Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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Sonia Costa writes from Australia
Hi Cora
Have just finished reading "An Unjust Judge". Enjoyed the Burren series

and one day would love to visit all the places in the photo album.

Looking forward to reading the Reverend Mother Series too.

Cheers Sonia

Sun Apr 23 08:10:57 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, 3rd class St. Conaire's Shannon, Co. Clare!

I remember coming to your school, long ago, when I wasn't so old as I am now.

I remember telling the children how I got the idea for 'Nuala & Her Secret Wolf'

It was the middle of the night... not a dark, dark night, but a night full of silver moonshine. My Alsatian dog (looked a little like a wolf) wanted to go out and I took her up to the ancient iron age fort on our land.

And while we stood there, I noticed, with a shiver of fear, that my dog was growling, very quietly, almost under breath.
And that all the hairs on the back of her neck, and right down her back, all the hair was standing on end....

Fri Mar 31 14:47:53 2017

Mrs Eisenberg writes from Ireland
Hello Cora,
here in the class now with all the boys and girls looking up! We just wanted to say how much we enjoyed 'Nuala and Her Secret Wolf.' Kuba said it was the best book ever! The boys and girls loved the book and will now look out for other written by you.
Best of luck,
3rd class St. Conaire's Shannon, Co. Clare.

Fri Mar 31 13:55:34 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I was there a few days ago, Angela, at Fanore and there was a howling gale and the waves were enormous.
But the sun was out and the sea and the sand and the mountain in the background made a breathtakingly beautiful scene.
But of course all who live on the west of Ireland coast know that the Atlantic Ocean can be very unforgiving.
We've had some recent tragedies and loss of life here, this spring.

The place is outstandingly beautiful, though. I hope that you get a chance to see it some time.

Wed Mar 29 14:37:13 2017

Angela Koenig writes from USA
I just finished Condemned to Death and it was wonderful. I already admire the series but this raised the level of Mara as a character and the ending haunts me - as a good book should. Thank you.

Wed Mar 29 12:21:14 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
There is something very cosy about sharing a book. I remember when we first bought the cottage where I now live, my husband, my son and I stayed in it for a week. It had no electricity so we cooked over the old kitchen fireplace (and could look at the stars through the enormous chimney) and in the evening I read aloud by candlelight from 'Bleak House'. Although I've been a Dickens fan all of my life, it was then that I appreciated him most. I still remember the chapters that I read - where Lady Dedlock disappears and Esther and Sergeant Bucket go in search of her through London.

Thank you, Gin, for sharing that experience with me and I send my very best wishes to both you and your husband.

Wed Mar 29 09:08:11 2017

Gin writes from USA
Hi Cora, I've greatly enjoyed your Mara books in the past. Due to his failing vision, my husband is no longer reading for himself so I'm now reading aloud to him and he has enjoyed the first of the Mara books. If his health and attention doesn't fail as well, we will continue. God willing, the economy will improve and libraries will order more so you can continue your excellent Mara series!

Tue Mar 28 09:56:20 2017

Thank you . I look forward to it. It opened my eyes. Didn't realise how bad it was there in the 1920's.

Wed Mar 8 10:13:44 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Well, of course, Reverend Mother Aquuinas is older and sadder than Mara. And has far less power. She works in conditions that she wishes she could change. The city of Cork had terrible slums and shockingly high unemployment rates. Whereas the Burren was, and still is, very underpopulated - a lovely limestone land swept clean by Atlantic winds.

I sometimes wonder how my two characters would have got on with each other!

I'm so delighted that you like them both.

And number three of the Reverend Mother series will be out in April. It's called 'Beyond Absolution'. I hope you like it if you get a chance to read it.

Sun Mar 5 21:57:54 2017

Isabelle writes from England
I have read all your Mara books which I love.
Just finished reading a shameful murder and thought it was wonderful. Looking forward to reading the next one

Sun Mar 5 19:27:24 2017

Una writes from Berkshire
You're never too old!

I'm really looking forward to the new book. It is a great era.

Sun Mar 5 00:01:41 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Una. It was very good of you to go to so much trouble.

I suppose that I have to admit that Severn House have all the arguments on their side. Unless a series of books make an acceptable profit for them, well, then, they're not worth doing.

I've been an amateur historian for many years and now all the pieces of information churning around in my head are being filtered into stories.

