Goldendelightfor Dundalkauthor onAmazon
A Dundalk writer’s second novel set in Malta has already reached number one on Amazon’s Irish and historical fiction list and continues the outstanding success the author has already has achieved with her debut novel.
Nicola Kearns, a former St Vincent’s student who is originally from Farndreg and now lives in Leitrim, has just published her second novel, The Azure Window, which is the second of her Maltese trilogy and follows her highly successful Under A Maltese Sky.
And little did Nicola know that the real Azure Window, a major natural tourist attraction in Malta, would crumble into the sea in March before she had her novel published.
Nicola said: ‘ The new book is a sequel to the first novel, because I didn’t get everything I wanted into Under A Maltese Sky. Readers were asking me about the next part because they wanted to know what happened to the characters and I wanted to keep it doing too’.
Like her research trips for the first novel, which focuses on WWII and its impact in Malta, Nicola travelled to the idyllic island and spent time at the world famous Azure Window.
She said: ‘ When I was at the site, I got a real feeling of sadness about it, like something very tragic had gone on and it kept coming back to me, I worried about it and it became a backdrop to the novel’. Her brother rang her to tell her the Azure Window had collapsed and Nicola’s novel now immortalises the famous landmark that is no longer there.
And she was pleased that her dad, Nicholas, provided the distinctive and eye-catching cover artwork, featuring the landmark, for The Azure Window like he had done for Under A Maltese Sky.
The new novel spans 60 years, from an island torn apart in the Second World War, to what is now a tourist’s paradise, the story intertwines three separate love stories. The focus is on three generations of women, who like The Azure Window, are beautiful, fragile and enigmatic.
Primarily set in Malta in present times, Jessy McGuill becomes drawn into the past and the life of her mother, Maria, whom she never knew. The truth she learns of her grandmother Ana’s endurance as she struggled to survive severe loss and heartache during the Siege of Malta, forms the backdrop to Jessy’s own story.
Like Ana, Jessy also finds love in Malta, until her grandfather arrives on the island, with a relative in tow. This young man Neil, brings with him his own secrets and the friendship between him and Jessy soon causes a ripple of unease for several reasons. A plot unravels that provides a particular and unbelievable twist which will captivate the reader.
After the success of the first novel, Nicola was contacted by a Maltese publisher and worked ‘night and day for two months’ to complete the second book. It was released onto Amazon a few weeks ago and she got a call from her editor to tell her that it had raced into eighth place in the Irish and historical fiction rankings.
‘I was jumping around the place, and then a short time later, it went from four to three to number one. It’s incredible. All writers have times when they are not sure about whether what they’re doing is good enough but I’m really pleased with the reaction to the books’.
Nicola will launch The Azure Window in Dundalk on Thursday July 13 at the County Library at 6.30pm. For more, see nicolakearnswriter.com. Both books are available on Amazon.
Author Nicola Kearns with her dad, Nicholas and mum, Mary with her new book, The Azure Window which is available now.