Welcome to the page of Piper McDermot, author of the epic fantasy series, The Seventh Gate. I’ve always wondered what it feels like to talk about oneself in the third person. Now I know – so enough of that.
Wandered in by accident? Take a seat, I’ll put the kettle on. Lovely to meet you! There’s nothing nicer for a writer than chatting to readers – that’s why I’m here, after all – so please don’t be shy to comment! Perhaps you’re interested in Celtic mythology, photography, or fantasy art. There’s a bit of each here, more in the future, and you can read more about Book 1 Season of the Wild Hunt , or click on the book cover for a free sample download over there —>
I suppose I should include some sort of resumé, but who likes reading those things? Not me. In one of my varied previous occupations, I spent my days as a recruitment consultant reading hundreds of them, so perhaps that explains my aversion. They also remind me of stockings. Not the hot lacy-suspender type, the other kind. Pantyhose.
An ugly word, perfectly suited to the devilish things. Uncomfortable and ludicrous in the African summer heat, they were part of the job requirement at the agency I worked for. Wearing superfine, barely-there ones only encouraged the boss-lady to sneak up behind you and pinch your legs to check that your tan was the result of nylon and not a weekend beside the pool. She was a fiery, red-haired Irish woman. No judgement, but if you are imagining the stereotype, you wouldn’t be far wrong, and she scared the $#*! out of me every time.
For ten years I told stories by taking pictures; hundreds of wedding stories, plus whatever else caught my eye and imagination, but it left me with a taste for the romantic. Now, before you run screaming for the hills because you hate romance in fantasy, let me clarify. If you’re familiar with any Celtic mythology, you’ll already know that who falls for whom, and what they (and everyone they know) do about it, is the basis for, and driving force behind, some of it’s greatest tales – and those are part of my inspiration. Happy-ever-after, or even just-for-a-while, is not guaranteed. I’ll be addressing the subject of the role and agency of women in heroic mythology – particularly the celtic variety – in upcoming blog posts.
the Seal Lady
“furry, flippered, and fishy-breathed”
Prior to the photography years, I worked at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town. It resulted in having an unexpected guest living in my house for two weeks.
We called her Selkie.
She didn’t like the touch of carpets, loved the kiddies blow-up splash pool, snored like a dodgy diesel lawnmower, and ruined my appetite for sushi for years. If I never caught the whiff of a pilchard or sardine again, it would be too soon. You’ll be happy to know Selkie recovered from her injuries, and was successfully released back into the ocean. Plus, I’m hoping it’s something you’ll remember about me when it comes to choosing an author to read – the whole seal-lady thing. Devious, aren’t I?
I’m also in danger of having a permanent crick in my neck from gazing up at the night sky whenever I get the chance. I’ve been fascinated by the stars ever since I realised they were there. That love of anything ‘Cosmos’ has melded comfortably with my passion for mythology, ancient history, and all things Celtic.
I have an excuse. My mother’s family is from Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland – Cora Droma Rúisc in Irish, meaning “the weir of the marshy ridge”. I vaguely remember the weir and the Shannon. It’s one of several rivers my brother almost drowned in. But that’s another story. The best part of visiting was feeding chocolate to Dolly, the jinnet (part donkey, part pony) and playing with Granny O’Hara’s kittens. She used to keep them in the stove so they would stay warm.
No, there were never any accidents…not with the stove, that is. No baked or broiled-kitty horror stories. Trust me, you don’t want to hear about what did happen.
I’ve a few tall-sounding tales to tell, now that I think about it, and I aim to collect a few more yet. When I’m an old lady sitting in my rocking chair on the porch, probably smoking a pipe or something equally offensive to my children, I don’t mind regretting some of the things I did do, but I never want to regret the things I didn’t do.
Some of my interests I followed up on with a BA in Archaeology, Psychology, Social Anthropology, and English Lit. at the University of the Witwatersrand. All have come together in my alternate history fantasy novels, inspired by mythology, with a dash of science fiction. So far, there’s two of those. Both are currently in the process of editing, and a third is on the way.
There are some amazing authors out there who are also blogging, sharing their insights into all aspects of writing and publishing. I find it hard to analyse the process, but if I come across something that makes me think “Yes, that!” I’ll share it here.
Take a meander through . . . and I hope you enjoy your time here. Be it gorgeous images, beautiful words and music, creatures and people, all conspire to inspire the writer.
I love to hear from visitors, so please feel free to leave a comment!