Mastodon The Writing Desk: Guest post by Leila McGrath, Author of The Heart Runs Wild

24 August 2017

Guest post by Leila McGrath, Author of The Heart Runs Wild

New on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Wales, 1069:  Alis doesn’t like life on the farm, but things get worse when her father fails to pay the rent. When he is thrown in jail by Lord de Braose, a Norman who wants the land for profit, Alis takes a tavern job in Abergavenny town and vows to never forgive her father or de Braose. There, she meets handsome Reese de Saint-Jean and becomes a housekeeper on his estate. When Reese makes an enemy of Lord de Braose, he is sent overseas in response. Too in love to be parted, Alis finds a way to join him. What transpires changes their lives forever, and teaches Alis that she will never find peace unless she learns to forgive.

Based on true events, The Heart Runs Wild captures the heart as it travels from the mystical mountains of Wales to the
daunting sea cliffs of Ireland.

I have been writing stories and poems since Fifth Grade, but turned to my true love, novels, seven years ago. It has proven to be a harder course than I imagined! There’s this myth that writers can just sit down and write a story.

I began learning the hard way how to piece together plots (and how not to), with nice resolutions at the end, as well as interesting characters that interact well together. It’s difficult to be a writer in today’s world, and just as difficult making a living at it. But when your passion is storytelling, you find all the love you need to continue.

Though my books are currently Irish medieval historical romance, I have scads of other ideas for the future. My first book, Vikings in Dublin is based on a true event, as this book is. My list of ideas (including upcoming novels about smugglers and plague) was inspired by a visit to Ireland four years ago. The magic, music, and people of Ireland took me by surprise. I’ve been there three times now! There’s no place like it on earth. Learning its history, I was fascinated that many stories are little known. Its history stems back to ancient civilization, with structures and mummies older than the pyramids. So we should be writing this down!

I’m only thankful to soon be celebrating The Heart Runs Wild with my first trip to Wales and England, as well. Looking forward to more inspiration to come!

My first book was inspired by an accidental visit to Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. The tour was supposed to include Dublin Castle, but it was under construction. When I stepped into the cathedral and felt the medieval tiles under my feet, as well as Strongbow’s grave and an underground crypt, I was mesmerized that something could be so old, originally built by Vikings. That’s when I did a little research and discovered that the Vikings had a history in Ireland, and that the Irish of the ninth century were actually able to get them out.

My inspiration stems from feeling the importance of sharing not only my heritage, but that of millions of people across the globe. These were our ancestors! Our heroes. I can only hope that, by magnifying the lives of people with unspeakable courage, we will encourage even greater heroism today.

Leila McGrath
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About the Author

Leila McGrath is a piano and voice teacher from New York who has written short stories and historical articles since the Fifth Grade. Now she's turning her attention to her true love: novels. When not writing, she enjoys travel (particularly to Ireland) the latest great restaurant, or a big bowl of ice cream, while listening to her Spanish Timbrado canary sing for all he's worth. Follow her on InstagramFacebook and Twitter @writeluv

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