On #IrishWritersWed today I am delighted to welcome Caroline Busher, author of The Ghosts of Magnificent Children.
Caroline is currently “Reader in Residence” with Wexford Public Library Services, with events and school visits aimed at encouraging children to read for pleasure.
Originally from the North West of England, Caroline has been living for many years in the South East of Ireland and strongly believes that it is the most magical place on earth.
Her post for us all today is entitled ‘A Gothic Tale to Rattle The Bones’
Perfect for the week that’s in it. I do hope you all enjoy!
by Caroline Busher
It was October, only days before Halloween, the evenings were dark and cold, leaves crunched beneath my feet and a cruel wind blew from the north. I breathed it into my lungs, allowed it to rattle my bones. The talk in school was of witches, ghosts and haunted houses. A funfair came to town and while my friends whizzed and whirled on bumper cars, I walked over to the haunted house attraction. I sat in a small car and was brought through the imaginary rooms, cobwebs dangled from the makeshift ceiling, ghosts howled, banshees cried and I felt a tinge of excitement seep through my veins. A skeleton appeared in front of me so I covered my eyes with my hand and screamed. When I opened them again, it was all over and my fascination with haunted houses, ghosts and werewolves had begun.
There is something delicious about being scared. Whenever I watch a horror film I am a teenager again perched on the edge of my seat waiting for the ghost to appear. It’s the same when I read a ghost story or gothic novel such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. They explore the supernatural and evoke a feeling of dread in the reader. Gothic novels are often set in crumbling castles with secret passageways and there is always the impending sense of doom.
My debut novel “The Ghosts of Magnificent Children” was partly influenced by my own childhood. I grew up in a Victorian House on the outskirts of Manchester. I spent my days devouring classic novels and encountered what I believed to be a ghost beneath the floorboards of my Victorian Home. It felt logical to set the novel in the Victorian Period. I am fascinated by this bizarre period in history. The Victorians had a strong belief in the mystical and held many superstitions that were intrinsically linked to death. One such belief involved mirrors, when a person died in the Victorian Era the family of the deceased would cover every mirror in the house with a black cloth to prevent the spirit of the dead person from becoming trapped inside of it.
I now live in Wexford not too far away from Loftus Hall which is rumoured to be the most Haunted House in Ireland. There is a remarkable story that accompanies the house.
It is believed that a young girl living in the house with her parents was traumatised when a mysterious man arrived at the house one night. During a game of cards the man who had hooves instead of feet flew through the roof’, which has left a hole that can still be seen. The girl locked herself in her bedroom where she stayed for nine years, until her death in 1775. It is rumoured that she can still be seen wandering the halls of the Loftus Hall today.
I also discovered that the last wolf in Ireland was said to have been killed on the foothills of Mount Leinster in 1786. In fact the entire County is steeped in history and folklore. This sent my imagination into overdrive. I began to imagine a girl called Cuán who has two hearts the heart of a wolf and the heart of a child. I wondered what would happen if Cuán changed into a wolf and became trapped in a place called Wolf Land. Where she discovered other wolf children like her. And the only way they could survive was by eating the stars. This remarkable story, which is set between the years 1920 and 1940 became my second novel “The Girl Who Ate The Stars”
It will be published by Poolbeg Press in March 2018.
Available Now ~ The Ghosts of Magnificent Children
The year is 1848. It is a time when magic and ghosts exist.
Four Magnificent Children are captured by Badblood’s Circus.
Theo can look into your eyes and reveal your secret thoughts, which come out of his mouth like a swarm of bees.
Ginny has a bird called Blue living inside her. Her ribs are woven together to form a birdcage. Blue perches on a swing made from one of her ribs.
And the Thought-reading Twins, Archie and Millie Luxbridge, have an extraordinary ability to read each other’s minds.
They become stars of the circus but are unaware that Badblood has a dark and secret plan.
One hundred years later the children’s ghosts appear on an island off the coast of Ireland where a boy called Rua befriends them. Rua discovers that a terrible fate awaits them and, in a desperate race against time, he struggles to learn how they may be saved.
Purchase Link ~ The Ghosts of Magnificent Children
About Caroline Busher
Irish Times Best Selling Author of “The Ghosts of Magnificent Children” Caroline Busher graduated with a First Class Honours MA in Creative Writing (UCD).
She is represented by Trace Literary Agency (USA) and was appointed as the Reader in Residence with Wexford Public Library Services from 2016-2017.
Caroline is the Vice Chair of Wexford Literary Festival.
Website ~ https://carolinebusher.wordpress.com/
Twitter ~ @CarolineBusher