I recently reviewed (here) the lovely book The Story Collector by Evie Gaughan so I am thrilled that Evie is joining me as part of the book’s launch celebrations to tell me more about it.
Staying in with Evie Gaughan
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Evie. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Thanks for having me Linda! I love a good night in, especially with a book.
Me too! Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
So this evening I have chosen my new book, The Story Collector. Steeped in magical realism, this is a story that is very close to my heart, as it is full of Irish folklore and myth – a bit of a love letter to the past. Hope you enjoy!
(I did indeed and my review is right here!)
What can we expect from an evening in with The Story Collector?
‘The Story Collector treads the intriguing line between the everyday and the otherworldly’. All of my stories are woven with threads of the supernatural, pulling the reader into a world of pure escapism. This story is set in the village of Thornwood in the early 1900s; a quiet, rural community where nothing much happens until a young American scholar arrives to study the Celtic belief in fairies. There, he meets Anna, a young woman who has her own reasons for wanting to find The Good People and so she agrees to help him translate the stories they gather from the locals. One hundred years later, Sarah Harper discovers Anna’s diary and the secrets that lie therein. Naturally, trouble ensues, but I won’t give anymore away!
What else have you brought along and why?
Music, there has to be music! I know some writers don’t like any sound at all while they write, but I’ve always used music to help me connect with my characters, time and place. I created a playlist of traditional Irish folk music by contemporary artists. There’s a beautiful Irish lullaby that I use in the book, all about keeping a child safe from the fairies. Sung by Róisín Elsafty, it’s utterly spellbinding and blog readers can listen to it here.
Butler’s Cottage is almost like another character in the book. I actually based it on my grandparents’ home, where I used to spend summer holidays with my family. They had a farm and I always remember having such a sense of freedom when we went there – jumping on hay bales and playing with the animals. When I’m not writing, I love to paint and while this might not be the exact cottage, this painting certainly represents the whimsical nature of the place.
(That’s just beautiful Evie and I think it captures the spirit of Butler’s Cottage so well. I take it that’s Cnoc na Sí in the background!)
When it comes to drinks, I’m a hot chocolate fanatic! I think there’s nothing nicer than to curl up with a book and a rich, intense, chocolatey drink. Cream, marshmallows, the works! Although I wouldn’t turn my nose up at a cup of tea and a Tunnocks Tea Cake (just sayin’).
(I’ll put the kettle on – it’s always tea time in this house. Help yourself to a Tunnocks whilst you wait for it to brew.)
Thanks so much for being here Evie. I so enjoyed reading The Story Collector and I’ve loved finding out more about it.
I’ve loved chatting with you Linda, it’s been such a treat to share some of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ inspirations for my writing. Keep serving up the teacakes and I’ll be back!
You’re welcome any time!
The Story Collector
A beautiful and mysterious tale from the author of The Heirloom and The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris.
Thornwood Village, 1910. Anna, a young farm girl, volunteers to help an intriguing American visitor, Harold Griffin-Krauss, translate ‘fairy stories’ from Irish to English.
But all is not as it seems and Anna soon finds herself at the heart of a mystery that threatens the future of her community and her very way of life…
Captivated by the land of myth, folklore and superstition, Sarah Harper finds herself walking in the footsteps of Harold and Anna one hundred years later, unearthing dark secrets that both enchant and unnerve.
The Story Collector treads the intriguing line between the everyday and the otherworldly, the seen and the unseen. With a taste for the magical in everyday life, Evie Gaughan’s latest novel is full of ordinary characters with extraordinary tales to tell.
The Story Collector is available for purchase here.
About Evie Gaughan
Evie Gaughan is the bestselling author of The Heirloom and The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris.
Living on the West Coast of Ireland, which is not renowned for its sunny climate, Evie escapes from the inclement weather into a converted attic to write stories and dream about underfloor heating. Growing up in a walled medieval city, she developed her love of storytelling and all things historical. Her books tread the intriguing line between the everyday and the otherworldly – but always with an Irish woman’s wit. With a taste for the magical in everyday life, her stories are full of ordinary characters with extraordinary tales to tell.
When not writing, she also works as an artist, creating stories on canvas.