Friday, March 23, 2007

The Perfect Setting

I'm in Ireland right now, visiting my daughter who is a student at the University of Limerick. I've been here once before, but that was when we moved her over and got her enrolled in college. Most of what I saw was the inside of college administration buildings. We did manage to get out into the country a couple of days that trip, which made me realize how much I wanted to be a tourist here.

My husband and I are doing just that this trip, and I have fallen in love with this country. We spent yesterday in Cork City, and I found an interesting little bookstore that had a huge section on Irish history and culture. I wanted to buy every book there. It got me thinking about the popularity of Ireland as a setting in romantic fiction. Certainly, the incredible countryside plays a part. The sea. And the strong character of the Irish people. Their sad history. Their love of family and friendship. All these things are great elements for romance.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to write a story set in this country like Nora Roberts and JoAnn Ross (among many others) have, but I'm loving thinking about it.

1 comment:

JoAnn Ross said...

Hey JoAnn --

Debbie Matthews told me you'd mentioned my Irish books. What a lovely compliment; thank you!

Color me kelly green with envy; what a lucky, lucky daughter you have!!

I LOVE Ireland and nearly moved there several years ago, to Dungarven. (Not that far from where you are, between Cork and Waterford.) But I refused to board my ancient dog and kitty for 6 months, then a grandbaby was born, and well, life intervened.

But we still get back as often as possible. Last trip was in October, and I'm so ready to go back!

Have a fabulous time (how could you not?), remember not to rush and try to see everything, because not only is Ireland best appreciated at its own speed, it'll give you an excuse to go back. (Next time, you must explore stunning Clare, county of castles, the stunning cliffs of Mohr, and the Burren.)

If you get to Kerry, you might want to check out Inch Beach (where much of the movie Ryan's Daughter was filmed) and Dingle, (which, while we were there, had a controversial election changing its name to a gaelic/English blend I'm not even going to try to spell), two of my very favorite places!

And have a glass of Guinness for me! Slainte!!