Praise for Tara Heavey’s novels:
“Intelligent women’s fiction at its best” – Irish Examiner
“Intelligence, honesty and depth … thoroughly engaging” – Ireland on Sunday
“Heavey has a unique voice … There is an elegance to the writing, and Heavey expertly brings a lightness of touch and empathy to characters … haunting and moving” – Irish Independent
“Uplifting” – Evening Herald
“Addictive … you’ll want to read it all over again, just to get that lovely rush of love” – Kilkenny People
“A joy … warm and wise” – Sarah Webb
Books can be many things to many people. To some, a diversion or distraction, the purest form of escapism. To others, a treasured friend. One they meet once a year at a swimming pool in Marbella or one that resides permanently on their bedside table. A constant companion to be reached for at times when comfort is required.
To me, a book is a sacred contract between writer and reader. Even my earlier novels, where my main motivation was to entertain, the voice of authenticity was always struggling to break through. It knew it had something to say, an important connection to make. It would not be silenced.
In a way, it felt like a duty, to make that connection. More accurate, perhaps, to call it a compulsion.
My first book, “A Brush With Love”, was released in 2003. It was a time of jubilation for me, the manifestation of a lifelong-held dream: my first born child nestling in my belly, my first born book taking its tentative steps out into the world. And tottering all the way to the top of the Irish bestseller list. Heavily pregnant with baby, dreams and possibilities, I celebrated this milestone with cream cakes rather than champagne.
The second born book, “Eating Peaches”, was created amid a flood of hormones. It showed, I think, in its sensuality and aliveness. And this was lapped up in places like Spain and Germany, countries I hadn’t yet visited in person. But my words were there, albeit in a different language, a language I didn’t speak, filling the imaginations of foreign women never to be met in person. And even if I did, I may not be able to converse with them. Yet the connection was made.
“Making It Up As I Go Along” was a kind of transition, where tat ever present voice was getting ever louder. Wanting to make itself heard. Craving meaning alongside – maybe above – entertainment. This impulse stubbornly refused to let me alone. And followed me throughout the pages, as a young girl discovers her heritage, both ancient and in the present.
The voice established itself fully in “Sowing the Seeds of Love” (“Winter Bloom” in The US), a kind of ‘The Secret Garden’ for grown ups. Where five adults find themselves and heal their assorted pasts in an abandoned garden, nature nurturing them back to life.
And finally, “Where the Love Gets In”, a grittier, more challenging read. But beauty still, in a wild dolphin, a silent, autistic child and a love that defies logic and even death. It was hard to write, draining and intense, but worth the struggle, I felt.
I didn’t choose all the titles, I certainly didn’t choose all the covers. But I did choose the vast majority of the words. They were my stories that I had the privilege to tell and the privilege to share.
So now what? After a hiatus of too many years – yes, life certainly did get in the way – I might share more of that all to authentic story in a future post – I am ready t go again. Share again. I miss that sacred connection. The chance to communicate on such an intimate level, with people I may never meet in person.
Such is the magic of books.