What do the Cliffs of Ireland, Declan O’Roark, and the ending to A Thief Consumed have in common?
Amazing views! (Even Declan is an amazing view. Am I wrong?)
When anyone thinks of Ireland, a few things always come to mind: Guinness, Irish whiskey, rolling hills dotted with sheep, and the amazing cliffs of Ireland.
We saw all of those things in Ireland, but when it came to researching where I wanted to end A Thief Consumed and begin A Thief Obsessed, I dreamt of a castle owned by Declan O’Roark high up on a hill overlooking amazing cliffs. Of course Declan would own an Irish castle, right? This castle comes complete with a beautiful, romantic tub in front of a large window overlooking these cliffs. And if you thought Declan could be romantic… you need to meet Dimitri. Dimitri’s just getting started.
That’s all I’m going to tell you about the ending to A Thief Consumed. You didn’t really think I was going to give away the ending, did you?
Thoughts on the Cliffs of Moher
We visited the Cliffs of Moher first. And they were extraordinary. They were also very crowded, unless you break away from the crowd and venture along the entire path of the cliffs, something most tourists forego.
There is a large visitors center at the Cliffs of Moher, which is very nice for grabbing a snack or lunch and using the restrooms, because there are not a lot of restaurants or even towns nearby. Though we did have a late lunch in a nearby village. We drove our own rental car from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher (which was an adventure of its own with Ireland’s narrow roads). So we were able to explore villages and castle ruins we spotted from the road to and from Dublin.
Along with a large visitors center comes a lot of visitors. However, most people who visit the Cliffs of Moher stick to two general areas. Once they’ve walked up one of two hills and snapped a couple of photos, they turn around and leave. Very few people take the long walk to the left all the way to the end of the cliffs. Which was exactly what we did, and it was worth it. The entire walk took a couple of hours, and the views we were rewarded with were worth it. Not to mention, why drive all the way out to the cliffs and not spend some time taking in the splendor?
Stopping to breath the salt air, study birds nesting on the sides of the cliffs, and take in the many colors of the sky and the sea makes imagining just how many people who have walked those paths before us possible. As a writer and storyteller, I can easily imagine the tales that have been spun about these cliffs. And yes, even I couldn’t help but think of tragic tales of people losing their lives, falling over the cliffs whether accidentally or on purpose. There is not much to protect you from getting too close to the edge other than your own fear.
Thoughts on the Slieve League Cliffs
I can not express clearly enough just how awesome (in the truest meaning of the word) the Slieve League Cliffs are. When it comes to comparing the tallest cliffs in Europe to the Cliffs of Moher, Slieve League is in a league of its own. (See what I did there?) The Slieve League Cliffs are nearly three times the height of the Cliffs of Moher. They were truly amazing, and it was easy to see why so many people (but far less than the number of visitors to Cliffs of Moher) would make the pilgrimage to the top and along these cliffs.
Taken from Ireland.com: “There are also ancient stone remains that suggest that the mountain was a site of pilgrimage before the arrival of Christianity.”
How can you not meditate on that sentence? Before the arrival of Christianity!
The only problem the day we visited was the weather. It was a very grey day, and rain was moving in. This is typical of Ireland, so I am by no means complaining. But it did impact the brightness of our photos. And, as you can see, a thick cloud of fog hung out at the top of the cliffs. So it was near impossible to capture the true awesomeness of the size of these cliffs. You’ll just have to trust me and try to visit these cliffs for yourself.
Traveling to Research Novels
I already knew that A Thief Obsessed (International Thief Book 3) would be set in or around Dublin, Ireland before I visited Ireland. I also knew Lola and/or Dimitri would end up along some cliffs of Ireland at the end of A Thief Consumed (book 2), because I had already written it. 😉 What I didn’t know was just how to describe the scene at the end of book 2.
Being in Ireland, taking in the views of the sea while standing at the tops of cliffs, was truly amazing. And it made visualizing the ending to A Thief Consumed (which I edited when I returned home) and imagining a possible plot for A Thief Obsessed possible.
A writer doesn’t necessarily have to visit every single setting in order to do a pretty good job of setting the scene, but it sure is more fun to do so when the opportunity is there. And it is always my hope to convey what my characters are seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, touching, and the overall feeling the scene. Putting myself in the character’s shoes and directly in the middle of the scene, literally, sure does help.
Thoughts? I would love to hear them, whether they’re about the books mentioned above or about Ireland. Let’s chat!
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