ciseán
CISEÁN SIOPADÓIREACHTA
Tá do chiseán siopadóireachta folamh.
Leabhair ghaolmhara
Údair ghaolmhara
Céadaoin
03
Feabhra
2016

Fainic! Tá na Lochlannaigh ag teacht... / Watch out! The Vikings are coming...

Chuireamar agallamh ar an údar, Máire Zepf. We interviewed the author, Máire Zepf.

Is dócha go bhfuil bua na samhlaíochta agatsa, ach conas ar smaoinigh tú ar chreatlach an scéil sa chéad dul síos? You obviously have a great imagination, but how did you come up with the overall concept of the story?

Is minic a chaith mé laethanta saoire mar pháiste i dteach mo shean-aintín Annie i gCo. Liatroime. Bhí seanteach éalárnach aici, lán deannaigh is draíochta. Thuas staighre, bhí doras aisteach ann nach raibh ag dul áit ar bith – amach chuig an gairdín ach thuas staighre. Ba gnách liom scéalta a chumadh faoin doras sin mar pháiste. In amanna bhí síoga taobh thiar de, nó caisleán dófheicthe. Sa tsraith seo, tá doras díreach cosúil le ceann Aintín Annie mar ‘portal’ go hamanna eile.

I spent many holidays as child staying in my great-aunt Annie's house in Co. Leitrim. It was an eccentric old place, full of dust and magic. Upstairs, there was a strange door that didn't really go anywhere at all - out onto the garden, but at first floor level. I used to make up stories about that door as a child. Sometimes there were fairies behind it, or an invisible castle. In this series, I imagined the self-same door, or one very like it, as a portal to times past.

Inis dúinn conas a chuaigh tú i mbun taighde ar an scéal. Do tell us how you went about researching the story.

Bhí sé an-thábhachtach dom go mbeadh an scéal cruinn, eolach agus suimiúil ó thaobh cúrsaí staire de, ní amháin maidir le fíricí agus eolas, ach ó thaobh tuairimíochta de chomh maith. Mar sin de, léigh mé cuid mhór ar dtús. Tá díospóireachtaí iontacha ann i measc stáirithe maidir le ról na mban i sochaí na Lochlannach, mar shampla. Chaith mé am sultmhar sna hiarsmalanna fosta. Tá an seandálaíocht rí-thabháchtach chun aithne a chur ar na Lochlannaigh mar nach bhfuil foinsí scríofa againn uathu. Tá páirt lárnach ag na hiarsmaí seo sa leabhar.

It was really important to me that the story should be accurate, informative and interesting from a historical point of view, not only with regard to facts, but also in terms of underlying opinion. So first and foremost, I read mountains of history books and papers on the Vikings. There are wonderful debates among historians about the role of women in Viking society, for example, that were fascinating to read as background. I spent time in the museums too. Archaeology is central to getting to know the Vikings, since they didn’t leave us written records. I was so inspired by the artefacts that I wrote them into the fabric of the story.

Cén carachtar is ansa leat sa scéal, agus cén fáth? Which is your favourite character in the book, and why?

Is brea liom carachtar Bjarki. Cailín beag Lochlannach atá inti, í gléasta i ngúna gealghorm le naprún bándearg, ach le claíomh adhmaid ina glac aici. Tá sí fíochmhar, fiánta, nó ba mhaith léi go bhfeicfidh daoine mar sin í cibé ar bith! Thaitin an íomha sin go mór liom agus mé ag scríobh.

I really like Bjarki. She's a little Viking girl, wearing a light blue dress and a pink apron, but with a firm grip on her wooden sword. She's a fighter - fierce and wild - or at least that's how she'd like people to see her! I loved watching her in my head while I was writing.

Cad é an rud is deacra duit, agus leabhar á scríobh agat? What's the most difficult part of the writing process, for you?

An tús! Bíonn leabhair nótaí líonta agam le smaointí, taighde déanta, plota socraithe agus aithne agam ar na carachtair. Ach ansin, cuirim leathanach glan amach romham agus tagann crith-eagla orm. Bíonn cinéal scéin stáitse ag na focail sílim. I ndiaidh an chéad caibidil, éiríonn gach rud níos fusa.

The beginning! I've my notebooks filled with jottings and thoughts, the research done, the plot worked out, and I know the characters inside out. I put a blank sheet of paper in front of me, and suddenly I’m paralysed by the sight. It is as if the words get stage fright! But luckily, after the first chapter, it all gets a lot easier.

Céard a mholfá do léitheoir gur mhaith leis/léi bheith ina (h)údar? What advice have you got for any reader who'd like to be a writer?

Léigh cuid mhór ar dtús. Más mian leat scríobh do pháistí, bí ag léamh leabhair do pháistí. Tugann sin tuiscint duit ar na seánra éagsúla agus na stíleanna a fhóireann d’aois-ghrúpaí difriúla. Agus ansin, deirfinn gur chóir bheith ag dréim nach mbeidh sé chomh furast is a shíl tú!

Read as much as you can, to begin with. If you want to write for children, then start reading children's books. That gives you a good understanding of the different genres and styles that are suitable for different age groups. And after that, all I can say is that you shouldn't expect it to be as easy as you might at first have thought!

Beidh Lá leis na Lochlannaigh ar fáil ó thús an Mhárta nó ar sheastáin LoveLeabharGaeilge ón 20 Feabhra. Lá leis na Lochlannaigh will be available from 1 March, or from LoveLeabharGaeilge stands in the bookshops from the 20th of February.

Blaiseadh pinn thíos / A sample of the book below:

Eolas faoi Cois Life · Sonraí teagmhála