I was supposed to meet Rab Swannock Fulton last year while I was visiting Ireland. But we passed each other like ships in the night, and I wasn't in Galway long enough to make a new plan. He did, however, get a limited-run printed copy of his novel, Transformation, into my hands. When I read the novella, I was totally blown away by his lyrical style. What at first seemed like a sweet love story went so horribly wrong, in the nicest, wrongest possible ways. I just knew I wanted to sink my red pen into this story--and now, a year later, this has come to pass. I am, however, going to let Rab speak for himself, and he's graciously stopped by my blog for a little Q&A. Welcome, Rab!
You're a professional storyteller based in Ireland. Tell us how that came about, and also what the average day in the life of a storyteller is.
Well I’ve aye been surrounded by stories, from the moment I was born I was surrounded by people either telling tales or reading tales. This has been going on in my family for generations in one for or tother. At the moment I’m telling stories and my sister is writing plays, whilst one nephew is acting. So we’re all into words in some form. As for why I turned professional. Well I’d been through a terrible few years of grieving when a friend of mine Clare Murphy – a wonderful Irish storyteller – asked me to come tell some stories with her. This was in 2006. And things just developed from there.
My average day, at the moment, is spent juggling between editing riskybizzness.blogspot.ie and trying to get the Folk Tales book written. I’m lucky in that I start my week days walking my son to his school. It’s a walk that can last anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour, depending on what distractions we come across – flowers, squashed foxes, ufo landing sites, that kinda thing. All the time of course there are stories running through the back of my head as I prepare for my weekly show in The Cottage Bar. The shows take place every Thursday night and I’m usually wiped out on Friday – its been a gey busy summer, shows packed to capacity. And then there’s always other shows going on. This weekend I was entertaining a private group of travel writers and journalists from Quebec, so its all go.
Transformation starts out as a love story, but things go horribly wrong. Can you tell us a little more about the background of the tale?
|Rab doing what he does best! Telling stories.|
Goats. These wonderful creatures are entrenched in Ireland's history. When I toured Ireland last year I saw a bunch of statues of goats here and there. Tell me more.
Goats go way back into Irish culture and identity and I use a little of that history in Transformation. They are definetly part of pre-Christian forms of engagement with life and the world. Funnily enough my Chinese star sign is the goat. And when I worked up in a farm in Leitrim there was a heap of goats there. The most delightful weird inquisitive creatures, with an old crabbit granny goat in charge of them all. So I guess I’ve aye had an affinity wae goats. I have another goat story, well a goat skin story, that I perform called Toby’s Wish, a lovely grotesque funny tale
What are some of your favourite stories that you tell to audiences?
It depends on the audience. But what I particularly love is listening to the stories that people bring into the audience. I have learnt so much about Galway just from older audience members telling me their family tales. And of course some of those tales touch on the stranger parts of Galway. I have met people, for example who have seen Hy Brazil.
Where can folks track you down for your sessions?
I’m lucky that locally and internationally word of mouth has served me very well. But the best way to keep up on my Celtic Tales show is keep an aye on the Celtic Tales page in my Marcus Marcus blog
Marcus Marcus & the Hurting Heart http://marcusmarcusthehurtingheart.blogspot.com