Katie should run a magazine. Of course, unfortunately, most successful magazines are built on the exploitation of women, either sexually, or else, in the case of women’s magazines, on shaming us into feeling so ugly and inadequate that we spend millions every year on grooming and beauty products. (Look Jennie! I speak fluent Steinem-ese!)
But in a perfect world, Katie would run the most successful literary magazine in the world. Why? Well, first, she has an excellent eye for talent — but of course, she follows my writing, darlings. And second, she has a passion for reviewing and promoting. Katie’s magazine would feature the cream of the crop of writing, balanced out by clever, insightful and often witty reviews by Katie herself — hell, that curmudgeonly old Druid might make an appearance or two as well.
Katie discovered me through some oddball comment I made somewhere, and came and found me and made me her friend. That’s the best way to describe it, darlings — there’s no magic about it — Katie just decided one day that we were going to be friends, and that was that.
Wanting to reciprocate and read Katie’s blog, I quickly went over, and a strange look came over my face. I admit, I wasn’t quite sure what was going on.
“Who’s she talking to, Penny?” I asked. The Countess Penelope of Arcadia had been peering over my shoulder, crunching on dill pickle chips, and the vinegary tang was bringing tears to my eyes.
“Dunno,” Penny said, rudely smacking her lips in my ear. “You think maybe she’s a mental case? Oooh! Have you attracted your first mental case?”
Despite Penny’s enthusiasm at the prospect of having attracted someone with questionable mental stability, I was still unsure what I was looking at.
“I think she’s talking to an imaginary Druid that lives in her head,” I explained to Penny, who was trying to do a headstand in the middle of the living room, to see if she could eat pudding upside down.
“Like I said… ” she grunted. “Mental case. God, this was… so much easier… when I was twelve.”
I read on, and it all seemed to make a little more sense. Katie was projecting her inner dialogue with her muse out on to her blog. What a clever idea, I thought.
But then Katie would post excerpts from her novel in progress, and I was lost.
“It’s out of context, Katie,” I said. “It’s good, but I have no idea what I’m reading. Got anything complete I can read?”
It turns out she did. And I devoured them all. From Headless to the House of Carrick Close and its parter, Visitors, and then her most recent tale, The Sea. Katie, once she’s done re-inventing the literary magazine, should put together an anthology of re-imagined Old Irish Folk Tales. Katie loves playing with esoteric mythologies (I do, too!) and The Sea is definitely one that fits this well.
But then there’s her novel, which she keeps talking about, and this strange “D” character.
Well, darlings, it’s called Changelings, and over the Christmas break (oh, that seems so far away now) I was privileged to read a draft of it to offer my feedback and editorial prowess, for which I do believe I still have some pancakes coming my way. Any day now. Yep. The pancakes are coming in the mail.
About the novel — it really is a love letter to all the things that Katie holds dear. It weaves Irish history and magic and mythology and time travel and adventure — it’s an exciting read, and I learned so much, too. It’s clear that Katie didn’t just throw it together — she agonized over balancing historical events with fictional magical influence, and blending our world with the unseen world of the Fae together in such a brilliant way. Ask Katie — I couldn’t put it down. I think I read it in three days, neglecting everything but the essentials like bathing and eating. I may have even skipped a meal or two, so entranced was I by the spell her story had cast over me. Damn Druids and their cursed spells.
Sigh. I once made up an award for three special ladies, and Katie was among them. She’s been here for many months now, cheering me on and sharing my writing with whoever will listen.
I thank you from the bottom of whatever passes for my heart, darling.