1: What attracted you to setting your latest novel in Ireland?
The easy answer to this is that I love Ireland! Until about 7 years ago, I’d only visited Ireland twice – a day trip to Dublin (from the Isle of Man) when I was in my teens, and a flying visit to Belfast to speak at a conference there about eighteen years ago. In 2007, a friend and I decided to spend a few days in Galway, and since then then I’ve visited your beautiful island ten times, but still haven’t see it all. I love the scenery, especially the mountain areas and the rugged west coast; I love the sense of history everywhere you go; and I love the friendliness of the people, when total strangers greet you with ‘Hallo there, how ye doin’?’ everywhere you go.
2: I note that neither your hero nor your heroine are from Ireland, themselves. I find that lends a sense of mystery to the setting, as both characters are outsiders. Is that what you were trying to achieve when you created them?
Yes. As a visitor to Ireland myself, it made more sense to have my main characters as non-natives. For one thing, it meant I could take them to some of the ‘tourist’ places that I’ve visited, such as the Cliffs of Moher and Glendalough Monastery. The other reason was that I needed them both to leave Ireland during the story, with one of them returning to England, the other to America. Of course, the long-distance created extra problems for them, and this wouldn’t have worked as well if both had been resident in Ireland.
3: You've written books set all over the world. How much research do you do to prepare yourself when starting a new manuscript?
I tend to do my research as and when I need it while I’m writing the story. I don’t create a detailed plot before I start (I’m very much a ‘pantser’) so I don’t always know what I’m going to need. It slows down the writing of the first draft, and even later drafts too, but it’s the way I’ve always worked. The only thing I may do before I start is refresh my mind about the location of the story, usually with the help of maps, photos, videos etc. I find Google street view invaluable because it means I can see where someone is driving or walking. I ‘drove’ through Clifden countless times when I was writing ‘Irish Inheritance!
4: What is your favourite place in Ireland?
Oh, how do I answer this one? There are so many places that have captured my imagination or made me catch my breath! The view of Killiney Bay from Sorrento Park in Dalkey, an amazing sunset over Galway Bay, the Atlantic waves crashing against the rocks along the coasts of County Mayo or Donegal, the prehistoric forts and tombs on the Burren, the deserted ‘famine villages’, the timelessness of Claddagh Harbour – I could go on forever! It’s so hard to pick a favourite, but if pushed, I think I would have to say the stunning scenery of Connemara with vistas that change with every bend in the road - the peaks of the Twelve Bens, the green valleys, and the dozens of small streams and loughs. A truly beautiful area!
Thanks for stopping by, Paula. We wish you every success with this book!
Paula Martin lives near Manchester in North West England and has two daughters and two grandsons.
She had some early publishing success with four romance novels and several short stories, but then had a break from writing while she brought up a young family and also pursued her career as a history teacher for twenty-five years. She has recently returned to writing fiction, after retiring from teaching, and is thrilled to have found publishing success again with her contemporary romances.
Apart from writing, she enjoys visiting new places. She has travelled extensively in Britain and Ireland, mainland Europe, the Middle East, America and Canada. Her other interests include musical theatre and tracing her family history.
English actress Jenna Sutton and American artist Guy Sinclair first meet when they jointly inherit a house on the west coast of Ireland. Curious about their unknown benefactress and why they are considered 'family', they discover surprising links to the original owners of the house.
They soon unravel an intriguing tale of a 19th century love affair. At the same time, their mutual attraction grows, despite personal reasons for not wanting romantic involvements at this point in their lives.
A local property agent appears to have her own agenda concerning the house while other events pull Jenna and Guy back to separate lives in London and America. Friction builds over their decision about the house and its contents.
Will their Irish inheritance eventually drive them apart – or bring them together?
You can learn more about Paula and her work at her website and her blog. Her books are available from Amazon.