A JUNIOR doctor has just written a book to help cheer his Bantry-based mum up after she was diagnosed with a serious illness.
Jeremiah Nolan has self-published a children’s fantasy novel called Ara Servando and the Golden Opportunists and it features locations including Bantry, Glengarriff, Hungry Hill and Gougane Barra – to name but a few.
The story, aimed at readers aged 12 and over, follows Ara, who must leave New York and retrace her grandmother’s past in an attempt to find items from her grandmother’s past in an effort to help her ever-worsening memory.
‘It is loosely based on my own extended family’s experiences with emigrating from West Cork to America in the early 1900s, along with references to the War of Independence amongst other things relevant to the local history of West Cork,’ said Jeremiah, who is from Dublin but spends lots of time here.
‘I felt that if I could put together a very human-based story that is faced by many families worldwide every day and place it in a fantasy setting it may be read by those who would ordinarily not have been interested.
‘Also, my mam is an avid reader and she had only just been diagnosed with a bad illness a couple of weeks before Christmas. She had said there were no books out at that time that she wanted to read! So I guess this hopefully cheered her up a bit when I revealed it to her on her Ipad last Christmas morning!’
His mum is Marguerite Harrington who has been living in Coomhola, Bantry for the past nine years.
‘The old cottage which she renovated provided the inspiration for the character Noleen’s cottage in the second half of the book. One of our great grand cousins who emigrated to New York from there in the early twentieth century was also the inspiration behind several of the characters,’ said Jeremiah who is named after his grandfather, originally from Coomhola, and who worked as a garda in Dublin.
‘When we were young, we would always visit Coomhola during the summers and explore around the fields and forests and mountains nearby and continue to do so to this day.
‘Readers from the area will certainly recognise many of the locations and buildings. The cover designs for the ebook, paper back and hardback each depict locations from around West Cork which also adds to the sense of place.’
Jeremiah said the restrictions of lockdown helped him get the book over the line, despite a busy schedule.
Since the pandemic he has worked as a healthcare assistant in both a nursing home and the Mater hospital, a swabber and a vaccinator. He is also a corporal with a medical unit in the Reserve Defence Forces
‘It just goes to show what can be done when the nightclubs aren’t open! During any breaktimes at work I would type any ideas or rough paragraphs into the notes section of my phone. Then transcribe them over to the laptop later that evening. I once had the bones of one particular plot line jotted down on the back of a napkin from the canteen!’
• Ara Servando and the Golden Opportunists is available on Amazon.