No Irish Need Apply

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Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.

It’s Irish History Month and, as an Irish American whose ancestors were once scapegoated by the “real Americans” who didn’t want the dirty Irish immigrants in “their” country, I will not stand idly by while others fan the flames of xenophobia and hate. Continue reading

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When the World went to War

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Did you know that many West Virginia coal miners volunteered for WWI because their life expectancy would actually go up? Continue reading

In-Betweens, Thin Veils, and a Ghost Story or Two

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The infirmary at Canterbury Shaker Village, Canterbury NH, photo by Shannon Barnsley, October 2012.

“It was Gate Night, the night before All Hallows’ Eve. Distant memories of the old stories nagged at me. During All Hallows’ Eve the veil between the world of the living and the word beyond was lifted. Our world and their world all blurred together like ink running on a page in my old primer when we schoolgirls would try to run home in the rain, shrieking and splashing up mud all the way.”

– Shannon Barnsley, Beneath Blair Mountain Continue reading

We Will Go Home Across the Mountains


Happy St. Patrick’s Day, all! As an Irish American, a mythology/religion major, and a pagan, I have a lot of complicated feelings about this holiday, but I do appreciate the chance to revel in the swirling, turbulent history of our world and my own family (and blast my Irish folk music without restraint). Continue reading

Fey as Folk: Summer Writing Project 2015

So, as devoted readers may remember, I’m participating in the Summer Writing Project, a collaboration between serial writing venue JukePop, indie publisher Black Hill Press, and 1888center. My novella, Beneath Blair Mountain, is current holding fifth in the rankings, but I could use some love, whether you choose to read, comment, vote, share, or just give me a hearty thumbs up.

Beneath Blair Mountain is a fusion of Urban Fantasy/Horror/Mythic Fiction and Historical Fiction/American Gothic, so there should be something for everyone, whether they like myth, folk culture, rural Appalachia, dark fey, Edwardian period pieces, ghost stories, political and social commentary, Irish gunrunners, or American history. Here’s the description if you’re interested: Continue reading

Need a Summer Getaway? Try Blair Mountain

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Great news! I’m participating in the Summer Writing Project, a collaboration between JukePop, which is revitalizing the serial, and Black Hill Press, which publishes the long-neglected shortform that is the novella. What does this mean? Well, it means that you can read my novella, Beneath Blair Mountain, as I update it serially all summer. Continue reading