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Friday, 9th June 2017

Local writer Nicola Cassidy lands publishing deal

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Author and blogger Nicola Cassidy.

Novel inspired by true events at Townley Hall and Dowth

Termonfeckin based writer and blogger Nicola Cassidy has just signed a publishing deal with a UK digital publisher for her novel which is set in 19th century Drogheda and Co. Meath.

The historical fiction novel called December Girl will be published this October and was inspired by true events, originally published in the Drogheda’s local media in the 1880s.

Speaking about the deal, Nicola, who blogs at said it was a dream come true and something she had been working towards her whole life.

“I always wanted to write a novel and have it published,” she said. “Even as a little girl, it was my dream. To finally sign on the dotted line of a contract is a bit surreal.”

December Girl tells the story of Molly Thomas, who is evicted from her home at Dowth in Co Meath at the end of the 19th century over a land dispute. In the story, Molly flees to London where she has a baby who is later abducted by a childless woman.

“The characters and the story are fictional, but the eviction really did take place and I drew on that as my original inspiration. I first read about it in an academic thesis by Gareth Yore in a book I borrowed from Drogheda Library and later managed to meet up with Gareth and walk the land where the true story took place. This was invaluable in my research and setting the scene throughout the book.”

Nicola says the setting of the Boyne Valley plays a big role in the novel too. “There’s something about the landscape and the history. What drew those people who built the passage tombs at Newgrange and Dowth to here? What if their spirit still lives on? That’s what I wanted to explore in the novel.”

Growing up in Tullyallen, Nicola says Townley Hall and later Dowth Hall also lent themselves to the story. “In December Girl, there is a fictional stately home called Brabazon House, and I drew on Townley Hall and Dowth Hall as a backdrop for that. I would love to see the story as a screenplay in the future. Who knows; our own Downton Abbey in the Boyne Valley!”

The book will be published by Bombshell Books, a new imprint for the successful crime publishers Bloodhound Books and available on Kindle and in selected book shops. Launches are planned for both Dublin and Drogheda.

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