The Irish blood running through my veins has always tapped a foot, waiting for me to get my arse to Ireland. It took a WIP set in Ireland to finally get me on a plane, and thanks be to St. Patrick himself, I'm glad I did.
The country is magic pure and simple.
I adored the people who by their own admission "Irish it up" which translates to bend the truth as far as you choose to tell a good story.
There aren't enough paint chips or color swatches in existence to cover the myriad of greens in Ireland.
Druid's Cave - Blarney Castle Rock Close
And yes, I drove a stick shift on the left side of the road and got by with only one popped tyre (Irish spelling) and a wee dent. (I highly recommend the "walk away" insurance.)
The real treasure of the trip was the research. I've always believed places give off their own unique "vibe." Walking in my characters footsteps, seeing through their eyes, and experiencing that sense of place as they would took my breath away. All the extensive digging I did while writing paled to actually existing in the the realm of my story.
Ferns Cathedral Ruins
It was also fascinating to see where I was pretty spot on and where I missed the mark.
The beauty of the land, the people, and the Guinness stew - sigh.
I can't wait to write new stories set in this place that beckons me home.
Carrick-a-Rede - Northern Ireland