My guest today is quite amazing!! I met her while she was doing her HSC (New South Wales year 12 exams for those not in Australia) at last year’s Romance Writers of Australia conference. She must be one of the youngest and most enthusiastic members of RWAus and her passion and dedication to writing means she’s definitely a writer to watch. I wasn’t at all surprised when I heard she’d sold her book earlier this year.
Welcome Whitney K-E!!
What Really Happened in Ireland
Whitney K-E was shocked when she visited Ireland only to find out that the characters in her novel, What Happens in Ireland weren’t so fictional after all!
Now, it’s strange, but I wrote What Happens in Ireland before I actually landed on Irish soil! I’d been planning my trip to Ireland and the UK for two years and so overcome with excitement (not to mention frequently daydreaming), I put pen to paper. And that’s how What Happens in Ireland was born!
Planning my trip and checking out all the sights was great research. And more than a little fun. What I didn’t expect to encounter in Ireland when I finally go there however, were the characters I had dreamed up!
Now, I wish I could say I met my Irishman, Jack O’Reilly in a Dublin bar, but unfortunately, I didn’t. No Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Handsome for me. Not yet, anyway hehe. But, I did meet many of my other favourite characters.
Whilst on a tour to Bru na Boine, I met my mate, Jen Tully in the form of my tour guide for the Neolithic tomb, Mary. Mary was exactly how I imagined Jen; Chirpy, enthusiastic and brimming with a sarcastic sense of humour. In fact, I was so convince she was my beloved fictional character that I almost changed Jen’s description just to suit Mary’s! And to top it all off, Mary knew two of my other characters. If you’ve read What Happens in Ireland you’ll be aware that Jack’s parents were engaged on the Carrick-a-Rede bridge. Well, it turns out, so was Mary’s cousin! To be honest, I was so excited and more than a little jealous. Such a beautiful place to propose to the person you love and to find out that it was actually something that happened… I was beginning to suspect I was psyhic!
My next encounter was in Killarney, the hometown of my hero, Jack O’Reilly. Whilst in Killarney, I put on my riding boots and went on a trail ride through Killarney National Park with one of the local stables. And it was here that I met four of my beloved characters, three of which were of the animal variety
And here is one of my furry friends:
Clyde and Pascal, the gorgeous Irish cob crosses we rode were the real life embodiment of my equine dreams, Hero and Archie. Such beautiful horses and despite their giant frames, the comfiest horses my twin sister and I had ever ridden. Admittedly, we were wondering how much we would have to offer to take them home with us haha! Unfortunately, we could not afford the excess luggage .
And then there was the beloved barn cat and the queen of O’Reilly Stud, H.A.M.!
Whilst waiting for my toes to defrost after my ride, up jumps a purring shadow to keep me company on the bench. I wish I had a picture of my face when I saw the cat. I guess a picture of me with H.A.M. will just have to do.
And then there was my tour guide Emma. She was Kate. She travelled to Ireland to work with horses and not only did she fall in love with the country, but with a local Irishman as well.
I was a little disheartened to leave Killarney. It seemed like any second now I would run into Jack O’Rielly. But we had to move and on we went to Galway. Whilst in Galway, I met a couple whose relationship with each other reminded me so much of the love I tried to create between the two stablehands, Jen and Tom. It was amazing to see that love like that did exist.
And I suppose last but not least, I guess…I sort of did meet Jack. Whilst travelling through the Burren Valley, we stopped for a tour of a traditional farm. The countryside was beautiful and the owners of the farm reminded me so much of Jack, his brother William and their parents. Sadly, I don’t have names for these two men, but their larrikin nature, family respect and devotion to the farm had me thinking that these men were the O’Rielly boys.
Though, I’m not sure Jack would be caught dead wearing an apron hehe.
And there you have it! What really happened in Ireland I always knew Ireland would be magical. I just didn’t think it would bring to life the characters I had conjured in my head.
Thanks so much for coming Whitney and sharing your fabulous holiday. Isn’t it amazing, how much it was like your book That must have made it extra special. Whitney is running a fabulous giveaway during her release period, details below. Be sure to check out her awesome book – to-buy links also below!
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this blog post or any of the other blog posts celebrating the release of Whitney’s debut to go in the draw to win one of two prize packs including a PDF of What Happens in Ireland, a handmade ribbon bookmark designed by Swagmaster Designs and a coffee mug. You can join in the fun on facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/events/491411070916233/
Ever wondered what happens in Ireland?
When Australian, Kate Barrow, meets a handsome Irishman in a Dublin bar, she has no idea that he’s about to turn her world upside-down and inside-out.
In Ireland to take on a position on a thoroughbred stud, Kate is shocked when her manager-in-co reveals himself to be the same man she’d met in Dublin.
Jack is drawn to Kate. The problem is, she won’t have him. But Jack has always loved a challenge and the intriguing woman from Oz is one he cannot resist.
Harbouring the sting of another man’s betrayal, Kate is certain she wants nothing to do with love and nothing to do with Jack O’Reilly. But when naked torsos, Mother Nature and dysfunctional umbrellas start plotting against her resolve, she realizes the charms of an Irishman are going to be hard to resist.
If you’d like to read excerpts or buy Whitney’s novel, you can find it at the following: