Our winters are pretty mild here. It’s rare to get down into the low single digits but after the warmth of our summers, it feels pretty chilly to us. I learned so much in my research for Torn. The Great Famine was not the first famine. There had been a number of them, one after the other.
It was strange really, when I was trying to find a place where my Leading Lady (I intensely dislike the tag Heroine) would have grown up with her family, I went around and around and couldn’t decide where to set them down. In the end I took the map, closed my eyes, drew a couple of air circles and my finger landed in Skibereen. There couldn’t have been many places more likely. Reading about the history of Skibereen broke my heart.
Clothing in those days was not as easily come by and though the rich may have had more than enough, not everyone had what was necessary to keep them warm. In the warmer months many had sold their warmer clothing to buy food and when the winters came in hard their already weakened bodies suffered, many fatal consequences.
We all know that there are people even today who suffer from starvation and privation. It makes me grateful for what I have, realise how fortunate I am. I love stories which make me think, to learn about other people, other places, other cultures and lands. I hope my readers will learn something from my book too. Talking of Torn, the edits are upon me again. Hopefully, this will be the last round and I can release my baby into the world sooner rather than later.