Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I think you are right, Mandy, about my books becoming known in Australia. Recently I have seen a great increase in letters from Australia. I'm sure that if sales pick up, the publisher will change his mind.
And if he does, well I have lots of ideas for new Mara stories. In the meantime I have my Reverend Mother books, based in Cork, to be getting on with.
Thank you for writing. It means a lot to me to know that Mara is appreciated.

Thu Dec 21 08:20:57 2017

Mandy writes from Australia
Gidday Cora! Your Burren books are great. I stumbled on the Burren itself whilst on pilgrimage to Father Ted country at Kilfenora. Reading your books is an entertaining and enlightening reconnection with that magic place. Tell your publisher he / she needs his head read. Your books are only becoming known over here now. Anyway, 14 is a pretty good stint. Maybe you could come up with another Burren story set in another time. Pretty hard to beat Mara though. She ticks a lot of boxes for me.

Thu Dec 21 06:58:01 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
And than you, Debbie, for such a nice message - quite a Christmas present for any writer!

I've never been to Australia, but I know that a lot of Irish people, including my own brother who loves Australia, have gone there and it's nice to think that my books can fill in a few details of the past.

Tue Dec 19 12:55:55 2017

Debbie Gilroy writes from Australia
Hi Cora
Just thought I'd drop you a line to say how much I enjoy your, Burren series, your Reverend Mother Series and now your Cardinal's Court.
Although I'm fourth generation Australian of Irish descent I'm very proud of my Celtic roots and love reading your work. It creates a more detailed picture of Irish culture for me. Your Reverend Mother series, in particular, reminds me of my own education as many of the nuns who taught me were Irish and of course, had the traits of the nuns in these novels.
Thank you for creating such great characters for us to so thoroughly enjoy

Tue Dec 19 02:30:34 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Irleand
Jeannie: No, you haven't missed any books.

The problem was that I got impatient to have Mara's son old enough to be one of the scholars. I thought it would be very interesting to explore the mother/son relationship in juxtaposition to the teacher/student one.

And I was rather intrigued to see how her son would turn out. Would he take more about his father, or would he inherit his mother's brains and fascination with the law? I think that the answer is beginning to emerge even in 'Cross of Vengeance'

Perhaps one day I'll go back and finish off the stories of the first lot of pupils.

Sat Dec 16 20:03:32 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Jo: They used hartshorn, apparently. I think of soda bread as so traditional to Ireland, but that was a mistake on my part. No, no soda as far back as that.
Ah well, live and learn!

Sat Dec 16 19:57:09 2017

Jeannie Warth writes from USA
Hello! I am so enthralled with the Burren series and have been reading my way through. I do have a question...I was so surprised, after Chain of Evidence, and into Cross of Vengence, that the original scholars are gone! I was glad to see Fachtnan and Nuala again...but miss Hugh, Shane and the others. Is there a book I have missed that may have carried on with these fellows?
I will start the Reverend Mother series soon.

Thanks for such wonderful (and educational) stories!

Thu Dec 14 16:38:06 2017

Jo Sprint writes from New Zealand
Love the Burren. What did they use as leavening for soda bread in the 16th century?

Thu Dec 7 20:53:35 2017 writes from United Kingdom
Dear Cora,

thank you for your prompt reply and advice which I will definitely follow. And thank you for the pleasure that your stories are giving me. You surely have a great talent.

All best wishes. Nan.

Thu Nov 16 14:00:45 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Something that I meant to say, Nan, was that the stories are 'stand-alone' and there is no real reason why you can't enjoy books further along in the series. Also, while they are available, it might be a good idea to get hold of them. Severn House has recently been sold to Canongate and I don't think that there will be any pressure to do a reprint edition of them.

Sun Nov 12 11:16:12 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Nan,
I'll try to find out tomorrow, but it looks to me as if those books are out-of-print. Yes, I agree. What ridiculous prices!

If that is the case, I wonder whether your library would order you a copy on an inter-library loan basis. When I lived in England, libraries would do that sort of thing, but I'm not sure whether they do it nowadays.

The only other solution that occurs to me would be to read it online. Even if you don't have a Kindle, one can now download from Amazon a Kindle version and read it on a laptop, tablet, or even phone.

I do hope that you manage to get hold of it/them. 'Writ in Stone' is one of my favourites in the Burren series

Sun Nov 12 08:59:18 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Heather, for taking the trouble to write such a lovely message.

I wonder whether you have tried my other series, 'The Reverend Mother Books'. Different place and different time, but you may like the books also.

Sun Nov 12 08:52:42 2017

Nan Musgrove writes from United Kingdom
Dear Cora, I've only just encountered your Burren mystery series and am enjoying them. I've begun to buy as them as paperbacks from Amazon or Abe but I'm stuck on Writ in Stone (4th) and Scales of Retribution (6th) which only seem to be available at really high prices which I can't afford. Are these two titles very rare for some reason ? I'd be grateful if you could shine some light on the problem or even suggest where I may be able to obtain them. They aren't available at Severn House or in my local library !! Yours sincerely. Nan.

