Portrait Photo Siofra O'Donovan

There have been a few writers in my family, likef Reverend Robert Haskins Crozier in Texas, who wrote fire and brimstone novels like ‘The Confederate Spy’ and the ‘Infidel’. Then there was the disgruntled priest, Father Jeremiah O’Donovan, who left the priesthood in 1908 and married a Protestant and had an affair most of his married life with Rose McCauley. He wrote Father RalphThere was my father Donal O’Donovan, who wrote a few historical biographies like the one about Kevin Barry.

I had to take up the gauntlet so I started writing when I was nine years old and I haven’t really stopped. My novel ‘Malinski’ came out of my years in Poland,  a book about two old estranged brothers, their  story of betrayal, loss and distorted memory during world war two and the communist years.

Life took me to India when I was sent by a Tibetan lama to learn Tibetan in Dharamsala. I went wandering into the Indo Tibetan borderlands and had great  adventures, meeting Himalayan royalty, double agent spies, poets, refugees, nomads, oracles and of course lamas. This became the material for my second book, ‘Pema and the Yak‘, published by Pilgrims Books in 2008, and now republished in a new version by Amazon Kindle as ‘That Time I got Lost Looking for Shambhala’, launched 21st May 2023 by Seagull Press.

In 2020 I published a biography of Kevin Barry called ‘Yours Til Hell Freezes’, published by Currach Books. That was a duty to ancestors.

Kevin Barry Junior with Siofra O’Donovan in the Barry ancestral home in Carlow, 2019. Photo Credit: Liosa McNamara

Now I’m writing pure historical fiction, having forayed with a few books into historical fantasy.  ‘The King of the North Wind’ is based on the story of Eleanor of Aquitaine’s incarceration by Henry II Plantagenet. It’s about a dysfunctional family, much like my own.

I have a blog on Substack, called Out of Dark Waters, Over Mountains, about myth, folklore and peculiar things. I love faery tales, myth and other worlds. I love history, and  I’m not that keen on the world we live in right now. I believe that it is all up to us. We must ‘Create or Die’.  I give scintillating writing workshops teaching you how to awaken your creativity through Creative Writing.  Guaranteed to slap you out of your writer’s block. See my Workshops Page for more details…

Link to my blog: https://siofra.substack.com/