Eighty years ago, a German pilot dropped four bombs on neutral Dublin City
Ireland was still recovering from the War of Independence from Britain and the Irish Civil War, when WW2 broke out in Europe. The government at the time, led by Eamonn de Valera, declared Ireland was a neutral country. Ireland had neither the manpower nor the resources to become involved in the conflict. Relations with Britain were already strained and Ireland’s stance made Churchill furious.
Ireland’s neutrality, however, was tilted slightly in favour of the Allies. Downed RAF pilots were quietly escorted to the border with Northern Ireland, while their German counterparts were interned at the Curragh Camp for the duration of the conflict. Perhaps more significantly, the Irish government sent fire crews to Belfast, during the Blitz in April 1941, to help put out the raging fires and dig out the bodies. Immediately after, many Northern Irish refugees made their way to Dublin where they were warmly welcomed.
I grew up a few kilometres from the suburb of North Strand on the north side of Dublin City. As a teenager, I was astonished to discover I lived so close to the spot where a Luftwaffe pilot dropped bombs in the early hours of 31st May 1941. The events of that Whit weekend, echoed the Blitz of Belfast only weeks before, and the bombing of cities such as Liverpool and London, and indeed, many other cities throughout Europe. A taste of the Blitz must have shaken Ireland to its core.
Today, I am delighted to be in the company of fellow Irish historical fiction author, Anne McLoughlin, who has dropped by to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.
You are very welcome, Anne, please introduce yourself:
Born in Dublin, I now divide my time between there and my home in rural Wexford.
With my working life in television production with RTE behind me, I’ve now embarked on a new career in my retirement. Writing a novel was always an ambition, but until recent years I didn’t have a strong enough inspiration to spur me on, but that’s all changed now, since I had a brainwave.
Highly commended in the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Competition in the Wexford Literary Festival, this gave me the encouragement to really get stuck into working on my ‘Lives’ trilogy.
Today, I’m delighted to have fellow Irish historical fiction author, Derville Murphy, in the library. She has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.
You are very welcome, Derville, please introduce yourself:
Hi everyone, delighted to talk to you all! I am a newbie author. But you know, I feel that it was inevitable I would end up writing novels. I started out as an architect – left the profession to study art history – fell in love with academia – and got hooked on writing. Now I am fortunate enough to be able to do what I really enjoy – I paint, and I write novels. I live in Dublin, I am married with two children and two adorable twin grandchildren.
Essex – Tudor Rebel (The Elizabethan Series Book 2)
Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, is one of the most intriguing men of the Elizabethan period. Tall and handsome, he soon becomes a ‘favourite’ at court, so close to the queen many wonder if they are lovers. The truth is far more complex, as each has what the other yearns for. Robert Devereux longs for recognition, wealth and influence. His flamboyant naïveté amuses the ageing Queen Elizabeth, like the son she never had, and his vitality makes her feel young. Robert Devereux’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the bestselling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
I’m delighted to bring you news of a new release from my very good friend, Catherine Kullmann. If you love the Regency period, you will adore her books.
Catherine Kullmann was born and educated in Dublin. She has worked in the Irish and New Zealand public services and in the private sector. Following a three-year courtship conducted mostly by letter, she moved to Germany where she lived for twenty-five years before returning to Ireland. Widowed, she has three adult sons and two grandchildren.
Today in the library we have Amy Maroney, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.
Thank you for having me on the blog, Pam! I live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with my family, and spent many years as a writer and editor of nonfiction before turning my hand to historical fiction. When I’m not diving down research rabbit holes, I enjoy hiking, drawing, dancing, traveling, and reading. I am the author of the Miramonde Series, a trilogy about a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern-day scholar on her trail.
Today in the Library we have Hannah Byron, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.
A little bit about Hannah:
Hannah Byron (penname of Hannah Ferguson) was born in 1956 in Paris, France. She is of British/Irish/Dutch descent and lives in The Netherlands. Next to writing historical fiction, she is a part-time translator for a Dutch university.
Today in the Library we have Penny Hampson, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.
You are very welcome, Penny, please introduce yourself:
Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Pam. It’s great to be able to chat. I’ll start by telling you a little about myself.
I came to writing rather late in life, having spent most of my adult years bringing up my family and then working as researcher in an academic library. It was only when I made the difficult decision to give up working full time to enable me to care for a close family member that I decided to write my first novel. I’d been juggling both caring and work for ten years and it was beginning to get too much.
Of course, being a historian meant my first book was going to be an historical novel. I joined the New Writers’ Scheme of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, who were very helpful in critiquing my work and introducing me to other authors. A Gentleman’s Promise was eventually published in 2018. I’ve now written three historical novels, and one contemporary mystery/romance novel, with more to follow. I feel I’ve got a lot of catching up to do having started so late!
I live in Oxfordshire with my family, and when I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, walking, swimming, and the odd gin and tonic (not all at the same time).
Thank you so much, Pam, for inviting me to the Library. I’d like to start off by telling you a little about myself.
Born between historic Winchester and Southampton in the UK, I have been passionate about the Tudors for as long as I can remember. This led to a degree in Medieval History at university, and the growing desire to write a novel.
However, life took over somewhat and only after stays, short and long, in six countries I called home did I finally settle down to finish my novel.
Words have always played an important part in my life, whether it’s been writing, editing, teaching English, or just picking up a good book.
Here’s a treat! Two of my favourite authors, Alison Morton and Helen Hollick, are on a book blog tour together and I’m delighted to be hosting them today. Not only are the ladies sharing their fabulous covers and blurbs, they are giving us exclusive extracts from both books.