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The Singing Warrior: Niamh Ni Bhroin

I often talk about writing, and the fact that I like to work on various writing projects.

My credo is: I like all kinds of music. Why should I be button-holed into only one writing genre?

One of the things I do ‘on the other side’ is write articles, interviews and the occasional book review.

These days I don’t do many of the latter as I just don’t have the time. Something had to give to make way for other projects, and for me it’s been book reviews.

I have to really want to read the book if I’m going to give up precious time I could be working on other projects, writing, or spending time with my family.

I don’t always mention when something gets published, because, well, that seems boastful and unwarranted.

But I’m making an exception today specifically because of the subject: Niamh Ni Bhroin.

True to the title of this website, I wanted to share a little about my Adventure with Niamh.

I’ve published a few interviews and book reviews with Niamh, author of The Singing Warrior.

Irish-born Niamh’s story is harrowing yet compelling, as she tells of childhood suffering and pain: desperately missing her beloved father when he’s out to sea for months and years on end, a mother who did her best but could never quite cope, the vulnerability as a young child of being perceived as ‘different’ and odd, the psychological and physical abuse at the hands of her Catholic school nuns, rape at age nine by a friend’s father.

And more. Much more.

Yet Niamh’s story is also one of not only surviving, but of making peace with her past. Eventually coming out on the other side, emotionally intact. Prevailing.

I learned of the book from my writing mentor, the inimitable Jo Parfitt. Jo is Niamh’s publisher (her Summertime Publishing specializes in expat books).

When I read the book, I knew that I wanted to interview Niamh.

I also knew that I wanted to meet her.

And I did.*

If you ever have the opportunity to meet Niamh, you will be struck immediately by three things:

  • she is a force of nature, full of spark and energy that enliven her conversation;
  • she is a truly caring, considerate person who draws you in and makes you feel as if you’ve know her forever; and
  • she has to be one of the most positive people I’ve ever encountered. She bears no grudge, no ill will, no anger or bitterness.

In the space of one year, Niamh has written and published her book, put out a CD of songs she’s written and performed chronicling many events in the book, released an audio tape of the book in which she narrates the book in her lovely Irish accent, and developed a one-woman show that is scheduled to open in selected theatres in June.

All while teaching various courses that encourage others to release those anchors of their own pasts that weigh them down, or that help writers get their own stories out.

I can only say that I have been touched by Niamh’s story. I believe in her voice: both the voice of her story on the page, and her voice in song.

My review of The Singing Warrior was featured recently by Expatica. I awoke the next day to find that Niamh had written the loveliest post about the TSW review on her site.

To say that I was bowled over is an understatement.

Such a good, good soul.

If you get a chance, check out Niamh’s site TheSingingWarrior.com.

I’ll be attending a closed preview of her show, The Singing Warrior Live, in a couple weeks.

I can’t wait to see what this marvelously upbeat, amazingly deep woman will do!

*In the interest of full disclosure, I want to clearly state that I never contact any author for an interview unless I’ve already read their book and written any reviews. And I question them and draft the interview before I meet them. It’s vital to my integrity that what I write accurately captures the back and forth of an interview, or my views on a given book. I don’t review books or conduct interviews as a favor, or for payment.

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