• www.inkitt.com

Emma Clarke Conway

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Aged 45, I live in Meath, with my family. I work between Communications for a polio charity and freelance as Express PR.
I studied journalism at Colaiste Dhulaigh, and have a PRII Diploma in Public Relations. I am a member of the Maynooth Writer’s Group.
My favourite genres to read and to write are fantasy, YA and Dystopian fiction – my love of strong female characters, fighting for the greater good, goes back to Star Wars and Princess Leia, and Buffy.
I blog as the Well Fed Coeliac. I won second prize in the Newbridge Junefest Short Story competition four years ago. I have completed two and a half novels.

Current project

I have recently finished my second novel, which is a Young Adult Dystopian novel, set in a strict, highly regulated Ireland, about a girl who discovers that her father is a leader in a secret underground group and that her mother was a Druid. She begins to display powers and abilities that if properly honed will help overthrow the ruling force and give people the freedom they have so longed for. She just has to stay out of trouble.

This book is the first of three and having taken part in Date with an Agent in 2018, I have spent a year working on rewrites. It is now ready for submission: synopsis complete, pitch complete, proofing complete! I am itching to work on Book 2!

Writing sample

If I wasn’t worrying enough about my dad and his well-being before this, having now been arrested myself, I’m bloody worried now. It’s not pleasant.
Thomas and I are held separately. The cell I am put in is dark and cold, so I sit on a bench, attempting to hold onto the power to instill calm in myself. I felt it in the van on the way, I must keep it, stay in control. After a while however I begin to hear Thomas, in another cell, whimpering and then crying and then screaming. What in hell are they doing to him? The cold starts to seep into my bones, my blood slows, I lie sideways and shiver. I can’t tell how much time passes but eventually they must leave Thomas alone. He’s not dead, somehow I am sure of that. There is a resonant heartbeat I can trace to him – it still vibrates through the stale air of the gaol we are in.
The door of my cell opens. Grim Reaper walks in. I take in a deep breath, cleansing it would be called. I try to make myself look uncaring and innocent at once.
“Hello, Ms Kilmurray. I hope you are enjoying our hospitality.”
“It’s fabulous. But you should consider some refreshments for your guests,” I play the game. Still I could rip open his dense neck. I close my eyes momentarily to repress the thought. That probably wouldn’t end well.
“I am Executive Glickman,” he says thickly. “And how well I remember the name Kilmurray.”
“Friend of my family?” I ask, glibly.
“Humorous,” he answers in a voice that says I’m not. “Tell me, Denní Kilmurray. Why did it matter to you so much that we didn’t take Mr Keane? Are you involved with him?”
“No!” I say indignantly. It’s probably of no interest to Glickman that Thomas is gay but still, honestly. “He’s done nothing wrong so why should you take him away. He’s a friend, a work colleague and I was afraid for him.” I try to speak carefully, not wanting to say something that will implicate Thomas. Or me.
“I see. Well, my problem with you, Ms Kilmurray, is that I don’t really believe you. So I have an experiment in place.”
I lift my head to stare at him, my insides churning. I can’t give away what I am, or what I might be. What would he do with me if he knew my secret? He watches me, in the dull light that comes mostly from the corridor. His features are almost caricature. Over-stated. Over-bearing, like he is. His dark eyes take in my face greedily, searching for some sign of me giving something away, but I keep myself still. He nods then to the Custodians behind him and they come and pull me to my feet. They lead me out of that cell, down the corridor and into a larger room. There is the experiment, an experiment on me, on my resolve not to give myself or Thomas away. I shut my eyes and try not to breathe. But too late, the smell, the fresh and tantalising and coppery scent of blood is fused with the molecules of the room. Thomas’s blood.
He lies on the floor, in a pool of darkness, his life seeping from open wounds on his chest and arms. He twists and thrashes, his face contorted, seeking relief from the burning, stinging flesh. What have they used, what have they inflicted on him? It smells wrong, maybe poisonous. What does his know, this Glickman? To create a trap that might reveal me as a Druid, a healer. There is something on Thomas’s wounds that is acrid. It might stop me. This is well thought out.
I look behind me. Glickman watches me with a gluttonous expression on his face. Is he waiting for me to dive upon poor Thomas and to help him? To undo myself and who knows who else – my father? I look left. The two young Custodians who have taken me in here are both looking uneasy. They were not responsible for those wounds and the sheer wickedness frightens them. There is one other Custodian in the room, the pug nosed red-headed one. He is leaning against a wall, clutching his stomach. So much for protective guards. Brave as babies.
Three I could take down. The Custodians don’t worry me but Glickman does. I know nothing about him. I assume he’s an average man, but then with all I’ve discovered in the past number of months he could be a radioactive rat for all I know. Regardless of anything, I have to get Thomas out of here and I have to keep him alive long enough to save him. I have to make a move now.
Using pure instinct, I reach out into the particles of the earth, far below the stone floor of this room. I pull Fey Power from nature, energy from anything alive. I even draw from the air in this room and feel my blood pressure increasing and with that my body begins to quiver– but not to have an outburst. Instead of seeing, I will be seen and revealed, but I no longer care if they see my power. The decision is made: I will use what I have to save Thomas, who tried to save me. The strength comes. It is what I have waited for – the strength of a Druid, an Ovate.
I am Edana; my mother’s daughter.

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