Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I'm glad that you enjoyed the story, Julian. The abbey is a very inspirational place and I was fascinated by the beautiful carving of the harebells (as I believe - though others think that they are bluebells).

Re the other matter - you may be right - I copied it from a guide book.

Tue Sep 17 18:20:46 2013

Julian writes from USA
Having belatedly come across the Burren mysteries, I've been enjoying the first in the series. One thing that puzzles me is the name "Sancta Maria Petris Fertilis." Given your translation, one would surely expect "Petrae" rather than "Petris." Is this some sort of unusual regionalism?
Thanks for a well-told tale.

Tue Sep 17 18:09:59 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Gorgeous gifts from Canada! Can't wait to try the wine - have already succumbed to the temptation of the Maple sweets...

And how lovely to meet you all - it was so interesting for me.

Sun Sep 15 16:03:27 2013

Brenda writes from Canada
PERFECT. We are all so excited.

Fri Aug 30 19:49:45 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Brenda: Yes, I know 'Hylands'. Shall we say to meet at 11:00 at Hylands on Sunday September 15? Or would another time suit you better?

Fri Aug 30 11:30:25 2013

Brenda writes from Canada
How exciting to walk a setting with you. We are staying at the Hyland and assume we will have to check out by 11.
Anticipation for the holiday has just elevated a notch.

Fri Aug 30 01:35:54 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
The 15th would be wonderful for me. Oddly enough I was just contemplating a plot where the body was washed up in a boat with no oars on Fanore beach - not far from Ballyvaughan.

If you will tell me where you are staying in Ballyvaughan, it might be interesting for you if you follow me to Fanore beach - only a mile or so around the headland, and we can talk and you can give me your opinion on a plot for Mara 12/13 - who knows but you might find yourself in a starring role ...I am fascinated by this idea that blood must not be shed and when the crime of crime - the murder of a near relative - is concerned, then the retribution is in the hands of God.

Of course, if it rains then we will just go and chat in Monks' Pub, or somewhere civilized like that...

Thu Aug 29 18:01:49 2013

Brenda writes from Canada
We have completed our trip plans and will be travelling to Ballyvaughan September 14th. We would so love to meet up with you on the 14th or 15th as we had discussed some months ago but we are very aware of your busy schedule. Is there a location where we could drop off a note for you? Looking forward to seeing the setting of your Burren mysteries.

Thu Aug 29 16:31:07 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
And if you didn't have any milch cows, then some of your relations would have to pay on your behalf. I'm sure it worked well with difficult teenagers if the entire family came down on them.

Thu Aug 22 16:10:45 2013

Louise Anderson writes from United States (Minnesota)
I'm thankful to have discovered your "Burren" books. They are delightful, educational and always keep me interested until the end. So many questions to still answer, so, please, do not stop writing! Although I have not a drop of Irish blood, I am fascinated about the laws of the land , some of which seem to show such good sense! I would definitely behave so that I would not have to give up any of my milch cows!

Thu Aug 22 15:10:02 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
That is so nice of you, Pam.

I'm not sure whether I would ever become a very popular writer - perhaps the Mara books are a bit slow-moving and 'cozy' for true popularity, but you have made my day by what you say.

Yes, Peter Tremayne, has a lot of enthusiastic fans in America - oddly enough neither of us are that popular in Ireland - a fan club sounds exciting, but I'll wait and see.

I hope you like 'Cross of Vengeance'. Both my agent and my editor are very pleased with it and I do think, myself, that it is quite a good story. I have skipped a few years and Mara's son is now nine years old and a scholar at her school.

Wed Aug 14 16:47:42 2013

Pam V. writes from United States
Update to my earlier message: just went The Book Depository site and discovered that the new Mara novel, "Cross of Vengeance," has a publication date of September 30. It's not yet available for order and there's no price listed; shipping is free. (I have no affiliation with The Book Depository. I buy a lot of books online and found it through It's also listed on, same release date, 19.99.
Cora, just a suggestion, is there anyone who could start a Mara Movement, similar to the Sister Filelma Society? You need more publicity. It needs someone really knowledgable in Irish history and web savvy, both of which let me out. Perhaps Peter Tremayne would have some suggestions. Just a thought. You are such a talented writer!

Wed Aug 14 03:53:33 2013

Pam V. writes from United States
I've noticed the comments on the price of books and, to my mind, it's a matter of priorities. I buy books as opposed to movie tickets, for example. This may be of interest to some: I buy your UK books from The Book Depository or the sites as soon as they become available. At The Book Depository, you can sign up for notification (no obligation to buy) of availability months in advance. I just saw on the site that a new Mara novel will appear in January -- just the thing to warm a cold winter day! Thank you for the many hours of reading pleasure. I re-read the series with each new book. Thanks, again! Good luck with the BBC!

