Rush based author Robert Craven's new novel ranked #13 on AmazonUK
The allure of the Island
How Dublin’s coastline inspired my writing during the Covid pandemic
Growing up in Drimnagh in the 1980s the sea seemed very distant. To go for a walk along a beach meant taking buses and trains, and you would be away for the entire day. My mother would reminisce about her childhood holidays in Rush and in 2001, unable to afford anything closer to the city, my wife and I bought a house there. All we knew about Rush beforehand was that it was the market garden of Ireland. Now, on our doorstep, we had two beautiful beaches, a picturesque harbour, the ever-changing Irish Sea, and Lambay island dominating the horizon. Despite the long commutes to work, we could not believe our luck.
Nearby Skerries has five islands off its coast. We were intrigued by Shenick, an island complete with a Martello Tower, near one of Skerries sandy beaches. At low tide, a natural causeway would partially appear, our very own Mont St Michel. One August morning, we joined a Birdwatch Ireland walk to the island across the causeway and looked back at the mainland, seeing it from a wholly unique perspective in the dawn light.
For my wife’s birthday in July 2015 we took a boat to Lambay island. The sun blazed as we tramped across the island, hearing stories of shipwrecks, sunken treasure, pirates, and the local wallaby population. It is an unspoiled island, in private ownership, maintaining natural habitat. Its wide stretches of gorse and grasses stayed in my mind and became the focal point for my novel.
It was during the 2020 lockdown, when I had lost my job, that I really began to appreciate what lay within my 2km radius. Exploring the local sandy tracks and trails while escaping from the Covid misery, I decided to write a detective novel rooted in this landscape. A Kind of Drowning draws from stories of the local characters I grew up with and weaves into the narrative the sometimes under-appreciated coastline of Ireland’s Ancient East. From the folded strata of Loughshinny’s cliffs, home to Drumanagh fort and its Roman artifacts, to the rugged islands which continue to draw our eyes and inspire our imaginations, A Kind of Drowning, like its backdrop, is both a mystery and an adventure. It was released on Amazon and Kobo on 04/05/21 and is currently ranked #13 on AmazonUK – #Hot New Releases.
For more information about Robert Craven visit https://www.robert-cravenauthor.ie/
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