Aoife McDermot DeClare

Biography

South Florida native.

Smashwords Interview

What do your fans mean to you?
Ummm, I'm not sure I have any fans.
What are you working on next?
Organizing a massive database of European and American history that has resulted from researching my ancestors. Apparently they were very assiduous in producing progeny. After discovering more than 40 family members who participated in the American Revolution from New York regiments alone, I started looking up names in the family tree. Many, many of them I recognized from college history courses. There appear to be three main reasons why people emigrated from Europe; economic, religious and unfavorable positioning in the line of inheritance. Lots of Americans have European nobles in their DNA donor base, because so many sons of nobles did not inherit titles and/or land unless they were the firstborn. The daughters could at least marry into a higher or equal position to their parents but younger sons definitely got the short end of the stick. Primogeniture resulted in a ton of dispossessed younger sons coming to the North American colonies to seek their fortunes.

I came across the Heimskringla, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway that was written in the early 13th century I think. J.R.R. Tolkien would have read this. One of the kings was Gandalf (the real one not the fictional one) and his name in Old Norse supposedly meant "wand elf" which would probably have meant a wizard. The real Gandalf was the grandfather of Ragnar Lothbrok, the famous Viking. There was also a real King Frode (Frodo) and the land of Vestfold. Sound familiar? Here's a quote that ties Gandalf, Frode & Vestfold together in a single sentence:

...After Halfdan the Black's death, many chiefs coveted the dominions
he had left. Among these King Gandalf was the first; then Hogne and
Frode, sons of Eystein, king of Hedemark; and also Hogne Karuson came, Alfhild
from Ringerike. Hake, the son of Gandalf, began with an expedition of
300 men against Vestfold, marched by the main road through some valleys...

So Tolkien wove his story of the Lord of the Rings from the warp and weft of the actual lives of the ancient kings of old. And Gandalf's daughter Alfhild was supposedly married to Sigurd "Ring" Randversson, but I haven't been able to find out why "Ring" was Sigurd's nickname, but Ragnar Lothbrok was supposedly his son. There are also references elsewhere to "Alfheim" which would have meant "elven home". So Tolkien's imagination must have been fired by his readings in old Norse history, and other sagas and eddas.

There are also interesting references in the Ynglinga Saga to standing stones. One in particular states (in Part 8 - Odin's Lawgiving
http://www.wisdomlib.org/scandinavia/book/heimskringla/d/doc4939.html)
"For men of consequence a mound should be raised to their memory, and for all other warriors who had been distinguished for manhood a standing stone; which custom remained long after Odin's time."

So all those standing stones dotting the landscape(s) in Europe, apparently have warriors buried beneath them. There's no explanation of why standing stones are, in many cases, arranged in various geometric patterns.

I love obscure information!
Read more of this interview.

Books

Flying Across the Sawgrass Prairie
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 107,670. Language: English. Published: June 3, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Adventure » General
The comedy/adventure story revolves around a woman building housing for farm workers in a rural ghetto, Sand Cut. The lives of a sociopath Rastafarian undercover agent aspiring to become an urban legend, an international arms dealer, bankers, human traffickers and poor farm workers become entangled with hers, which revolves around the simple goal of building houses for the poor.

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