December 7, 2016
Aired Wednesday, 7 December 2016, 8:00 PM ET
One of my favorite songs by Justin Hayward and Ray Thomas of the Moody Blues is “Are You Sitting Comfortably,” a transcendent, meditative piece from the 1969 album, “On the Threshold of a Dream.” Backed by a soothing blend of Thomas’ flute, Hayward’s guitar and Mike Pinder’s mellotron, the lyric invited us to take a magical journey to an ancient time.
Ride along the winds of time and see where we have been,
The glorious age of Camelot, when Guinevere was Queen.
It all unfolds before your eyes
As Merlin casts his spell.
What if we could be magically transported back to those days of chivalry, romance, magic and adventure. What if Camelot were here and now?
My guest, Carmel Niland, give us this gift with a little bit of a twist in the first novel in her series of Merlin’s Secrets, A Darker Magic This Way Comes.
Carmel, a true renaissance woman, is as fascinating a character as the ones she creates. In public, Carmel Niland has been a formidable leader, a CEO working for the largest state government in Australia, heading multifaceted agencies that champion gender and racial equality, human rights, child protection and disability services. In private, Carmel has been fascinated with historical legends, particularly the tales of King Arthur and his famed magician, Merlin.
For decades Merlin captivated her imagination. Blending her keen interest in Arthurian legend with a passion for Roman British Archaeology, Carmel devoured every piece of literature she could get her hands on and visited every Iron Age and Roman fort in England, Scotland and Wales crossing hill and dale and climbing any fortifications associated with Arthur. This desire for knowledge about the once and future king compelled her to use her research to reimagine his and Merlin’s story. Now she has created her first novel based upon the ancient legends. A Darker Magic This Way Comes is the first book in a series of five for readers, who like her, love secrets, mysteries and something very strange. Carmel resides in Sydney with her husband John and share a wondrous garden at Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains. She is also President of the Iris Society of Australia.