The Story Behind The Book

"The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker." - Albert Einstein

Kira Corning

I am lazy and I am the first to admit it…and my wife is usually second. So many times I decided to commit my ideas to writing, just to give up when I have found it difficult or something less arduous or more appealing to do comes along. Drifting is too easy.
The Fomor Prophecy is my first book and I have dedicated it to a young lady who has made me feel quite ashamed of all those times I have started and given up. Her name is Kira Corning and she lives outside Boston, Massachusetts in the U.S.A., with her parents and sister.
For the past five years Kira has been fighting a long hard battle against cancer. She has never given up despite numerous medical procedures, drug therapies, the highs of success and the lows of setbacks. At the age of nine she has spent more hours in a hospital bed than any of us hope to see in a dozen lifetimes. The best part is that she is winning her personal battle. In all her photographs you will see a girl smiling back as though she has not a care in the world; its milk and cookies time. What can never be fully realised is the spiritual strength that her parents, Ken and Renee (not forgetting sister Katana) have provided as the foundations of her ongoing recovery. Always being there to support their daughter in the darker moments and push her higher in the brighter ones; and through it all Kira has never ever given up.
I know in comparison it sounds pitifully trivial, but when I felt the desire to abandon The Fomor Prophecy and surf Ebay instead; Kira was the inspiration I needed to carry on. If she did not give up then how could I, hence the book's dedication; Your light of inspiration shines further than you imagine.


How it all began
My mother was born in county Kerry and my father in county Limerick, where I went to school for a while when I was twelve. They owned a small cottage in the middle of nowhere, under the shadow of Rooska Hill. Ireland, its culture and folklore planted the whisper of a story that waited to be told.
That idea finally took root about three years ago during a family summer holiday to the seaside town of Paignton, in Devon. I had been planning to start writing again and in preparation for the inevitable occasional hour of boredom, decided to bring some hastily scribbled notes along with me. Those notes were the seed of The Fomor Prophecy. Indeed if I had known back then what I know now, I probably would never have started it; three years of no spare time, writing into the early hours of the morning when I lost track of time, the rewriting large sections, the publishing houses automatic indifference and the cost of seeing my dream realised in print. But I did start it in that small rented apartment off the sea front one warm August summer evening and the seed has grown to completion. That takes care of the where part…now for the how part.
All around us we are surrounded by mysteries if we just open our eyes, they ignite the imagination and fan the flames. How much of the universe do we really understand? Probably not much more than the size of a small rock on a long sandy beach.
We are so complacent in our modern technology making us superior to our ancestors that we have become almost arrogant in being compared to them. But they live inside each of us and in turn we live in our offspring. Genetically it is just how life is. Taken in context with their times, the ancients have accomplished remarkable things. Which brings me to Newgrange on the east coast of Ireland. No one knows exactly when it was built or why, but it has been designed to exactly align with the rising sun at dawn every winter solstice, and it is still doing it five thousand years after the builders have gone. What will be left behind from our generation five thousand years from now and will they look more kindly on their primitive ancestors?

The Fomor Prophecy

Getting Published -
Save the cost of postage and put your manuscript in your own shredder. Unless you are a celebrity with a cook book or a politician with an autobiography, you will have more chance of walking on the moon, than getting anything other than a photocopied “We are sorry but…” letter from any established publishing house. I read the Writers Yearbook, formatted the first few chapters as they suggested and sent it off to two promising publishers. A few months later I received two letters on the doormat, both starting with the words; “We are sorry but…”.
One option was to try and get a literary agent on board but this often involves reading fees and retainer fees, with no guarantee of success. I also heard mention of the practice of literary agents requiring manuscripts handed over (for a hefty fee) to a “professional editor” for commercial butchering. It was at this stage that I had two fundamental choices: 1) give up or 2) find another way.
After a little research it became stunningly obvious that I was not the only person in the world with this issue, and a possible alternative was to employ the services of a self publishing company. Having read some good independent reviews of Grosvenor House Publishing, I took the plunge. Any concerns I had about the process were completely unfounded. In fact the only problem was due to my inability to proof read with any consistency, so after the manuscript was typeset (but before printing) my wife and son James helpfully discovered approximately eighty-five typo errors that were all my fault! Grosvenor House Publishing put them right for a small fee. They also advised on the cover layout and provide a range of photographs for your use should you require them. A huge thank you to Ruth Pulis  of GHP for all her kindness, patience and encouragement, her professionalism was exemplary. Without her help (and Tamsin Rush) The Fomor Prophecy might never have made it into print.

