12.18.2006

HH Com 143

BEFORE THEY WERE SAINTS tells the unknown story of Patrick, once a wealthy Roman, now enslaved, and Brigid, a powerful goddess turned mortal. Their unrequited love affair plays out against the backdrop of fifth-century Ireland, a place where history and myth live side by side. A blend of fact and imagination, my novel depicts the humanity behind the divinity, a love story full of magic, intrigue, and desire.


Brigid, a goddess, appears to Patrick during his long years in slavery, asking him to help the ancient deities, forgotten by the people. They fall in love and Brigid knows there is only one way to be with Patrick completely ­ to reincarnate as a mortal woman. When she disappears from his life, heartbroken Patrick escapes, only to return years later as a priest. When Brigid and Patrick meet again, their clashing visions for Ireland force them to choose their fate, or each other.


My essays and short fiction appear in small journal X, defunct journal Y, and local mag Z. The completed manuscript of BEFORE THEY WERE SAINTS is approximately 118,000 words and available for your review.


Theologically I find it very hard to believe that a man who has seen a female deity will convert to Catholicism and become a priest, but that's just me.

You're retelling a classic tale that we've seen in everything from Romeo and Juliet to City of Angels. You're going to need stellar writing to get past "been there, done that".

You've made the mistake here of giving us a flavorless rendition of events. You'd do better to pick one of the characters and show her/him with zest and energy, meeting up with the other one.

16 comments:

Bonnie Shimko said...

I love the title.

Anonymous said...

I think you're going to have to show your hand as far as what he's going to have to do in order to "help the ancient deities". I know there's an urge to cling to that sort of information because you may feel you're giving too much away, but without it, there's not enough cool stuff happening for me to pick it up.

It's tough figuring out what to divulge, and what not to, isn't it?

Annie said...

No, Miss Snark isn't the only one seeing theological problems here!

Moon Goddess said...

I think this sounds really good. There seems to be a huge market for historical fantasy set in Ireland, and I think looking at those two iconic figures in this way really is bringing something new to the story. It sounds like the kind of book I'd read and enjoy. Yay you.

Gabriele C. said...

As reader - not agent who has to sell the stuff :) - I'd browse that book if I found it in a store. Is sounds like an alternate take on the Legend of St.Patrick, and if it's historically sound and more than just a romance, I'd read it.

Writerious said...

Woman from an immortal race gives up her mortality to be with a male lover... sounds familiar...

Ah, yes, The Little Mermaid. And a boxful of other folk tales and cultural myths.

How come it is the woman always has to give up her world and her people to go move in with him, huh?

All that aside, there are whold fan bases that will gobble up anything celtic or pseudo-celtic, so there is an audience for this kind of tale. I'd make a real case, though, for why it is that Patrick is the only mortal who can help the immortal gods, since the "ordinary person is drawn into a fantasy world because he/she is the only one who can save their world" has been done to death.

What if Brigid (or rather, Brighit) seeks the power of the One God that the Church worships to invigorate the old gods? I dunno, just rummaging around for ideas.

Anonymous said...

very hard to believe that a man who has seen a female deity will convert to Catholicism and become a priest

I don't get this. It would help if author explained *why* Patrick converted...but it doesn't say he believed in the paganism or whatever spouted off by this goddess.

And it says "years later" he returns (5yrs, 10, 20?). I'm assuming a lot can happen in that period of time, including finding religion.

The author could explain more about the religion thing - but I don't think seeing the diety then years later becoming a Christian is mutally exclusive.

Bernita said...

Please look up the meaning of "unrequited."

Mark said...

I was ine of the angels on the beach in City of Angels.

Anonymous said...

Brigid, a goddess, appears to Patrick during his long years in slavery, asking him to help the ancient deities, forgotten by the people.

Just HOW is a guy going to get out there and kick butt for his goddess g/f if he's in slavery? The least she can do is give him a cake with a file in it.

Can't she pick on some non-slave Viking dude with mighty thews for this errand? Call it "Wake Up, Wotan, the Pipes, the Pipes are Calling."

HawkOwl said...

Actually the one thing the title brought to my mind is When we Were Kings which is probably not the connection you want.

Also, it's a great story. Really. And so are Tristan & Isolde, the whole Arthurian legend, the Ring (not the Ring as in The Grudge - the other one), Spartacus and the life of Christ. What else they have in common with your work: they've been done a lot of times. Not in different variants like the magical teenagers concept, but exactly as is, with just some different interpretation of the details. So while it's very possible to rock this paradigm (in fact one of my favourite books of all time is Rhinegold by Stephan Grundy), I think in order to sell it you're going to need to focus a lot more on what's unique about your version.

That being said, I'd look at it. I love this kind of thing.

A Paperback Writer said...

What about a Celtic story of Catholic priest gives up his way of life for the goddess Brigid? Now, that I'd want to read.

Anonymous said...

I was ine of the angels on the beach in City of Angels.
Cool! :)

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Umm okay, so I'm commenting on this one. I'd want to read this. ... Or more of it. I'm a Patrick kinda person. I'm very interested in the real Patrick, who may be a Catholic saint, but was far from being a Roman Catholic.

Attributing the qualities of gods and goddesses to saints is common. Yes, I would read more. I may not read much more, but I'd read more, mostly because there is a "feel" for the age of Patrick in this "hook" even if the interpretation is ... let's say ... a bit odd.

Sha'el, the Pixie,

herder of goats, Queen of the Sha, Princess Royal of the High Queen's House, Reader of Fantasy Fiction, writer of no note, and irritant to traditional Christians and self-proclaimed goddesses everywhere. ... I am cute though. See my wings? Aren't they pretty?

Anonymous said...

It's a very strange reversal: St. Patrick is the one who brought Christianity to pagan Ireland,- he was the main agent getting RID of the ancient deities..far from helping them.

I guess i'll presume that's the point..

Anonymous said...

What about a Celtic story of Catholic priest gives up his way of life for the goddess Brigid? Now, that I'd want to read.

Looks like this is supposed to be a historical, or historical fantasy. If the author is trying to be accurate, that probably wouldn't work.