The things which inspired me in Ireland? Well, just about all of it! I loved our hotel on the Galway waterfront. Meandering through a street fair and seeing the World Cup sailboats up close. Pubs and restaurants were high on my list (if you’ve been reading me long enough, you know they always are!).
My own excuse for the trip was because my granddaughter did a summer semester in Galway that year and I was invited along for an all-girls visit. No way could I say no to that! European cities with ancient city walls and stone buildings dating back centuries have always appealed to me, and the premise of my story required Sam to spend time in the heart of it all. I used most of the actual locations I visited (our hotel room overlooked the graveyard in the story), plus I made up a few other places for story purposes, such as Terrance’s house.
My readers helped me too. A friend and former writing student told me about the Irish Travellers, which started me on the path of watching hours of videos and looking at hundreds of pictures of their colorful lifestyle. Another reader contacted me and helped flesh out details about some of the tourist sites I’d not had the chance to personally visit. It meant so much to me to have their input and answers to my many questions.
All in all, my trip was so memorable I couldn’t let it fade away with a few photos and keepsakes. Sending Samantha to Galway seemed the perfect way to bring back all my own memories and to share them for years to come. I hope my readers enjoy their own vicarious vacation in Sweet’s Begorra.