Interview with Martha Geaney, Author of 'Death on Clare Island' #interview #mystery


Today's guest is Martha Geaney, author of the new mystery, Death on Clare Island. Carol is here to talk about her book, writing and what surprised her about getting her book published. 

Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Death on Clare Island: A Star O’Brien Mystery grew out of my love for Ireland. My father is from Cork; my mother is from Mayo. I kissed the Blarney Stone when I was four years old. When I was sixteen, my parents sent me to boarding school in Castlebar, Mayo. I fell in love with the people, especially all the cousins, the lush and moody landscape, and the culture. When I decided to develop myself as an Indie author, I knew I had to set this series in Ireland.

Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I am self-published. I formed my publishing imprint, Turlough Nolan Publishing, about ten years ago when I self-published my non-fiction book, Bring Your Spirit to Work: One Woman at a Time. The imprint name is tied to my family history. Turlough is a village in Mayo where my mother’s ancestors the Nolan’s came from.

Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I’ve been surprised and grateful for all the well wishes I’ve received from family and friends.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

Yes, I do. The image of the lighthouse and the moon over the water was one that stuck in my mind several years ago. I worked with the cover designer to come up that image for the cover. I also wanted it to look dark and mysterious to fit the book’s mystery genre.

How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

A mystery series is one of the most difficult writing projects to tackle. A writer can lose their audience if there’s sloppiness in the plotting, red herons, suspects, and characters. I have created a Star O’Brien bible to document all the ongoing series characters back stories. I also write a short summary of each chapter before I begin writing. I’m a plotter!

What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

My editor just returned my draft manuscript for the second book in the series this week. I’m planning to publish the second book by late October.

What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

The ending and who the villain was! It’s a mystery, after all.

Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

Star O’Brien is a strong, independent, feisty amateur sleuth. I want readers to root for her as she searches for her mother and comes to gripes with the losses in her life. Because of her experiences she is always for those who seem to be the underdog.

Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

 Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you. 

About the Author

MARTHA M. GEANEY is the author of the highly praised non-fiction, women’s leadership book, Bring Your Spirit to Work: One Woman at a Time. She is also the author of the Star O’Brien fiction series which is set in the west of Ireland, and the United States. Martha was born in New York City but lived in New Jersey beginning at the age of eight. In 2017, Martha and her partner, Bill, moved to Florida where she enjoys cooking, reading, swimming, and her Schipperke puppy, Turlough.

Before turning to indie writing, Martha was a teacher, management consultant, university professor, and the dean of a business college. It was her leadership experience as a management consultant and her research for her doctorate that prompted Martha to write a self-help book for women who aspire to leadership roles.

Martha’s passion for Ireland began when she made her first trip, at the age of four, to County Mayo, birthplace of her mother, and to County Cork, birthplace of her father. She returned to Ireland again at the age of sixteen to attend a boarding school in Castlebar, County Mayo, for two years. Since then, Martha has visited her cousins and friends in Ireland for more than thirty-five years. It is her love for the people, the country, and all its beauty that inspired her to create a mystery and suspense series, set in Ireland, about an amateur detective, Star O’Brien, who is an American.

She is currently working on her second Star O’Brien novel.

Website Address:              

About the Book:

Title: DEATH ON CLARE ISLAND (A Star O’Brien Mystery Book 1)
Author: Martha M. Geaney
Publisher: Turlough, Nolan Publishing
Pages: 232
Genre: Mystery


Star O’Brien is a haunting voice for the dead, the missing, and the lost.
Star O'Brien is a successful American information broker who can't solve the mysteries of her own life. She comes to County Mayo, Ireland to settle her dead lover's estate and look for her Irish mother who has been missing since Star was six years old. She is on the scene on Clare Island, when a body is discovered. It seems like a closed case involving the island's dangerous cliffs and drug abuse. Star didn't believe it when the police dismissed her mother's disappearance as "abandonment" and she can't believe the stories she is hearing about the dead young man.
Star must separate truth from fiction in the testimonies of those close to the victim including the head of an anti-drug foundation, a volatile ex-lover, a besotted young art student, and a restorer of the island's ruins. Before long, Star's investigation becomes the catalyst for a second murder, and she must work fast to avoid becoming the third victim. As she uncovers the truth about the murders, this fiercely independent, complex, female protagonist must also own up to her own past and a potential future with a charming new confidant.



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