Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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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

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Yes, I must look out for that book, Joe. Sad to think of the Burren without the Mountain Avens, but there is no doubt that the habitat is deteriorating during the last twenty or thirty years. With the advent of slatted houses where cows are shut up for the months of the winter (strongly pushed by the Irish agricultural advisory service Teagasc) the cattle are not grazing down the hazel scrub when it appears and hazel bushes are colonizing the stone pavements and crowding out the wild flowers.

Mon Jul 15 08:45:33 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 08:15:02 2013

Joe O'Laughlin writes from USA
Hi Cora,

I've been reading a chapter about what changes may come about for the Burren, if climate warms or crashes cold.
"Mountain Avens" in " Turned out Nice" by Marek Kohn.

NOT the recent "Turned out Nice Again" by another Richard Mabey

You too write of times changing, and the affect on folk.

Joe O'Laughlin

Sun Jul 14 05:45:14 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Sorry, Aisling, I'm not doing any talks for children these days. I really have too many books to be written and just can't afford the time.
Also, I am perhaps getting a little too old for it all!

Wed Jun 19 12:55:00 2013

Aisling writes from Ireland
Morning Cora,

I am writing to know if you do author visits during Children's Bookfest? I was hoping you might come and talk in Kildare libraries.


Aisling Donnelly

Wed Jun 19 11:55:13 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Odon: Oh, how terrible! It's no excuse, but I did write and have published five books last year and I am, by nature a terrible person to rush at things.
I think, looking back, that the plot of this particular book was so complicated that I made several changes and obviously didn't tie up loose ends...
Still, I'm glad that you enjoy the flowers - and yes, I do love gardening, and am lucky enough to live on a farm with acres of wild flowers - soon the wild orchids will begin and I can never get tired of the beauty of them.

Tue Jun 4 08:48:31 2013

Odon writes from USA

I have read all of the Burren mysteries and enjoy them very much. I especially like the way you describe all the flora in the valleys to fully depict the Irish countryside. This is unique among historical mysteries and a reason Iíve recommended these books to my gardening friends looking for titles.

I have recently finished "Chain of Evidence" and am confused by Fachtnan's ability to be in two places at once. On pg. 55 he is sent to Thomond to retrieve Nuala and on pg. 111 he returns from this assignment. However, on pg. 71 "Fachtnan was at her side" as they examined the road. And on pg. 81 "the door was closed by Fachtnan" as they interviewed a witness. And on pg. 107 Mara says, "Fachtnan, would you ask Brigid if you can all have an early lunch." These editing errors have no bearing on the solution of the mystery, but make me wonder if anything important has slipped through. (All page references to the first world edition by Severn House)

Mon Jun 3 20:43:30 2013

Miranda writes from Canada
Thank you so much for the speedy response, I was so excited to read your message. Unfortunately I don't know any movie makers, though I wish I did.

I completely agree that it would be a fresh new take on Jane Austen and if the film script was written as well as your book, it would surely be a huge hit!

Today I went and ordered Debutantes and I'm very excited for it to come in.


Mon May 20 03:15:36 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Miranda. What a lovely message to read first thing in the morning.

Yes, I would so love a movie of my Jane Austen books - do you know any movie makers?

I suppose every novelist dreams of a film being made of their books, but I do think that it could be lovely and would be different to the usual Jane Austen spin-offs.

Sun May 19 06:18:54 2013

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