I was born and brought up in Dublin and moved to Germany after my marriage. Before that, I was an administrative officer at the Department of Finance in Dublin. I worked as attaché at the Irish Embassy in Bonn until my eldest son was born. Following a twelve-year stint as a full-time mother, I joined the New Zealand Embassy in Bonn. We returned to Ireland in 1999 and in 2009, following a year’s treatment for breast cancer, I took early retirement from my position as Director of Administration and Human Resources at a large Dublin law firm.
Apart from reading, I love music, especially opera, travel, and good food and drink, especially in the company of friends. I am fascinated by all aspects of history, not only the great facts but also the trivia and minutiae of everyday life.
I have always enjoyed writing, I love the fall of words, the shaping of an expressive phrase, the satisfaction when a sentence conveys my meaning exactly. I enjoy plotting and revel in the challenge of evoking a historic era for characters who behave authentically in their period while making their actions and decisions plausible and sympathetic to a modern reader. In addition, I am fanatical about language, especially using language as it would have been used at the time my books are set. But rewarding as all this craft is, there is nothing to match the moment when a book takes flight, when your characters suddenly determine the route of their journey.
Why do I write historical fiction? To start, I love the challenge and enjoy exploring all the highways and byways of research. Also, at a time where very little history is taught at schools, historical fiction informs us about the past. It provides insights into yesterday and helps us understand today. It encourages us to persevere or warns us to change direction. It can reveal past, hidden wrongs, teach us to value the struggles of those who went before us and inspire us to preserve and build upon their achievements.
The extended Regency is one of the most significant periods of European and American history, a period whose events still resonate two hundred years later The Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland of 1800, the Anglo-American war of 1812 and the final defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 all still shape our modern world. The aristocracy-led society that drove these events was already under attack from those who saw the need for social and political reform, while the industrial revolution saw the beginning of the transfer of wealth and ultimately power to those who knew how to exploit the new technologies.
My books are set against this background of off-stage wars, of women left to fend for themselves in a patriarchal world where they have few or no rights. My protagonists inhabit a real world but they and their stories are pure fiction. As well as meeting their personal challenges, they must also cope with external events and the constraints imposed by society. The main story arc is romantic. I am particularly interested in what happens after the first happy end—how life goes on around the protagonists and sometimes catches up with them.
The Murmur of Masks is the first in a loose series of books set between 1800 and 1825, with the bulk of the action taking place between 1812 and 1825. It was followed by Perception & Illusion, A Suggestion of Scandal, The Duke’s Regret and The Potential for Love. These are all available as eBooks and paperbacks, and have been reviewed by Discovering Diamonds. The final book in the Waterloo arc, A Sensible Marriage, will be published next year.
Thank you for your interest in me and my books.
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