Finding the Right Musical Weapon

Stone Song, the third book in the Cold Iron series is out June 9. Here, D.L. McDermott offers an inside look at how the book came to be.

When I started the third book in my Cold Iron series, Stone Song, I knew I wanted my heroine to be an Irish folk musician who my hero, Elada, the loyal right hand man of Fae sorcerer Miach MacCecht, has admired from afar for a long time. And I knew I wanted them to meet at Boston’s Black Rose, a bar near Faneuil Hall with a lively traditional music scene.

That was the easy part. The tough part was that I wanted to give Sorcha powers that stemmed from her musician abilities, and I wanted her to be able to channel those powers through an instrument that could also be a weapon. When I started researching traditional Irish music, I discovered the perfect thing in Ireland’s wire-strung harp, the cláirseach.

The cláirseach is the triangular harp you see on Irish coins and that appears in the Irish coat of arms. When I discovered that the metals used to string this harp included not only brass but gold, silver—and most importantly for fighting the Fae—iron, I knew I’d found Sorcha Kavanaugh’s weapon.

In Stone Song, Sorcha has traveled the globe learning how to play the wire-strung harp, but it’s only when she encounters the Fae that she learns the instrument’s true power—and her own Druid gifts.

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