I love Ireland. For anyone who has visited or, like me, is lucky enough to live here, there is a definite sense of all things mystical here; from the endless green fields, to the sometimes absolute quiet, to the constant rain, to the ancient castles – some still standing, some crumbling ruins. Everywhere you go, from the gorgeous Antrim coast to the sandy beaches of County Kerry, you will feel the myths, the legends and probably, if only for a moment, believe any one of them are possible.
I have so many memories of my childhood, travelling around this gorgeous island. It is now, as an adult, I fully appreciate all those weekend caravan trips my dad used to take us (my sister and me) on. Our parents would listen to the constant chorus of are we there yet? and somewhere along some narrow off-the-beaten-track our dad would finally lose his patience and tell us to put a sock in it. (Or fuck up, if you want the non-PG version!) I fondly remember those rural towns, the quaint villages, stone bridges, thatch-roofed cottages and hand-built stone farm walls. I feel so lucky to have experienced it all, because the atmosphere in this beautiful, haunted isle is simply one you have to experience. It’s impossible to ‘get’ it otherwise. I can’t count how many times, even as a kid, I had the sense of not being alone – even when I was dandering off on my own exploring. Ghosts, I believe, really are everywhere.
It is my amazing experiences of Ireland that made me feel so delighted to be invited to be part of Emerald Isle Enchantments, which releases this October 11th – just in time for all the spooky goings-on of Halloween. When Katalina Leon, author of Lord Griffin’s Prize sent me a private message and asked me if I wanted to be part of the group, I waited all of 2.5 seconds to say I’M IN!
My story, Desire and the Djinn, combines two things I am very passionate about; Ireland and India. I enjoy writing about the Indian hero; tall, dark, brooding men with fabulous accents and smouldering eyes to die for. Enter Kamal, the troubled djinn from Desire and the Djinn, who has found himself inhabiting a bottle that’s been on the Emerald Isle for over a hundred years.
Emerald Isle Enchantments is a series of books set in Castle Tullamore, a gorgeous castle estate set in County Donegal (my favourite of all the counties, except perhaps County Antrim, because it’s home, after all…). Many of my childhood holidays (a lot of Easters) were spent in Donegal, and we even stumbled across a very private beach that, to this day, I believe almost no-one has access to. (It involves a forty-five minute trek through rough farmland terrain, through sheep cattle, sidestepping still steaming patties of poop, climbing through not one, but two barbed wire fences, reaching the summit of a sand-dune and then descending said sand-dune, just to reach the gorgeous, unspoilt north-facing beach with nothing but a shipwreck for company.) I’m pretty sure it also involved some trespassing, but the farmer was always nice to us. Maybe he pitied us, trundling through his sheep with our cooler boxes and deck-chairs. (We always cleaned up our barbeque remnants and other litter!)
I’ve went off on a tangent. Donegal is truly as spectacular as all the very talented writers of Emerald Isle Enchantments portray it to be – so I sincerely hope you will join us on October 11th 2016 when our boxed set releases.
Stay tuned for updates, cover reveals, giveaways and various opportunities to score yourself some fabulous Emerald Isle themed swag!
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P.S. have a look at some photographs I managed to procure from my dad’s stack of old pictures. This is ‘Our Beach’. Thanks for the adventures, dad.