Aunt Paula was a little crazy, Lucy had often heard from her mother: Just like that, Paula had emigrated to Ireland and bought a dilapidated, roofless cottage in a remote area.
When Lucy has to spend her summer vacation at Paula’s, much turns out to be different. It doesn’t rain all the time. Red hair is far less common than Lucy was led to believe. And Aunt Paula’s cozy house has had a roof for a long time.
Years before I wrote The Greenest Wind, I had bought a framed picture in a gallery in Schull: A colored etching, titled „The robin & the ruin“, signed by C. Thery.
When I wrote the novel, the etching, the artist, and the island became a small but important part of the story. Until … the editor cut the episode due to the publisher’s length specifications for middle-grade books.
So I put the text on my website: Wie Paula ihr Häuschen in Irland fand (How Paula discovered her Cottage in Ireland) and readers love it.
The scene is also missing from Een zakje groene wind – Zomervakantie in Ierland, the Dutch edition of the book, translated by Han van der Vegt.
But when I told my Swedish publisher and translator Dorothea Liebel about it, she immediately decided to include the episode in their book, En påse grön vind: ett sommarlov på Irland, and now it is part of the recently published English edition as well: The Greenest Wind – A Summer in Ireland. Translated by Rebecca Heier.
Back then, in the gallery, I had learned the bare facts that C. Thery lived and worked on one of the hundred small islands off West Cork.
Nowadays Christine Thery has a website where one can find out more and even have a look at some of her paintings. She is living and working on Heir Island in Roaring Water Bay.
Unlike Paula, I didn’t let myself be ferried to the island. Christine welcomes visitors, however, but asks that you call first, to check if she is in and if the Heir Island ferries are running in stormy weather.
View the amazing cover by Sam Kalda in full size here.
In case you are wondering about any peculiar phrasing in this blog post:
English obviously is not my mother tongue. Which is why I did entrust Rebecca Heier, an award-winning professional translator, with the translation of my book. :-)