Friday, January 27, 2017

Hazel's new book gets US launch schedule

Local author Hazel Gaynor's latest book, 'The Cottingley Secret', is to be published in the US in August, and later on this side of the Atlantic, writes Brian Byrne.

It is Hazel's fourth book to be published by HarperCollins, and is based on the true story of 'the Cottingley Fairies', when two young Yorkshire girls — cousins Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright — claimed a hundred years ago, and convinced many, that they had photographed fairies at the bottom of their garden in Yorkshire.

"They actually did it to get themselves out of trouble for having gone to the river at the bottom of the garden," Hazel told the Diary, "but the story went way beyond Yorkshire and attracted the attention in London of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was very interested in the supernatural. Growing up where I did, I always knew of the story, and I have wanted to write a novel based around it for a long time."

During her researches for the book, Hazel came across a connection between the Cottingley cousins and a person in Ireland, and she has used the same device as in her first novel about the Titanic by linking the original story with a character living today. Olivia Kavanagh finds a manuscript in a bookshop, and an old photograph that links her to the fairies story.

And Hazel will take you from there on a journey through a typically fascinating and satisfying new novel from Kilcullen's own queen of historical fiction.