Wed Aug 14 03:26:45 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I have come across this expression in a book about the English Tudors - it was felt there that it referred to TB - a disease which seemed to have a multitude of names over the centuries. This also is a disease which waxes and wanes.

Mon Aug 12 08:00:33 2013

AD Powell writes from USA
What is the illness of Conner, Turlough Donn's eldest son in the Burren series? Could it be what we now call celiac disease?

Mon Aug 12 07:57:18 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I'm afraid that I would be no help to you on this, Stiofan. I found an agent for these Burren Mysteries about six years ago - just the usual way - wrote a book and sent the first three chapters to one of the first agents that I saw on the list and he was interested and since then he has been instrumental in getting publishers for, I think, twenty-one books of mine - for adults and children.

Sat Jul 27 15:11:46 2013

Stiofan Mac Gabhann writes from Clare
Hello Cora,
we have been in touch a while ago and you were so kind sending me a hardcover version of a book that was no longer available.
I wonder if I could talk to you about your experience finding a publisher for your books as I like to help publishing an english version of a successful German book.
you can contact me at amazon at triscle dot com.
Our invitation to a cup of tea in East Clare still stands:-)

Sat Jul 27 13:25:52 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thanks, Shi Shi, for such a lovely message - you have a lovely romantic name so I can imagine you enjoying romance stories. I would love to write a third book about Jane Austen, her life and times. Perhaps one of these days!
As for a film - well, I would be in seventh heaven if anything like that happened.

Sat Jul 20 08:53:24 2013

Shi Shi writes from London
I read I was Jane Austens best friend and I loved it. right after I finished I went straight to go and get Jane Austen stole my boyfriend. I loved both books very much. I finished them in two days. I am not really a book fan but I loved your books. There are only some books that I am interested in and the Jane Austen books are in my top favourites and I would read them over and over again.

I was wondering if you would ever write a book about what happens next after the marriage of Captain Thomas Williams? And if you would ever write another book on there adventure?

The book was so interesting I actually thought that Jenny and Henry would be together. All I can say is that I loved your two books! When the movie comes out I will be the first to watch it! I wish so much that there would be another jane austen and jenny cooper story.

Fri Jul 19 18:48:04 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Yes, I live a few miles from the Burren and think that it is one of the most magical places in the world.
When I discovered that one of the last strongholds of Brehon law was in this most beautiful place - well, it was quite an inspiration for me.

Mon Jul 15 19:30:56 2013

Mary Aston writes from UK
Yes I have looked at them, they are wonderful! I am guessing you live in the area to be so passionate about it!

Mon Jul 15 14:40:56 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Mary.

Have you had a look at the photos of the Burren on my website. My son-in-law took them on cold New Year's Eve just before the sun went down and I think he made a wonderful job of them. The one at the top of this page is my favourite, I think.

Mon Jul 15 13:18:12 2013

Mary Aston writes from UK
Wow Cora that has made me go all goosebumpy.....I will keep all fingers and toes crossed for you, I would love to see that on the TV but not til I have completed the series! The books are so atmospheric for me and I love them, you are a gifted lady! I am always talking to people about them but I don't want to lend the copies I have as its always problematic lending books.
I have only visited the Burren once and am now desperate to go back as I was very young then. I know the Midlands of Ireland well but not that part at all so you have inspired me. I will keep talking about your books and pray that this wonderful thing happens for you and Mara!

Mon Jul 15 12:24:55 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Mary: It's so nice of you to take the trouble to write and your message gives me such pleasure as well as pain.

Pan Macmillan published the first three books but the sales, though respectable, were not enough for the accountants so they did not give a contract for another three. Severn House, because of the good borrowing rate from libraries took them up, but are adamant that they publish mainly for libraries, with a few left overs for Amazon. They tend to sell out quickly which is what the publisher wants.

My agent has tried hard to interest another publisher, but so far to no avail. The sales are respectable but modest - in fact, I think they are remarkable given the price!

However, BBC have considered a few times dramatizing it - and it has risen high in the list. They like the character of Mara. If that happens then I'd say another publisher would be most interested. Ellis Peters had very modest sales with Brother Cadfael before the series was dramatized.
Thanks for your interest.

Mon Jul 15 08:54:25 2013

Mary Aston writes from Uk
Just finished Scales of Retribution, fab! My god its hard to find these books at affordable prices, the publishers say its because they are for libraries which seems very strange to me. I have read all in order now but only because I found them in a charity shop first and then 2nd hand on ebay. I now have resorted to the library as the cheapest copy I can find is well over 20 why is this ? I am raving about these books to folk but they are just not available. Thank you for writing them, I am off to libary for next two but would prefer to own them!

Mon Jul 15 08:53:14 2013

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