“…it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

I was sad to hear about the passing of one of the most thoughtful authors of our time. The author of my favorite book, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Harper Lee’s talent for narration and her ability to take a challenging subject and present it with warmth and humor is an inspiration to this author and something I aspire to.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a timeless story that transcends the idea of both time and place, taking the reader on a journey that is enlightening as well as entertaining. A lofty goal, but one worth striving for. –Thank you, Harper Lee, for what you imparted to this author.

“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” —Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

The History Show American Civil War Specials– RTE Radio One Podcasts

If you enjoy reading about history, especially Irish-American history you’ll enjoy this blog/podcast on the Irish-American role in the Civil War. Great information! Cheers, Kenna

Irish in the American Civil War

Dr. Myles Dungan has been a long-standing advocate for developing a greater understanding in Ireland of our links to the American Civil War. The Irish relationship with the United States is one he has explored on several occasions in his books, such as Distant Drums: Irish Soldiers in Foreign Armies and How the Irish Won the West. He was also responsible for Ireland’s first ever dedicated day of lectures on the Irish experience of the American Civil War, which took place at the Hay Festival in Kells, Co. Meath, last year. Those in Ireland will be familiar with Myles’s outstanding contribution to public engagement with history through his long running RTE Radio One broadcast The History Showwhich has examined themes relating to the Irish and the American Civil War on numerous occasions. Over the last two weeks in Ireland, Myles broadcast two special episodes of The History…

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“When I die Dublin will be written in my heart.” –James Joyce

I have always loved to travel! And wither my journey is by plane or just picking up a book and going to Hemingway’s Paris, Gabaldon’s Scotland, or Burke’s Louisiana I relish the process of being transported to another place, and in some cases time.

I recently read “Description & Setting…” by Ron Rozelle. Mr. Rozelle believes that “…fiction has to have a setting rich enough to match the story you intend to tell. It must be believable and sufficiently described to be as real for your reader as the rooms they are sitting in when reading it.” My ultimate goal, for readers to see what I saw when I created my story world.

So put on your walking shoes, and don’t forget your umbrella. This morning I’m taking you on a tour of Dublin through the eyes of Kenna Gordon.

Mountjoy Square, Dublin, Ireland

Mountjoy Square, Dublin, Ireland

“Kate walked along the streets of Dublin, carefully following the directions Sean had given her. Patrick’s home was located in an area of the city rich in Georgian history. Red brick buildings with brightly colored doors lined the streets like soldiers standing at attention. The lush green courtyard was a tranquil oasis in the middle of the cities hustle and bustle. Kate began carefully reading the addresses posted on each door until she came to number 30 Mountjoy Square. She hesitated for a moment before opening the large red door and climbing the stairs to Patrick’s apartment; her apprehension grew with each step until she reached his door—and knocked.”        –“The Last Rose of Summer” by Kenna Gordon

ODonavan Bridge

O’Donovan Rossa Bridge, Dublin, Ireland

The evening had been perfect; Sean thought as he sat in his room looking out over the River Liffey. Sean admired the emerald lights that shimmered off the water underneath the O’Donovan Bridge and thought about his time with Kasey…”                                                                               –“A Wild Rose in Spring” by Kenna Gordon

 

Georgian Doors (2)“He remembered a lecture she had taken him to on the significance; past, present, and future, of the historic Georgian squares of Dublin. They talked about the houses he walked by every day on his way to work. Their elaborate wrought iron and colorful doors adorned with ornate brass knockers now took on a new meaning for Sean. On Sunday afternoons, when there was nothing to do, the two of them would go on walking tours of the city, and Kay would point out architectural details. To most Dubliners, the Georgian streetscapes seemed uniform, but Kasey taught him to look for the unique particulars in each home that lined the square. The opulent fanlights, detailed architraves, and individual balconies made each one as exceptional as the next.”      –“A Wild Rose in Spring” by Kenna Gordon

Ha'penny Bridge, Dublin, Ireland

Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin, Ireland

The Ha’penny Bridge (officially known as the Liffey bridge). The place where Kathleen Sinead Murphy and Patrick O’Connor first kiss.                                                    –“Winters White Rose” by Kenna Gordon

I hope you enjoyed the journey!         Cheers, Kenna

Let The Juggling Act Begin…

BBWild Rose BCAs I mentioned last week, the second book in the Celtic Rose Trilogy, “A Wild Rose In Spring” was released on Amazon this week!…

…And now I am in marketing mode. I have to admit, I am not a sales person! And like most writers–I would rather write! But to achieve my dream of becoming a full-time author/writer I have to sell books.

I know I’m not sharing anything new. Most writers, especially self-published authors, struggle with this dilemma. I only mention my quandary because I wanted to share a resource that has been helpful to me.

“Social Media for Writers” by Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine

This book has given me the tools I need to conquer my fear of social media. It is filled with ideas to improve my author platform and helps me concentrate on content that works to promote my brand–check it out!

I would love to hear what works for you, so don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

Cheers, Kenna

 

A History Lesson…

Exciting news!… “A Wild Rose In Spring,” book two in The Celtic Rose Trilogy is due out this week. I promise to share more on this topic in next week’s blog–stay tuned!

With that project completed I have moved on to book three, “Winter’s White Rose”, the final book in the Celtic Rose series. This book revolves around Katelin and Kasey Quinn’s mother Kathleen.

