Before there was the novel, there were the stories...

by Nan Hawthorne, who also writes under Christopher Hawthorne Moss, Books and Stories b ChristopherHawthorne Moss at

Friday, January 22, 2010

Biographies: Heather of Ayr

Heather's original author was Linda Laaksonen, one of those talented victims of my efforts to rope people into playing The Story with me.  She is the artist who drew the exquisite sketches of Heather you will find in the "Old Drawings" -- see link on the right.  Linda and I did not stay in touch after my family mooved from Sacramento to Chicago, so most of Heather's story is entirely of my making. 
The stories that will follow here are, as noted, not consistent with the biographies of Shannon, Heather or Rory, but were in part discarded after the publication of the first novel.

Heather of Ayr, aka Heather O'Neill, was born in a small billage in Ayr in southwest Scotland.  She was the child of a wandering peddlar who romanced and then abandoned Heather's mother.  Mother and daughter were forced to strugle to survive by weaving woolen cloth.  By the time her mother died, Heather had developed a deep distrust of men in general, and travelers in particular.

When Heather was about twenty years of age she met Shanoon O'Neill, an itinerant bard who had accompanied the husband of one of Heather's friends to their village.  Shannon worked at odd jobs for her for a time, and in the end they were married.  Almost immediately the relationship began to suffer.  Shannon insisted the two travel to Críslicland so he could take up his position with the king's court there.  Though heather did not want to leave Scotland, she went along, finding life at court with the fllirtatious Shannon unbearable.  She left him and returned to Ayr, not telling him she was pregnant with their daughter. 

Heather settled back in at the cottage where she had lived with her mother.  She investigated a means to nullify her marriage to Shannon, and succeeded in gaining her freedom.    She then met a Northumbrian farmer and married him. 

There is no further  record of Heather, nor of her and Shannon's daughter, but we may reasonably assume they went to live with heather's new husband north of Tyne.  Shannon, learning of the annulment, had apparently attempted suicide, but proved to have survived the attempt, later returning to Críslicland.  He never learned about the remarriage and never went looking for Heather or his daughter.

Next: Biographies - Rory McGuinness

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About the author

Nan Hawthorne now writes under the name Christopher Hawthorne Moss. You can contact Christopher at .