Sat Nov 11 22:40:50 2017

Heather writes from USA
I am so sorry to hear the final decision on Mara. I have thoroughly loved the entire series! Thank you so much for your hard work and amazing stories. I will continue to recommend them and cherish them.

Sun Nov 5 01:36:21 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Very sadly, Ann, my publisher has decided to discontinue Mara, Brehon of the Burren books. They no longer sell as well as they used to do so the decision is understandable, though sad as I live writing them.

In the matter of pronouncing the Gaelic names, I wonder whether you might think of getting hold of the audio version of the first book, MY LADY JUDGE. The reader does a wonderful job and had the help of a Gaelic scholar in getting the correct pronunciation of the names of people and places.

So love the idea of you and your brother discussing the books. My daughter and I do this and it doubles my enjoyment.

Thank you for telling me.

Sat Oct 21 13:45:53 2017

Ann English writes from United Kingdom
Love your books and recently found out that my younger brother also reads them. We enjoyed talking together about the books and both thought it would be great to have a list of names and how to pronounce them so that we don't waste time trying to work them out.

Sat Oct 21 12:28:38 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
It's very kind of you to think of me, Emma, but I'm afraid I must say no.

I've never reviewed books, not something that I care to do or that I feel I could do well.

I do wish you the very best of luck and hope that you will be your venture.

Thu Oct 19 21:56:35 2017

Emma Cyrus writes from United States
Hi Cora,

Do you ever review other authors' books pre-publication? I'm getting ready to publish a mystery novel in the same genre as your Reverend Mother series, and I'd really love to have you take a look at it. I'm intending to publish on November 28 but could adjust that date to suit your schedule. If you give me your agent's address, I could send you a sample through them. Thanks for considering.

Wed Oct 18 20:24:03 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
It is beautiful, isn't it? I was born in Cork city, spent much of my adult life in southern England, but I love County Clare and the Burren so very much that it is my spiritual as well as present home. Best in the winter, perhaps, when one can have it to oneself, but stunningly beautiful in all seasons and times of day.

Mon Sep 18 18:12:08 2017

Dennis Davis
Ms Harrison,

Just encountered your writing last evening - so far, delightful. Mom was born in Clare, and came to the western US in 1920. On my rare visits I spend most of my time in northern Clare where I've a few cousins. To read about the Burren in your novel brings back lovely memories.

Thank you, Dennis - Tucson

Mon Sep 18 17:53:01 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Many thanks for that, Ann. Glad you enjoyed the book, nevertheless.

Mon Sep 18 09:04:36 2017

Ann Boulanger writes from USA
Dear Ms. Harrison
I love your books on the Burren and also the Reverend Mother Mysteries. I am reading the book, BEYOND RESOLUTION, love the story but on p.122 I think there is a mistake in names while Eileen is in the closet, James O'Reilly is in the room taking drugs but in the second full paragraph it says Peter Doyle is a drug taker. Should have your publisher Severn House check for later editions.
Looking forward to rest of this book and future books.

Sun Sep 17 23:37:32 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Brenda,
How lovely to hear from you again. Do you know, it was only the other day that I picked up those beautifully warm mittens from Canada and thought that it will soon be time to wear them again. They bring back that very pleasant day when I met you and your friends in Ballyvaughan.

I'm delighted that you like my two latest books, 'Beyond Absolution' and 'Cardinal's Court'. I hugely enjoyed all the research for the latter but I suppose the Reverend Mother books have my heart, more as they bring back recollections of childhood and the stories from my parents who both lived through those turbulent days in the Cork of the 1920s.

Sat Sep 2 15:47:59 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I'm so very sorry, Laura, that I haven't answered you before now. The problem is that most of the places I know of in Connemara and that I would find inspiring would be impossible to reach by public transport.

I would suggest that you read Tim Robinson's book about Connemara - his work on the Aran Islands was immensely inspiring. You might just find inspiration there. Also, I would recommend his large scale map, which I think you will find on Aran. I possess his large scale map of the Burren and I find that brooding over it and finding something unusual like the ruins of an ancient flax mill, half way up a mountain, is enough to trigger a whole story in my mind.
I'm sorry that I can not be of more help.

Sat Sep 2 15:42:52 2017

Brenda writes from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Greetings from Canada
Cora, I hope this message finds you well. I am heading back to Ireland next week and once again will enjoy memories of meeting you over tea in Ballyvaughn four years ago. My friend Eileen and I are enjoying "Cardinal's Court" and " Beyond Absolution". You will never know the hours of pleasure you have given, through our reading and discussions that have followed. Many thanks.

Sat Sep 2 12:59:03 2017

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