A journalist on a Northern Ireland daily has written her debut novel about witches after finding sanctuary in the subject while dealing with the death of her father.
Irish News columnist Leona O’Neill lost her father William Breslin two years ago and would log onto her computer to lose herself in the magical world of Irish myths, witchcraft and legends.
Emerald Witch tells the story of a teenage girl who finds herself caught up in the frightening and exhilarating world of witchcraft as she battles to stop evil forces gaining power.
Leona said that when her father was sick she was was able to lose herself in another world – a world where cancer didn’t exist.
Said Leona: “I was so grief-stricken, that it gave me the room and the space to begin healing. When I would come home from the hospice I wouldn’t want to talk to anyone, I just would go and switch on the computer and start writing.”
She said his presence is clearly felt in the book – which she would discuss with him throughout his illness.
Said Leona: “We would talk about it when he was in the hospice. I would tell him my ideas and where the story was going and he really loved getting into the story.
“Some of the ideas from the book come from the myths he would have told us when we were small – how there were sleeping stone warriors buried under Grianan Fort who would only awaken when Ireland needed them – things like that I decided to incorporate into the book. I would tell him the story and he would fill me in on the historical aspects.”
Leona has been overwhelmed with the response the book has received. Already it is steadily climbing the Kindle book charts in both the UK and America
Added Leona: “It is selling really well – and selling all over America. I never knew before that a lot of Americans will buy each other presents for St. Patrick’s Day and this has just hit the American market at the right time.”
Log on to Emerald O’Neill for more information about Emerald Witch.