D is for Donal Kennaugh

I would like to introduce you to Donal Kennaugh, one of the main characters in The Manx. I have enjoyed writing Donal’s character because there are  many secrets behind him. Throughout the story these secrets will come to light as he is forced to face  his past.

He lives in Ramsey with his mother, Brigid. He and his father were a sidecar team in the motorcycle racing circuit. During the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy race (also known as the TT), the bike went out of control. His father was killed, and Donal has not raced since, but still loves to ride on the rare days the sun shines on the island.

The main character of The Manx is Kaitlin Manning. She and Donal are first maternal cousins and spent childhood summers together adventuring around the Isle of Man. Donal took her to all of his secret places and they made up wild tales of kings and queens, knights and princesses. He slew dragons for her, spoke with the fairies, and wrestled bugganes. He was Kaitlin’s hero.

After his father’s death, the games suddenly stopped. It has been ten years since Kaitlin and her father visited the island, and they have returned to photograph the TT.

Donal and Kaitlin will once again take up their childhood adventures, but they will no longer be a games of pretend.

Note: Today calls for two blog posts in order to satisfy two blog writing challenges. A to Z Challenge’s daily post plus the Insecure Writers Support Group’s monthly post. 

This post inspired by – D

E is for Eclipse

B is for Buggane

In Manx folklore, the buggane is a fierce creature that is similar to a demon or ogre. Legend says that they cannot cross water nor can they be on sacred grounds. I have already told you about one of the bugganes that haunted St. Trinian’s Church, and today I want to tell you the story of another buggane.

Finn MacCooilley, an Irish giant, is most well known for his battle with a Scottish giant where the result of the battle was the formation of the Isle of Man and the first of the Manx people (a story coming later in the month with the letter I). MacCooilley ended up settling on the Isle of Man near Cregneash. The people of the area talked highly of Finn MacCooilley which made the buggane, who lived in nearby Barulle, jealous. The buggane challenged the Finn MacCooilley to a battle.

Finn’s wife was a smart sort and before the buggane got to their house, she disguised him and had Finn climb into the baby’s crib. When the buggane arrived, she told him that her husband was gone and only she and the baby were home. Looking at the size of the baby frightened the buggane so he left.

The buggane learned of the trickery and not long after, the two met at Kirk Christ Rushen. The battle was fierce lasting all day.  The buggane was in Port Iern and his feet made the wide opening there. Finn had one foot in the Little Sound and the other in the Big Sound each making the channels between the Calf, Kitterland, and the main island.

In the end, the buggane won the battle. MacCooilley tried to escape the Isle of Man over the sea where the buggane could not go. In his rage the buggane ripped a tooth from his own mouth and threw it at Finn trying to stop his escape. It hit Finn in the back of the head. As Finn MacCooilley fell into the sea, he cursed any who passed nearby.

His dead body formed Chicken Rock which, today, is topped with a lighthouse to warn sailors to steer clear.

This story, and many more, can be found in the 1911 book, Manx Fairy Talesby Sophia Morrison.

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Today’s post was inspired by: “B”

B-for-a-to-z

C — Cat

What Do I Love Most About My Genre?

What’s not to love? I do write in multiple genres (historical fiction, non-fiction, and fantasy), but my favorite is fantasy. Ever since a young age I loved tails about witches, vampires (Bela Lugosi was the best), fairies, and all the rest. I read the tame versions of the Brothers Gimm along with marathons of the old black and white Frankenstein-esque films.

My writing is on the tamer side of witchcraft and fairy tales. My first book (yes, I’m working furiously to get it out!) is based on the fairy tales and legends on the Isle of Man. They are pretty quirky stories that I still scratch my head about. One story is about St. Trinian’s Church and the monster haunting it. The monster, called a Buggane, hates all the noise the church builders are making during the day, so he rips off the roof every night. This goes on and on. The roof is on, the roof is off, night after night. Then a boy named Timothy makes a wager with the church that he can make a pair of pants inside the church before the Buggane can rip off the roof. They take him up on the wager just so the roof might stay on a single night. Timothy not only gets his breeches made, but he also angers the Buggane so much that it rips it’s own head off and vanishes. The church still stands today.

This is what I love about what I write. A tale of legendary monsters, a brave boy, and a building that still stands. One day, I will visit St. Trinian’s and touch the walls of history. Until that day I will write my own tales of the Buggane of St. Trinian’s.

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Today’s post is inspired by the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group). Our awesome co-hosts for the February 7 posting of the IWSG are Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!

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