Mythology, History, and Irish Stew
With Shauna Lawless, Author of The Children of Gods and Fighting Men
When Shauna turned 30, a relative challenged her to start writing again. After setting aside the initial (quite reasonable) excuses - that she had two young children and was working full time! - she and her husband carved out just one hour every other day for her to write.
Six years later, walking out of the library, my eye fell on a book in the New Releases section: The Children of Gods and Fighting Men, by Shauna Lawless.
When I finished reading the novel (quickly and quite late at night!) I was hungry, not only for Shauna’s second book, but also to learn more about the three great conflicts she effortlessly weaves together through compelling characters and a strong, fast-paced story line set in 1000AD. The first conflict is between the mythological Tuatha Dé Danann and Formorians, the second between the real-life, historical Nordic warriors and Kings and Queens of Ireland, battling for kingdoms, and the third between the pagan and Christian belief systems that battled for both hearts and power in Ireland. It is simply astounding to me that Shauna was able to do.
I am so, so thrilled Shauna came on to talk about all of this and more - including the simple potato, beef, carrot, and onion Irish stew her father made for her and now she and her husband make for their 3 boys. This is the stew you want when you come back from hours of walking in the Mourne Mountains of Northern Ireland, where Shuana lives. It’s the stew you crave when you stand on an ancient cliff and look out over the same angry sea from which the Kings and Queens of Ireland saw Nordics ships approach 1000 years ago.
I’m am so excited for all you’re going to learn from Shauna over the next 90 minutes, so I’ll stop talking now, just as soon as I say a huge thank you to Shauna for coming on - and an equally massive thank you to YOU for being here.
- 00:04:38 Wild Ireland, including the Mourne Mountains, where Shauna was born and raised
- 00:10:02 Warm, cozy 4 ingredients Irish stew
- 00:13:09 How Shauna’s family personalizes their beef stew recipe
- 00:20:04 The history of potatoes in Ireland, including the tragic Potato Famine
- 00:27:00 Finding time to write.
- 00:34:34 Writing a bestselling novel in just 4 hours a week.
- 00:40:34 The best way to get better at writing.
- 00:46:48 How writing what Shauna loved was the key to getting published.
- 00:54:04 Ancient Irish mythology - the Tuatha Dé Danann vs the Formorians
- 00:59:12 Irish history: the Celts, the Norse, and the Irish. England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.
- 01:10:46 The clash and merging Pagan Mythology and Christianity
- 01:15:01 Religion as power vs. religion as life, then and now.
Also listen on:
This Episode's Storied Recipe
The Irish have made this simple, thick & hearty beef stew for 1000 years. With just 4 simple ingredients and a slow cooker (or a pot and stove!), you can make it today.
How To Contact Shauna Lawless