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Journalist Leona O'Neill pens the latest magical must-have

By Brendan McDaid

Published 26/03/2012

First there was Harry Potter, then the Twilight Saga, but now there’s a new tale of magic holding audiences spellbound across the world — and it’s all set locally.

Northern Ireland mum-of-four and journalist Leona O’Neill has now made her debut foray into fiction with the first of a planned series off novels, entitled Emerald Witch.

And if the US reaction is anything to go by, then this Irish urban fairytale saga has a very bright future.

Emerald Witch centres on a Donegal girl and fuses typical teenage woes with not so typical supernatural forces to create a pacy adventure set against a rich tapestry of Irish landmarks, while myths and legends are given a unique, modern twist.

It focuses on teenager Amelia Morgan, who is approaching her 18th birthday when her world begins to unravel and internal and external magical forces begin to wreak havoc with her hitherto peaceful existence.

She said she drew inspiration from local beauty spots, with the drama set in a seaside town similar to Buncrana in Inishowen, and the house Amelia lives in resembling the castle at Glenveagh National Park.

Leona, with help and encouragement from photographer husband Brendan, took the unusual step of going it alone, cutting out the publishing middle men and choosing to self-publish instead.

“I designed the cover and did the lay out of the book myself ... I wanted it to be my own thing.”

And the reaction has been something Leona is rightly very proud of. “It has been extremely well received, particularly by American audiences” she said.

“I do paint a good picture of Ireland and its scenery,” she added.

For more information, a sneak peak of the book, or to order go to:

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