Kathleen Sinead Murphy was born in County Cork, Ireland, a small country with a big heart, struggling to find its independence. Kathleen’s love for Patrick O’Connor and the choices she makes will not only affect her life but the lives of her daughters.

“Winter’s White Rose,” is a story of love, sacrifice, and devotion to family. And a lesson in history that reminds us that freedom is a precious gift.

In researching this book I’ve learned a lot about Irelands history, and yes my own heritage. This week I discovered a Google website that gives the viewer an insight into the Easter uprising of 1916 and how it changed the Ireland of today (click on the link below). I hope you enjoy the journey!  Cheers, Kenna

Dublin Rising 1916-2016

Where Oh Where Has Kenna Gone?

It has been awhile since my last post, but I’m back!

As some of you know, I spent some time in Ireland last year. It was a trip that changed my life. And now it isn’t a matter of If I go back, but when I go back. I’ve another trip in mind and beyond that… well, who knows what the future holds.

I’ve also spent the last few months completing book two in The Celtic Rose Trilogy, “A Wild Rose in Spring.” I will be announcing a release date very soon. I’ve begun work on book three in the trilogy, “Winters White Rose”, as well as a stand alone novel. All current and upcoming projects can be found on my projects page.

Meanwhile I’ve posted a video of my trip to the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland. I hope you enjoy it. Cheers! Kenna

My Bags Are Packed…

Suitcases

 

 

I am about to embark on my latest adventure, a much anticipated trip to the capital of Ireland–Dublin.

My bags are packed and I have my list of …“Ten must see bookstores in Dublin.”

Books Upstairs
Located near Trinity College, this small bookshop has a lovely selection in a wide range of topics. Founded in 1978, this shop has an excellent staff and commitment to good books.
36 College Green Dublin 2
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Books-Upstairs/249287641781861

Chapters
The largest independent bookstore in Dublin, you can find just about anything here, from new to used. At 30 years old, they certainly know their way around books! Here you’ll also find the Lighthouse Cinema Book club, and can rent the self-guided audio walking James Joyce ‘Dubliners’ Tour.
1 Ivy Exchange,
Parnell Street, Dublin D1
http://chapters.ie/

De Búrca Rare Books
Over 20,000 rare books are located in this posh antiquarian bookshop.
51a Dawson St
Dublin 2
http://www.deburcararebooks.com/dawson.html

Hodges Figgis
Ireland’s oldest bookshop. Founded in 1768, this venerable bookstore is now owned by Waterstones. It was mentioned in Ulysses, by James Joyce. Relaxed atmosphere, and extremely helpful and knowledgeable staff (which you’ll need, because the place is so large).
56-58 Dawson Street
Dublin 2
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hodges-Figgis/381680888618026

Irish Film Institute Film Shop
Of course, you’ll find films here – but also plenty of amazing books about, yes, Irish Film.
6 Eustace Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
http://www.ifi.ie/shop/

Sweny’s
Remember the pharmacy in Ulysses, by James Joyce? None other than Sweny’s, now a (very small) used bookstore run by volunteers. You can also find local crafts and a very famous lemon-scented soap! I love their description from the facebook page: “Quite possibly Dublin’s worst Pharmacy. Est. 1847 and immortalized in Joyce’s Ulysses, we sell books, lemon soap, have readings and imbibe in all things Joycean.”
1 Lincoln Place
Dublin 2.
http://sweny.ie

The Company of Books
All new books. This store started in 2009, and features an online book club.
Ranelagh, Dublin 6.
http://www.thecompanyofbooks.ie/

The Gutter Bookshop
Also opened in 2009, this store is named after Oscar Wilde’s epigram, ‘We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars’ – a fitting name for a bookstore, indeed. There are two locations.
Cow’s Lane
Temple Bar
Dublin 8
Tel: (00353) 1 6799206
20 Railway Road
Dalkey, Co Dublin
http://www.gutterbookshop.com/

Ulysses Rare Books
Formerly known as Cathach Books, Ulysses is an antiquarian bookstore where you can find books of Irish interest, as well as rare books.
10 Duke Street
Dublin 2
http://www.ulyssesrarebooks.com/

Winding Stair
Named from the Yeats poem, “My soul. I summon to the winding ancient stair/Set all your mind upon the steep ascent…” This bookstore sells both new and used books, and plenty of Irish authors, literary magazines, and gifts. Also serves coffee, tea, and wine.
40 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1
Lunch: 12pm-5pm, Dinner: 5:30pm-10:30pm
http://winding-stair.com/

My Irish Film Festival…

As I prepare for my trip to Dublin this month I spent the weekend watching some of my favorite Irish films. (No–I didn’t watch The Quiet Man, although it is a charming little film). A good film has a way of inspiring me.

Here is a list of some of my favorite Irish films (what is your favorite Irish film?), and a clip from “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” –enjoy!

  • The Commitments
  • In the Name of the Father
  • Michael Collins
  • Intermission
  • Once
  • Perrier’s Bounty
  • Some Mother’s Son
  • The Field
  • Ondine
  • The Wind That Shakes the Barley

New Year, New Address, New Look…

It’s a new year filled with exciting changes. I have a new web address, kennagordon.com, and an updated website with a modern feel. Explore the new site and let me know what you think. I look forward to your input.

While I work on the finishing touches to the second book in the Celtic Rose Trilogy, “A Wild Rose in Spring” check out the latest book trailer, and enjoy!  –Cheers, Kenna