For those of you who are unaware, Ballad is told from James' point of view. He was the bagpiping funny best friend in Lament, and he got upgraded to main character (making Ballad a standalone companion novel in the process). His story involves bagpiping, people getting burned alive, hungry souls, kings of the dead, and of course homicidal faeries. And snogging. There's always snogging. It's why I can't write picture books; they ask too many questions.
Anyway, so for Ballad Thursday #1 (I need a catchy name here), I thought I would share some embarrassing pictures of me from eight or ten years ago when I was first getting into my piping obsession. It was also before I had learned the meaning of the words "sexy" or "hairstyle," so I'm warning you, it will. not. be. pretty.
So. Join me as I saunter down memory lane.
Me looking sulky. Hey, I was 16. That was what my face always looked like.
Yes, I had hair down to my butt. What of it? Wait, I have further photographic evidence of long hair.
Me when I was 17 at an early Ballynoola band gig. I cut off all that hair in a rebellious act when I was 18. Partially to annoy my parents. Mostly to stop buckling it into my seat belt.
Yes, I had a kilt.
Me playing nicely in a group before my anarchic qualities kicked in in my 20s. Notice how they issued men sized small polos to the women. There was room for another piper in there. (That was not an invitation).
Me acting as both musician and bridesmaid at my older sister's wedding.I have always been good at multi-tasking. That is my husband's butt in the photo. We had just met a few weeks before this photo was taken. Which meant a few weeks after this photo was taken, we were engaged. See, I told you. Multi-tasking!
Now, before I leave you, I must tell the story of James and how he existed before this story. I actually wrote another novel with James in it before Lament came out and submitted it to agents. One agent wrote back that she was really enticed by the writing, but she was having a really hard time picturing a "rockin' bagpiper" without the benefit of, say, Korn backing them up. I fainted in a very Victorian manner and then I sent her this:
The Hellbound Train - Victoria Police Pipe Band
And you may also have this:
Congressional Reels (The Congress Reel, The Swallow Tailed Cost, Captain Chops, The Phoenix) - City Of Washington Pipe Band
If you're not convinced, I don't want to know.