Defying the Curse at New Ross Library by Maria O’Rourke | Member Blog

defying the curse

Having been invited to a conversation about my book in New Ross library, Defying the Curse,  I wasn’t sure what to expect. On arrival, I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful, modern library setting with an outdoor amphitheatre visible through the large windows. Tina and librarian, Thomas, made me very welcome and had two lovely, comfortable chairs ready for an informal chat. There were approximately thirty seats, and soon a very receptive audience of writers and local historians arrived.
Tina asked many interesting questions including how I got the idea to write this book in the first place. It was actually my father who told me the story of the great Arthur MacMurrough Kavanagh when I was about thirteen years old. We were driving through the village of Borris and I wondered who lived inside the high, imposing walls that predominated one side of the street. My father told me about the Kavanaghs and that a curse had been put on the family in the 1800s by a disgruntled tenant. The curse stated that they would never have any luck until they were ruled by a cripple. I could hardly believe it when he told me that the last child of the family was born without limbs and how he managed to live an extraordinary life and became the heir, despite having older brothers. Years later, I recalled this story and decided to do some research and write about it.
The audience were very receptive and were interested, as most people are when it comes to historical fiction, in how much of it is true. I assured them that I had honoured the facts of this great man’s life, but added colour in the form of conversations and peripheral characters. I used the analogy of colouring a black and white photo – it just makes it more interesting, but none the less real.
Afterwards, I signed some books and stayed around for a chat with people, some of whom told me their writing journeys. Having been nervous in the beginning, I found that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and am looking forward to speaking in Borris library on Saturday, June 8th.
‘Defying the Curse‘ is available on and Amazon as well as many independent bookshops.
(c) Maria O’Rourke

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