Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Readers Come to Ireland

From time to time I get the most amazing correspondence from my readers. Sometimes they write to tell me that my stories helped them through a difficult time such as their parents' divorce or the death of a sibling. I feel so sad for them, but I'm also glad that my books could provide some solace. I also receive happy tales of decisions to journey to Ireland and travel the routes my characters have taken. This is a pic of one reader who ended up on the Hill of Tara, the seat of the ancient high kings of Eire, with her copy of The Hunter's Moon. (Yes, I have Katherine's permission to blog her.) Another two young women - Shannon and Eleri - wrote an incredible email about how they met when working in a remote camp overlooking a glacier in British Columbia. Sharing a tent together (must ask them what on earth their jobs were, sounds very Canadian) they discovered a mutual love of books including a favourite childhood book whose title they couldn't remember. But they did remember two girls travelling around Ireland in pursuit of the fairies and they decided they would do the same thing! Their email tells of a magical mystery tour that did indeed follow Gwen and Findabhair from Tara, criss-crossing the countryside and up to Inch Island in County Donegal. Though they found Ireland changed in many ways - the homeless in Dublin, the urban encroachment on the green fields, the fact it simply is NOT safe to hitch-hike here anymore (though many still do) - they were delighted to find that Irish people are still wonderfully warm and friendly, the old stones and castles are still standing, and the fairies may yet be looking out for curious travellers.

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