Not at all like doing a Ph.D.

Something I would have loved to have attempted, but now I am too old.

Thanks again for trying.

I hope you enjoy 'The Cardinal's Court'.

I am fascinated by that era.

And by all of the unanswered questions about Anne Boleyn.

Why was she still unmarried at the late age of twenty-five?

Many thanks for your efforts.


Sat Mar 4 18:31:08 2017

Una writes from Berkshire
I put forward a strong case for continuing with the Burren Series but I didn't really get anywhere with Severn House which is such a shame. I see that you have a new series starting in April. Looking forward to that as I really enjoy the historical novels. You are a very prolific writer - I doing a PhD in Classics and wish I could write as quickly as you!

Sat Mar 4 17:50:09 2017

Cora Harrison writes from ireland
Thank you, Joe, my faithful fan!

Sun Feb 5 19:44:03 2017

Joe O'Laughlin writes from USA
The Unjust Judge is due to arrive here tomorrow.

Glad that we are not yet severed from this series.

Sun Feb 5 19:21:48 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Norma,

Thank you for your concern. It's very heartwarming.

However, I have to be reconciled to the fact that Severn House ( will only publish if there is sufficient demand to ensure a reasonable profit for them. Libraries are the big clients and it appears that orders have fallen off from them. I wonder whether your local library orders the books. That would certainly be a way that would help - if all fans would badger libraries!

Still, looking on the bright side, I did get as far as number 14. Am sad not to go on, though, as I have lots of ideas.

Thank you again for a very encouraging letter,

Sun Feb 5 19:01:32 2017

Norma Holland writes from Cornwall
Have not been to this page for ages and I am shocked and horrified to hear that the Burren series may be ending.
Have I understood that correctly?
I too would be happy to write and complain but I am not sure of where to send it....could you advise?
I just love Mara's world and would be bereft without it.
I also read Peter Tremayne's Fidelma series but they are not a patch on yours and you are a much better fictional writer.
There must be a way...(assuming you want to continue, of course!)
best wishes

Sun Feb 5 18:03:07 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Una,

It's very nice of you to be concerned and to go to the trouble of emailing Severn House. I'm very grateful to you. I love writing the Mara books, and would like to go on with them as I have lots of ideas.

Mostly my publisher deals with libraries and both American and UK libraries have suffered from reductions in funding.

Let's hope, though, that Mara is spared.

Many thanks,

Wed Jan 11 10:15:43 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thanks, Louise.

Wed Jan 11 10:11:16 2017

Una writes from Berkshire, UK
I've just read that Severn won't publish any more Mara books and I'm very upset. I have loved this series. I emailed Severn telling them this.

Tue Jan 10 19:04:59 2017

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I'm sorry to have offended you. I should, perhaps, have been more careful.
On the other hand, it is probably impossible not to offend someone, at some stage or other. I could imagine that my views on law and order, and on capital punishment might upset some people, but a writer has to put down what is in their mind as the story flows.
Oddly, I can't remember either instances, but I'm sure that you have been careful with your facts. I suppose it shows that writing for me is not in any way a dictatorial process, just an effort to experience whatever the character I have created may be experiencing.

Tue Aug 23 17:54:14 2016

Chuck writes from USA
Dear Ms. Harrison,
Why do you dislike the Holy Rosary? Both Mara and Mother Aquinas have called it an "interminable prayer": when in reality, it is a beautiful way to briefly step into Heaven and out of life's sufferings. Maybe, give it another chance. A rosary takes less than s half an hour to say, an infinitesimal fraction of eternity.

Tue Aug 23 16:12:38 2016

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
It took a long time for the acute poverty in Cork to be relieved. Even in the 1940s things were very bad for the 'have-nots'.

And it took another twenty years for free secondary education to arrive.

Wed Aug 10 20:49:26 2016

Joseph O'Laughlin writes from USA
Hi Cora,

Seconding your 2nd Cork book.

A society tortured into unstable behaviors as citizens try to progress toward civility.

How good it is that you are "with us; NOT agin' us"


Tue Aug 9 22:47:22 2016

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Joe. That's a heartwarming thought.

Just back from a walk through the lanes. The verges are overflowing with wild flowers and we saw a pine marten (like a very large cat with an immensely furry tail) slip across the road in front of us and disappear into a hazel copse.


Sat Jul 30 21:20:05 2016

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