Waverley Abbey

The cover design
The story is set mainly on Inishmore, one of the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. It is a slightly spooky place, with the ghosts of past occupants whispering from the multitude of ruined stone structures. I wanted to capture that “just beyond reach” spiritual presence that they left behind, on the cover. Not an easy objective to set considering my ineptitude with a camera.
Having checked through the categories of cover photographs that Grosvenor House Publishing provide, I found nothing with the right feel. So the other alternative was to compose one myself from scratch.
Actually travelling to the Aran Islands would have been the most direct approach but unfortunately not the most practical. I will go back there again one day, when I have time. Where else could I find charismatic ruins closer to home? It was almost by accident (or divine intervention if you believe) that Waverley Abbey appeared - . One hot Saturday afternoon in July my wife , two sons and I went over to see the ruins at first hand, taking the opportunity to bring Monty the dog along for a run. As soon as we saw the once magnificent buildings on the path approaching I knew it felt right. The same ghosts were here too. After a few delightful hours in the sunshine playing hide and seek with Monty, it was time to go home and wait until dark. That night there was a full moon and beautiful clear sky that was too good to miss, so at ten p.m. we went back in the dark. As everyone else had gone home, we had the Abbey to ourselves. My wife, Joanne, took some photos with her Panasonic Lumix 12MP camera. She left the flash on to capture the dramatic light and dark contrast effect on the walls and the glowing orbs that floated above the grass on the warm night air. As we were preparing to leave, the full moon appeared above the hills on the horizon and she took a few long exposure shots of it.
The final cover was a horizontally cropped picture of the main ruin taken low through the wisps of grass; with the almost black night sky behind and dancing orbs in the foreground. The moon was increased in size and added from her final picture of the night. We left the ghosts to roam their Abbey once more.


With Thanks To:
My long suffering wife Joanne for proof reading and photography
My sons James (14 years old) and Peter (11 years old) for proof reading and encouragement
Christopher Hurley for the first reading of the completed manuscript
Kira Corning and her parents Ken and Renee
Ruth Pulis and Tamsin Rush of Grosvenor House Publishing
Wikipedia the online encyclopedia championing free access to the wisdom of others
Macromedia Dreamweaver without which this site would not exist
JASC Paintshop Pro and Animation Shop
...and Microsofts default U.S. spellchecker for correcting spellings that were already correct


Some final thoughts
One theory in The Fomor Prophecy is early artists’ depiction of three dimensional subjects in two dimensions i.e. reproducing images without depth perspective. There are examples of this simplistic style of art throughout early history, in book illustrations and on wall paintings. What if the same were true of the earliest stone sculptures too? Nobody knows the origins of the stone creations we call the Celtic Cross, but the design certainly originates far back in prehistory. If it really represents a three dimensional object, what could it have been?...

Celtic Spaceship

Science is a list of corrected mistakes and no knowledge is absolute. If I have learned anything in life it is to be true to what you believe in. If those beliefs give you strength and bring you happiness then that is enough. Whether it is religion, alternative medicine, crystals, energy meridians, alien visitors… or even science; there is something for everyone to embrace, we just need to find it.

I have seen The Fomor Prophecy to print at last, and if it brings pleasure to just one reader for a short while or makes just one person question the motives of the universe then it will all have been worthwhile. Thank you, Gerard Dowling