Historical fiction author Caroline Busher has extended an open invitation to her fans to attend the launch of her much-anticipated second novel 'The Girl Who Ate The Stars', which was inspired by a real-life event in County Wexford.
The book will be officially launched in Enniscorthy Castle on Friday, March 16, at 6.30 p.m. by Tom Moore from the Kilkenny-based Oscar-nominated Cartoon Saloon. Byrnes Bookstores is partner for the launch, and food will be provided by 'The Wilds' Cafe.
The Girl Who Ate The Stars was inspired by the bombing of Campile in 1940 as well as Caroline's love of myth and folklore. Hitler dropped a bomb on the Co. Wexford village in 1940 and Caroline imagined that it opened a portal to WolfLand were the children have two hearts - the heart of a wolf and the heart of a child.
As World War II rages, Lottie and Albert Hope are evacuated from England and sent to Kilbree, a village in Ireland where nothing is as it seems. A German bomb is dropped in error by a young pilot.
It opens a portal to another world, Wolf Land, which is ruled by the evil Deathhound and his Werewolf Warriors. Lottie and Albert, along with their gypsy friend Blaise and the pilot Gunther, cross the portal to a savage world. They are on a mission - they must find a Wolf Girl called Cuán, a girl with two hearts, one human, one wolf, who eats the stars to survive. In a race against time, they must rescue her from Wolf Land and a terrifying future awaits them all if the portal between the two worlds closes forever.
Caroline, who grew up in a Victorian house in the north west of England, said: 'Wexford is steeped in history and I am proud to live here. I want to share my love of Wexford with people all over the world.' As an only child, she spent her days reading books and writing fantastical stories.
She moved to Wexford when she was older and believes it is the most magical place on earth. She lives in a house under the Blackstairs Mountains. Caroline graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from UCD and her star has been rising steadily on the Irish literary scene since then.
She is the author of the Irish Times best-selling book 'The Ghosts of Magnificent Children'. Last year, she was 'Reader in Residence' with Wexford Public Library Services, which involved encouraging children to read for pleasure.
'Every day I receive messages from parents and teachers who tell me that my books are making a difference to the lives of children. I believe that books should be at the heart of children's lives,' said Caroline.
'It is important to me that children living in Ireland see themselves represented in the books that they read. It brings reading alive and encourages them to write themselves.'
She is a heritage expert with The Heritage Council of Ireland and the vice-chairperson of Wexford Literary Festival. Last month she became the Festival Manager of the Towers and Tales children's book festival which takes place in the stunning setting of Lismore Castle on May 5.
The Irish Examiner described 'The Girl Who Ate the Stars' as 'A highly original tale with gothic overtones' while Eoin Colfer said of Caroline's debut novel 'The Ghosts of Magnificent Children' - 'An excellent and original voice, with shades of Neil Gaiman and Lemony Snicket'.
The Dublin launch is taking place in Dubray Books on Grafton Street on Tuesday, March 13.