MULTIPLE award-winning travel writer and professional ghostwriter Conor Power is using the additional time ‘gifted’ to him by the current Covid-19 pandemic to launch a crowdfunding campaign to bring a unique novel to print.
The book aims to be the first work of fiction set during the era of professional hurling. Power – who has written numerous books as a ghostwriter as well as having written a biography of his late father (a famous hurler and coach in his own right) – says that this is an opus that has been a number of years in gestation and fate has now dealt him a hand that he intends to use to the full.
‘For a start, the entire publishing industry as we know it has been put on hold during this crisis,’ says the writer and journalist, who lives near Durrus.
‘At the same time, with work having dried up in travel writing and with the lack of sporting activity, it might just be the perfect time to launch this book that deals with a time in Irish history that few even know existed.’
The novel – a romantic fiction – is set in the early 1800s in rural Carlow.
This is at the tail end of a time when the Big Houses of the country were sponsoring teams to do battle against one another.
‘In many ways, it was an era when Ireland was the playground for the landed gentry and sports of all kinds were thriving. But after the revolutions at the end of the 18th century and the Act of Union in 1801, that all began to unravel and my book is set at a time when all of that time is coming to an end.’
This, Power points out, will be the very first novel to be set during this extraordinary time.
The story includes a number of real-life historical characters in a fictionalized version of themselves. One of them is William Webb Ellis – the man who would go on to invent rugby and who used (so the theory goes) the layout of hurling to apply to the new game.
For further details, see fundit.ie/project/hurling-at-goals