Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Mai,

How lovely to hear from someone in Japan. My first, I think.

Have you tried my Reverend Mother series? I think they might have much less Irish names etc. I wrote them about my native city of Cork in the south of Ireland and they are set in the years following the war of independence and the civil war which followed it.

I do hope you enjoy them as much as the Burren Series.

Thu Mar 8 16:18:44 2018

Mai writes from Japan
Dear Cora,
I am Japanese who loves your burren mysteries books.
But I am not English native, struggling languages sometimes. Which one will be easier for non-English readers among many books of yours?

I have stayed and studied in Ireland and visited Burren area, so area name or Irish history is not a problem.

Thu Mar 8 05:41:29 2018

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Jeannie,

I'm afraid that my answer must be that I don't know and I wouldn't know any way of finding out.

The London Murder Mysteries, though I did a huge amount of research of the Victorian/Dickensian London, were actually written for ten to twelve-year-olds - though quite a few adults have written to me to say that they enjoy them.

The 'Debutante' books were designated as 'Young Adult' - again I did do a lot of research, and again some adults have written to say that they enjoyed them.

By the way, have you read 'Cardinal's Court'? That was written for adults and is about a Brehon (like Mara) Hugh Mac Egan who comes to Cardinal Wolsey's Hampton Court in order to draw up a marriage agreement between his employer's son, James Butler and James's cousin, Anne Boleyn.
You might ask your library if they could get you this book.

Tue Feb 6 15:59:57 2018

Jeannie Warth
I do not find any of the London Murder Mystery or Debutante series in my library here in the US. I have so enjoyed the Burren series and am now reading the latest Reverend Mother.

Are these other series available in the US?

Tue Feb 6 15:09:19 2018

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
That was a very nice 'New Year' message, Richard.

Goodness, it must be twenty years ago that the first Drumshee book, 'Nuala & her Secret Wolf', came out. Little did I know that twenty years on I would Have 57 books published and three more in the pipeline.

I still have a great affection for the Drumshee books, and, as a former teacher, who loved doing history projects with children, I think the idea of having a series based in the same place, but dealing with different people and different adventures, was quite a good one.

Who knows but that they might be republished some time.

I wish you and your family and very happy new year, and thank you, again, for writing.

Wed Jan 3 10:35:24 2018

Richard Hassett writes from Ireland
As a Clare man myself I grew up with your books Cora thanks very much I will always have a special place in my heart for the good folk of Drumshee and with any luck my kids will grow up reading them as well

Wed Jan 3 00:30:11 2018

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

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