Normally renowned for writing novels for adults, Strabane author, Caroline Doherty De Novoa, has recently delved into the world of children’s literature, by writing her first book for the younger generation.
Originally from the town, Caroline has sent some time in Colombia, and has recently settled in London. Her first stab at writing for children is entitled ‘Noora and the Seers.’
Speaking to the Tyrone Herald following her flit from Columbia to London, Caroline explained Noora’s origins.
“Noora and the Seers is a middle- grade fantasy novel, aimed at children between the ages of eight and 12.
“It’s about a little girl called Noora. Noora’s grandmother has gone missing in suspicious circumstances, and she must use her voice – which Noora discovers is her greatest power – to find her missing grandparent.
“The story upends traditional fantasy fiction tropes by showcasing Noora’s communication and intuition abilities as her ‘superpower’, rather than relying upon physical strengths.
“However, Noora still has to harness her gifts if she is to be successful in her quest.”
Caroline explains that it was a combination of writer’s block and the pandemic which led to Noora being born.
“In early 2020, I was mid-way through my third novel for adults when the pandemic struck, and I found myself unable to complete the story. Instead, anytime I sat down to write, this strange, funny, sweet little girl kept showing up instead.
“I, then, abandoned my adult book in favour of Noora. I found that the long months of the lockdown were when I missed family, in particular my nieces and nephews, most of all.
“Zoom became the communication medium, but it’s not the same as actually being with them, running through the garden. Hanging out with Noora and her friends on their adventure was the alternative to doing the same with the real kids in my life.”
Caroline has dedicated the book to those she missed, and said it was a ‘very special moment’ when she was able to share advance copies of the book, which she self-published, with her family at Christmas.
She hopes that readers will take a chance on Noora’s story, and, if they enjoy it, share it with friends.
Caroline also expresses gratitude to people back home in Strabane who have been ‘such incredible champions’ of her work.
Caroline continued, “I may return to the abandoned adult novel or continue Noora’s story; I haven’t decided yet. I’m currently working on the script for my first Strabane-set novel, ‘Dancing With Statues’, which is exciting, and the script is in its final stages, so we’ll see where it goes from here. Being a writer can be a lonely business; it’s been wonderful to have a collaborator!”
l ‘Noora and the Seers’ is available from Waterstones and Amazon.