WHAT if you had everything you thought you wanted, only for your world to come crashing down around you when you did?
That’s the quandary that faces Danny Morrigan, the protagonist of a new trilogy of fantasy novels written by local author Laurence Donaghy.
Set in modern-day Belfast, the series seamlessly weaves ancient Irish lore with very modern sensibilities in telling a modern fairytale about that most timeless subject – parenthood.
Combining authentic dialogue in the vein of Roddy Doyle and a vast and fully realised fantasy world, the ‘Folk’d’ trilogy mines the rich seam of Irish folklore to create an overarching mythology of faeries and Gods, fair folk and foul, and their far-reaching plans for Ireland.
In ‘Folk’d’ we first meet Danny Morrigan, stuck in a dead-end callcentre job he felt compelled to take to support his girlfriend’s unplanned pregnancy. Danny is a man tortured by regrets about what might have been. Coming home from the office, he finds his family have mysteriously vanished.
Slowly, inexorably, he is pulled into a parallel life that at first glance seems to be everything his heart desired.
Uncovering the mystery of what happened to his family, he begins a journey of incredible self-discovery as his family’s ancient legacy is revealed to him. He must look inside himself to ask the question of what he truly wants, and what he is prepared to sacrifice to recover it.
“It’s sort of semi-autobographical,” author Laurence Donaghy explained to the MAIL.
“I was 21 when I had my first child with my partner and the book reflects the experiences and responsibilities I had at quite a young age.
“I got the idea for the book one day when I was on the bus travelling home from work. I had this crazy thought; what would happen if when I got home my partner and son were no longer there, they vanished. What would I do?”
“So the idea for the trilogy grew out of that, and I started writing it about two years ago.
The 30 year-old writer, born and bred in Belfast, combined his love of “high flying fantasy” and modern Ireland to create a story enlaced with real-life metaphors.
“Danny, the main character, is young, he’s in his early twenties and has to abandon his degree after his girlfriend falls pregnant. He does the decent thing and finds work to support them and the baby leaving behind the lifestyle that he wanted. So there is a little bit of resentment there.
“Danny returns home one day and his partner and son have vanished with an air of mystery and now he has the life he thought he wanted.
So without spoiling the book, Danny is left to answer the question of whether he really wants his family back, or not.”
Danny’s journey continues in ‘Folk’d Up Beyond All Recognition’ and concludes in ‘Completely Folk’d’ set to be released soon.
Although set in Northern Ireland the ‘Folk’d’ trilogy purposely avoids the theme of religion and the Troubles, and is brought to life by Donaghy’s inclusion of gritty, real-life Belfast prose.
‘Folk’d’ is available to buy from Amazon today, Thursday May 10th.