A Novel of Ireland's Struggle for Freedom 1916-1921 was nominated for the 2001 Book-of-the-Year award by ForeWord Magazine (Traverse City, MI). When all the dust had settled, the title received the bronze medal for historical fiction. First-time novelist Cathal Liam stated his delight with the book's award replying, "History is meant to inspire the living and honour the dead. As for Ireland, she needs more of the former while having too many of the later."
"Historical fiction is a slippery slope, too often fraught with disconnects between the fictional characters and those real figures of history, too often missing the naturalness of behavior and language; too often erring on either the side of pure history or of fictional device. But, Cincinnati author Cathal Liam has trod deftly in his Consumed in Freedom's Flame. This is a book full of romance and adventure woven against the heartrending struggle of the Irish people for independence. In every case, the scenarios created by Liam ring as true as if a cache of long-hidden partisan letters has been unearthed." –Carole L. Philipps, The Cincinnati Post (Cincinnati, OH), December 16, 2000
"The Irish have always had more history than they knew what to do with. Essayist and poet Cathal Liam has joined such fiction writers as Morgan Llewelyn and Liam O'Flaherty by assembling a comprehensive and intelligent piece of historical fiction for the general reader as well as those who can recite The Bold Fenian Men at a moment's notice. One does not have to read too far into the narrative to know what Liam understands how to capture an era filled with colorful and tragic men and women. As a result, Freedom's Flame is as compelling as the events it recounts." –Rob Stout, The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA), June 16-17, 2001
"Unabashed support for the men and women who fought for Irish freedom in the early years of the 20th century is a rarity in these politically correct and revisionists times. Cathal Liam...sets himself against the tide in a story that follows the life of Aran Roe O'Neill, a fictitious rebel who finds himself in the thick of the 1916 Rising and subsequent events." –The Irish Echo (New York, NY), October 11-17, 2000
"This meticulously researched and well-written novel, Consumed in Freedom's Flame, not only evokes the authenticity of a fascinating period of Irish history, 1916-1921, but sustains constant interest and more than a little suspense. It is a lively and evocative read!" –T. Ryle Dwyer, historian & author of Big Fellow, Long Fellow: A Joint Biography of Collins and deValera, among others (Tralee, Ireland)
"Ireland was never in the mainstream of European history but the story of its fight for freedom can take its place with the legends of all great Rebellions. Consumed in Freedom's Flame captures the passion and drama necessary for the breaking of chains." –Ronnie O'Gorman, Managing Editor, Galway Advertiser (Galway, Ireland)
Born of stout Irish, Scottish and English stock, Cathal Liam writes short stories, poems and Irish editorial commentary for publications in the United States and Ireland. Those familiar with his work know he writes from an Irish point of view that is imbued with nationalist underpinnings and republican overtones. Through Cathal enjoys speaking and reading to interested groups, he carefully guards his privacy, preferring 'the quiet life.' When not involved in some research or writing project, he reads, travels, gardens and spends time with his wife in their present-day Cincinnati, Ohio home.
His successful first novel, CONSUMED IN FREEDOM’S FLAME: A Novel of Ireland’s Struggle for Freedom 1916-1921, initially published in hardcover in January, 2001, was reprinted three months later. In 2002, the title was printed twice in softcover and a third time in October, 2004. The story weaves fact and fiction around the exploits of a fictional young Irishman, Aran Roe O'Neill, and his friends, both imagined and historical, during twentieth-century Ireland's most dramatic and historically significant five-year period. As part of ForeWord Magazine's 2001 Book-of-the Year honours, the book received a bronze medal for historical fiction. It recently was reprinted for the seventh time.
In June, 2003, his third book, FOREVER GREEN: IRELAND NOW & AGAIN was released. This collection of writings ofters a rich stew of imaginative stories, political commentary and original poems. It has since been reprinted.The book's stunning cover, a painting by renowned Irish-American artist Edmund Sullivan, captures the timeless beauty of Ireland. It won ForeWord Magazine's honorable mention award for Travel Essays in 2003, but today it is presently out-of-print.(
His newest effort, BLOOD ON THE SHAMROCK: A Novel of Ireland's Civil War, is the sequel to CONSUMED... It resumes the chronicle of Ireland and of Aran Roe O'Neill during that most divisive yet politically momentous period, 1921-1924. Though the Irish Civil War was only a tragic ten-month episode, its build up and aftermath still sullies Ireland's dearm of national unity. Besides describing the dramatic historical particulars underpinning this internecine conflict, Cathal Liam's book takes issue with Eamon de Valera's contradictory role during the run-up to the Civil War and regards Michael Collins's contributions in helping create the modern Irish state as fundamentally important. It is now in its second printi