Introducing W. L. Hawkin
Where did the idea for the story come from?
One night, I saw a photograph of the mummified fist and torso of Old Croghan Man in a National Geographic and was immediately struck by it. I wanted to know what happened to this man and give his life and death meaning. I started researching the archaeology and discovered Dr. Eamonn Kelly’s theories on Kingship & Sacrifice. He believes that Old Croghan Man was a deposed king who was ritually sacrificed to the goddess in around 300-200BCE.
Meanwhile in the epilogue of Book 2, To Sleep with Stones, Sorcha, the Irish archaeologist had been offered a gift by the ancient Horned God, Cernunnos. He’ll take her anywhere in the world to any culture she desires. As a teenager, Sorcha visited the National Museum in Dublin where Old Croghan Man’s remains were analyzed. Because Sorcha has the gift of psychometry, when she touched the metal on his leather armband she envisioned his face. This inspired her to become an archaeologist. So, Cernunnos takes her back to Iron Age Ireland to meet Old Croghan Man in the flesh. Naturally, Sorcha falls in love with Ruairí Mac Nia and determines to save him from his grisly fate.
Give a quote from the books, one that says little but speaks volumes.
One August, Estrada had come upon a six-hundred-year-old yellow cedar tree that had been split by lightning only minutes before. Its flesh was shredded in long furls and its raw smoky perfume caught in his throat and brought tears to his eyes. Electricity shook the leaves like a shaman’s rattle. Somewhere between smoke and brandied sap, its sticky blood drizzled down the rasps. He folded forward into its golden smoke. He thought of it now as he listened to Conall’s voice. It caught his gut like an iron fist and drew him in. Leaning over, he closed his eyes. He wanted more. He wanted to curl into Conall’s yellow cedar soul and steam.
(Conall is a Druid bard, and his voice is inspired by one of my muses, Peter Gabriel.)
Summarise your book in ten words or less.
When a fiery archaeologist meets an Iron Age druid destined to be ritually murdered, she falls in love. Can she change his fate or will she die trying?
What genre is it?
How many pages is it?
Why do you think the readers will want to read it?
It’s the only way you’ll ever get to experience this culture short of time-traveling there yourself!
Where are you located?
I live on the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada just east of Vancouver but dream of living in Ireland.
“Sorcha’s fingers flew to the fey butterfly tattooed on the back of her neck. Sometimes the butterfly brought her joy; other times, inspiration, but always a sense of hope. And she needed all three in this moment for her heart was breaking to see her man so broken.”
Sorcha just wanted to warn Ruairí of his fate until she saw him and fell in love. How could she leave him to be ritually murdered and cast in a bog to cure for two thousand years?
Though he’s lost and grieving the loss of his lover, when Estrada realizes his friend, Sorcha, is trapped in Iron Age Ireland, he demands that Cernunnos take him and Dylan back through time to rescue her. The Horned God states the rules: you cannot change history or develop bonds with anyone. How can Sorcha, the spirited archaeologist, survive this prehistoric warrior culture? Assuming she’s fey, Ruairí’s unscrupulous rival wants her power; but worse still, Ruairí’s lover, the wicked Crow Queen, wants her dead.
Can Estrada use his Wiccan powers and skills to defeat Iron Age Druids and bring his friends home?
Ruairí crossed his arms over his chest, then uncrossed them and ran a hand through his long, straight hair. The resin had been washed away by the rain and it fell over his right cheek like a silken curtain. “But the lake is—”
“I know. Freezing, but the fire’s warm,” she said, tugging off the leather boots. Then standing on his cloak in her bare feet, she turned. Skirt, jacket, and linen shift all fell away easily beneath the cloak.
“Sorcha . . .” Reaching over, he clutched her ankle.
“What? Is there a monster?” she teased, pulling free of his grip and dashing out the door with her cloak billowing out behind her.
Of course, there could be a monster. Some scientists were still trying to prove that Nessie was a long-necked plesiosaur who’d somehow escaped extinction and been trapped in Loch Ness. But the water called her so strongly she couldn’t refuse it.
At the edge, she hesitated for just a moment, turning back to see Ruairí’s anxious face in the doorway, and then she stepped off the rock into the sandy shallows. “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! It’s feckin freezing!” Her feet tingled, and she knew if she didn’t go now—
Flinging the cloak onto the rocks, she ran babbling, knees high, into the frigid water. “Holy feck! Holy feck!” When she was up to her waist, she took a breath and dove, screaming inside her head. Then, she swam out into the lake. Oxygen flooded her bloodstream and numbed her soul. She took a big breath of sweet, unsullied air, as turning to face the hut, she treaded water.
Ruairí was standing on the rocks by the shore some thirty yards distant, waving his arms, and shouting.
“Come in,” she yelled. “It’s brilliant!”
And then something long, chill, and slick slid past her leg.