Today I join Tracey Iceton on tour with White Leaves of Peace, the final part of the explosive Celtic Colours Trilogy, just released with Cinnamon Press.
Set in Northern Ireland both around the time of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and June of 2016 just after the Brexit referendum, we follow Cian Duffy as he confronts his past as well as the future that awaits him.
Tracey has written a guest post entitled ‘Family Ties in the Celtic Colours Trilogy’ so I do hope you enjoy.
[ About the Book ]
The final part of the explosive Celtic Colours Trilogy. When the big men get around the table on Good Friday of 1998 and sign up to peace in Northern Ireland nine year old Cian Duffy’s story should have ended. Instead it is the beginning of a decade of Troubles for him. Haunted by his mother’s IRA past and chased by present day violence sectarianism, Cian ends up being forced to flee peace-torn Belfast. Facing a life in exile, he reconciles himself the past and makes a new life for himself, somewhere he feels he belongs.
Then Britain votes for Brexit; the old adage of England’s difficulty being Ireland’s opportunity is tabled yet again and Cian has to confront the past and the future.
White Leaves of Peace is a stark reminder that ending a war takes more than the signing of a treaty. Peace is hard won. You have to fight for it.
Family Ties in the Celtic Colours Trilogy
by Tracey Iceton
From the moment I was inspired to write about the Irish Troubles, during a visit to Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, I planned to write a trilogy. I wanted to explore what this conflict meant for a family down the generations as the situation evolved. How would each generation react to political developments? What would it mean for them individually and as a family? Doing so would, I hoped, offer readers some insight into the personal cost of the Irish independence struggle through exploring the role of family ties in the Troubles.
Part one, Green Dawn at St Enda’s, introduces the Devoy family to readers through the main protagonist, Finn, a pupil at Patrick Pearse’s St Enda’s College for Boys. As Pearse played a key role in the 1916 Easter Rising Finn duly becomes involved in that rebellion. But Finn’s father and grandfather have a history of involvement with Fenianism, the forerunner to Irish Nationalism, which also motivates him to join the fight for Irish independence.
Part two, Herself in Orange Rain, then picks up the story in the 1980s, following Caoilainn Devoy, Finn’s granddaughter, and charts her participation in some of the IRA’s high profile campaigns of that bloody Troubles decade. Although Caoilainn fights for the Cause in response to the injustices as she perceives them, she is also spurred on by the knowledge that this struggle is in her family’s blood.
Part three, White Leaves of Peace, takes a different approach. Cian Duffy, the novel’s main character, bares the burden of generations of family involvement with Irish Republicanism. The novel charts his life from aged 10 to 28, covering the years 1998-2016 and including real events of the period. He, like many of his generation growing up post the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, finds himself dogged by a past that is his by birth, a legacy he can’t shake off. While he respects the traditions of his family he realises that there are long-lived consequences, consequences that he, who has never sought to involve himself with violent activism, now has to face.
Having researched the experiences of young people from this peace-time generation I wanted to portray the difficulties they faced as they tried to live a peace that was, at times, a promissory note. While young Northern Irish people of Cian’s generation are overcoming some of the sectarian divides of the past, their families don’t always follow the example of their youngers and wisers. The novel depicts this, starkly at times, and Cian is very much the antithesis of his mother and grandfather although he ultimately finds that breaking with his past demands more than just cutting family ties.
Purchase Link ~ Amazon UK
[ Bio ]
Tracey Iceton is an author and creative writing tutor from Teesside who completed a PhD in creative writing at Northumbria University. An English teacher experienced in delivering creating writing courses and workshops, Tracey won the 2013 HISSAC short story prize for ‘Butterfly Wings’, was runner up in the 2013 and 2014 Cinnamon Press short story competitions with ‘Slag’ and ‘As the world (re)turns’, which appear in the anthologies Journey Planner and Patria. She also won the 2011 Writers Block NE Home Tomorrow Short Story Competition and has been shortlisted for the 2012 Bristol Short Story Competition with ‘Apple Shot’ and the 2015 Mslexia Women’s Short Story Competition for ‘Ask Not’.
Green Dawn at St Enda’s, her debut novel and part one of her Celtic Colours Trilogy, was published by Cinnamon Press in 2016 followed by Herself Alone in Orange Rain in 2017. White Leaves of Peace is the final part of the companion trilogy.
Tracey regularly reads at literary events. Her stories have appeared in; Prole, Litro, Neon, Tears in the Fence, The Momaya Annual Review, The Yellow Room and Writer’s Muse.
You can find her online on her website www.trywriting.co.uk.