire before something bad happens to you?”
“Sorry?” Brendan leaned in close. “I don’t think I heard you right. Did you just ask how far I could put me boot up your arse?”



TQ:  What's next?

Bishop:  I’m currently working on the sequel to The Stolen, it’s titled The Forgotten. In it I take the idea of merging science and magic, specifically some of the interesting and seemingly counter intuitive parts of quantum mechanics. I combine that with the idea of how our perception of reality can shape reality. I’m really stretching myself on this one, but I like how it’s coming. Perhaps because I felt like a needed more of a challenge, I’m also trying the concept of an unreliable narrator. I’m sure I’ll need to go back and do a lot of editing to get right, and to keep the reader from being completely lost, but I think it’s also something that people will enjoy, and make them think. I like to say that I don’t espouse the belief in magic, merely in the possibility of magic.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Bishop:  Thank you for this opportunity! I hope your readers really enjoy the book.





The Stolen
An American Faerie Tale 1
Harper Voyager Impulse, July 22, 2014
     eBook, 336 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, August 5, 2014
     Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages

Interview with Bishop O'Connell, author of The Stolen - July 22, 2014
Tonight, for the first time in over a century, a mortal child will be kidnapped by faeries.

When her daughter Fiona is snatched from her bed, Caitlin's entire world crumbles. Once certain that faeries were only a fantasy, Caitlin must now accept that these supernatural creatures do exist—and that they have traded in their ancient swords and horses for modern guns and sports cars. Hopelessly outmatched, she accepts help from a trio of unlikely heroes: Eddy, a psychiatrist and novice wizard; Brendan, an outcast Fian warrior; and Dante, a Magister of the fae's Rogue Court. Moving from the busy streets of Boston's suburbs to the shadowy land of Tír na nÓg, Caitlin and her allies will risk everything to save Fiona. But can this disparate quartet conquer their own inner demons and outwit the dark faeries before it's too late?

Mass Market Paperback


You may read an 8 chapter excerpt of The Stolen at Harper Voyager!





About Bishop

Interview with Bishop O'Connell, author of The Stolen - July 22, 2014
Bishop O’Connell is a consultant, writer, poet, blogger, and member of the New Hampshire Writer’s Project. Born in Naples, Italy while his father was stationed in Sardinia, Bishop grew up in San Diego, CA where he fell in love with the ocean and fish tacos. While wandering the country for work and school, he experienced autumn in New England. Soon after, he settled in Manchester, NH, where he collects swords and kilts. But he only dons one of those two in public. He can be found online at A Quiet Pint (http://aquietpint.com/), where he muses philosophical on the various aspects of writing and the road to getting published.

A Quiet Pint  ~  Twitter @BishopMOConnell



2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Stolen by Bishop O'Connell


2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Stolen by Bishop O'Connell


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge.


Bishop O'Connell

The Stolen
An American Faerie Tale 1
Harper Voyager Impulse, July 22, 2014
     eBook, 336 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, August 5, 2014
     Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Stolen by Bishop O'Connell
Tonight, for the first time in over a century, a mortal child will be kidnapped by faeries.

When her daughter Fiona is snatched from her bed, Caitlin's entire world crumbles. Once certain that faeries were only a fantasy, Caitlin must now accept that these supernatural creatures do exist—and that they have traded in their ancient swords and horses for modern guns and sports cars. Hopelessly outmatched, she accepts help from a trio of unlikely heroes: Eddy, a psychiatrist and novice wizard; Brendan, an outcast Fian warrior; and Dante, a Magister of the fae's Rogue Court. Moving from the busy streets of Boston's suburbs to the shadowy land of Tír na nÓg, Caitlin and her allies will risk everything to save Fiona. But can this disparate quartet conquer their own inner demons and outwit the dark faeries before it's too late?



Guest Blog by Bishop O'Connell, author of Three Promises, The Stolen and The ForgottenReview: The Forgotten by Bishop O'Connell, Video Interview and Giveaway2014 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR Winner! Guest Blog by Bishop O'Connell: Why an “American” fairy tale? and Giveaway - August 6, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 WinnerInterview with Bishop O'Connell, author of The Stolen - July 22, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Stolen by Bishop O'Connell

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