Why Northern Ireland?

Beginning October 10, 2013 and continuing for the next thirty days, “The Conjunction of the Realms (Part One)” is being discounted on Amazon.co.uk.

Why is this promotion taking place in the United Kingdom and not in the United States?

When I started writing The Conjunction of the Realm’s first volume, I imagined the story to occur in a magical location, filled with beauty and mystique. A place where the existence of creatures from a different realm was still considered a possibility and bedtime stories never stopped being told; a place where forests, caves, and waterfalls could be found all around. Ireland was my first pick. There Leprechauns are as close to real as rainbows, and there just might be a pot of gold hiding somewhere. Then suddenly my focus shifted to Northern Ireland. Searching the internet, I stumbled upon Glenariff, the most beautiful of the nine Glens of Antrim, sometimes known as the Queen of all the glens. Besides Glenariff and Waterfoot, the cities of Belfast and Hillsborough became strategic locations for The Conjunction of the Realms (Part One). Later, with the advent of Google® Maps, I was able to virtually visit each one of these places and carefully examine them from my MacBook® Pro’s screen. I even had the strange experience of seeing one of these locations in my mind’s eye (Dark Hedges) before I knew it existed.

Northern Ireland also appealed to me because of The Troubles’ history in the late 1960’s, leading to the Bogside Massacre of 1972, or as it became famously known: “Bloody Sunday.” Yes, the same “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” sung by Bono and the U2 band. My heart had always gone out to the people of Northern Ireland. I imagined depicting this beautiful place filled with wonder, where the importance of relationships is paramount, and the love of family surpasses all remaining friction. I imagined my little book making an impact in the lives of those Northern Irish children and families, and eliminating any possibilities of future conflict. Quite the imagination I have, and yet, why put a limitation on it? Why not think big? I began writing, picturing myself in Glenariff, describing each location as best as I possibly could, knowing that since a conjunction of the realms was taking place in the Northern Ireland of my book, the reader would find some aspects from the realm of imagination superimposed on the current state of things, which some refer to as reality.

As if all of the above was not reason enough to have Northern Ireland be the perfect location for The Conjunction of the Realms, this next discovery was about to astound me. Writing Chapter 4, I came to a stand still and began questioning myself: “Why write a book? You’re not even a writer! Who do you think you are?” The wave of discouragement was so strong that it halted my writing for a couple of years. One day, while doing a research for Disney on the 2005 release of “Chronicles of Narnia,” I began studying the life of C.S. Lewis. The first sentence read: “Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland…” At that moment I knew it was no coincidence. The Conjunction of the Realms needed to be written. Thanks to C.S. Lewis and his inspiring legacy which has blessed and continues to bless children all over the world, my goal of blessing the children and the families of Northern Ireland grew stronger and stronger, enough to help me finish the first installment of the series.

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