Eastercon was great fun. Loud and exhausting but fun.
I committed guestblogging over at Heather Reviews, telling everyone a little bit more about some of the locations in A Crack in Everything and A Hollow in the Hills as the first part of her Friday Facts #1 series
This is not an April Fools post! Promise.
As A Hollow in the Hills is set at Hallowe’en, and here we are at Hallowe’en, I thought I’d share an excerpt –
“Mist curled around the grass, freezing it where it touched. Dylan pressed against the shadows of the hunting lodge, trying to hide himself and Clodagh. That was how he found the bonfire, a stack of old pallets and bits of furniture, odds and ends gathered together to make an as yet unlit Halloween bonfire.
But it should have been lit by now, shouldn’t it? Like the thousands blazing in the city below them. Bonfires were as ancient as the land, an old tradition of harvest and spring. A celebration. A sacrifice.
With a screech like a demon a firework went up, bursting in a shower of scarlet and yellow. Others followed, the city of Dublin throwing fire into the sky. A terrible feeling of dread swept over him and he knew he shouldn’t be here, that he shouldn’t be on this hillside, that they should never have split up. Holly was here. It was a trap.”
The photo was taken at the Hellfire Club on Montpelier Hill in Dublin, where Dylan and Clodagh are about to find themselves in a lot of trouble. It’s dark and creepy and has the most terrifying stories associated with it. A Hollow in the Hills is the sequel to the award winning A Crack in Everything and is available now from all good bookshops, real and virtual (maybe even imaginary).
Today on Ruth bombards the Internet with stuff I’m on Tor.com (otherwise known as OMGTORDOTCOM in our house now) answering questions from the lovely Liz Bourke on Sleeps with Monsters.
Should I say that again?
In the grounds of Dublin Castle, the Dubh Linn gardens sit on the site of the original black pool. They are decorated with intertwined brick pathways representing eels. The central lawn double jobs as a helicopter landing pad, while small gardens, such as the Garda Memorial Garden, occupy the corners. It is also the site of the Chester Beatty Library, one of my favorite places to visit in Dublin.
Dublin Castle sits in the heart of old Dublin, on the highest point of land in the area, a ridge between the Liffey and the Poddle (which now flows underground). A sheltered harbour on the Poddle, Dubh Linn was the original Black Pool from which Dublin gets its name. It was probably the site of an ancient ringfort which guarded the harbour, and from the 930s a Viking settlement stood there. The Norman castle was founded in 1204 and the gates were once decorated with the decapitated heads of rebels and invaders. This gate is on Palace Street, the shortest in Dublin with only two addresses, one of which is the Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers Society, founded in 1790. Next door to it is the lovely Chez Max.
Montpelier Hill looms large in the supernatural tales of Dublin and even larger in Dubh Linn. Standing on top of it is the Hellfire Club, once a hunting lodge built in 1725. Stones from the cairn beside it were used in the construction and that sort of thing never ends well. It was used by members of the Irish Hellfire Club for meetings and the stories of wild behaviour, gambling, drunkenness and deals with the devil soon followed. They abandoned it after a fire which was reputedly started by one of the members when a footman spilled his brandy. His solution? Setting the man on fire.
Strange occurances, ghostly reports and bad luck continue to be associated with the Hellfire Club.
Recently I was asked to write blog post on the spookiest places in Dublin, as part of From the Shadows Paranormal Roadtrip. Because A Crack in Everything is set in Dublin I already had a number of ideas lined up. Ghost stories are an intrinsic part of folklore and probably the stories we are all most familiar with. Dublin has more than its fair share, but I was only allowed to pick five.
So here they are:
Paranormal Roadtrip: Destination Dublin with Ruth Frances Long