Laois author’s latest book
Laois based author Frank Parker will release his latest book Strongbow’s Wife on June 1st. Initially only available in digital formats, the book can be pre-ordered at half the eventual price.
Strongbow’s Wife tells the story of the events surrounding her father’s bid to regain the kingdom of Leinster by offering his daughter to a Norman baron with strong connections in the region of England bordering Wales. The journey across England and France in search of the king whose permission was needed, the three year wait for Strongbow to fulfil his side of the bargain, her horror at the sacking of Waterford on the eve of her wedding are all told through her eyes.
Events in Ireland and Wales after her marriage; the death of her father, her husband and her son and the many atrocities committed by allies and enemies contribute to her determination to construct a better life for her daughter who was destined to become the wife of William Marshall, the man who saved England from the French following the death of King John.
Frank was born in Hereford, not far from Strongbow’s ancestral home in the Wye Valley. In 2006 he moved to Ireland. He was inspired to write the book by the information board at the Rock of Dunamaise just a few miles from his Stradbally home. “The plaque refers to Roger Mortimer,” he explains. “I knew that a family of Mortimers were prominent in the history of my birth county, Herefordshire. When I researched the story I discovered that many of those who led the Norman occupation of Ireland in the twelfth century came from my home region. Men like De Lacy, De Braose, Mortimer and, of course, Strongbow, all had holdings in or close by Herefordshire before they came to Ireland in the service of Henry II.”
Frank studied the history of Ireland in this turbulent period and created a website (http://herefordandireland.com) on which he shares his discoveries about the period and the people.
It was whilst doing this research that he began to wonder what it would be like to be a young girl given to a warrior. How did it feel to have to trail across land and sea, much of it on foot, alongside her elderly father, her mother and their advisors and body guards? How did she react to the killing of her younger brother, her nephew and her step-cousin when her father refused to keep a promise? Above all, what became of her after Strongbow’s death when she was still only 23?
Strongbow’s Wife is Frank’s attempt to answer these questions. It can be purchased by anyone with an Apple device for under €2.00; go to: https://itunes.apple.com/ie/book/strongbows-wife/id870676927?mt=11
Frank has been a member of the Laois Writers’ Group since 2010. The group meets weekly at the Mile Bush pub in Portlaoise. “The support and encouragement I have received from other members of the group has been invaluable, giving me the confidence to persevere with my writing ambitions,” he says.
The Laois Writers’Group was founded and is led by Margaret Cotter. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in creative writing. Meetings are held at 8pm on Thursdays at the Mile Bush public house on Mountmellick Road in Portlaoise.
Frank can be contacted by phone on 0872595576; his website address is http://herefordandireland.com; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org