Author Emily finds her inspiration in New Orleans

By Maria Pepper

Published 20/08/2016 | 00:00

Emily Clarke.
Emily Clarke.
The front cover of Cassy's Voice by Emily Clarke.

An Enniscorthy woman living in Cork has written a book inspired by Hurricane Katrina and set in New Orleans where she went on honeymoon with her husband eight years ago.

Emily Clarke (nee Nolan) who grew up in Cherryorchard and attended Colaiste Brid secondary school, is the author of 'Cassy's Voice' about a black woman and her journey through the storm and into her past.

Emily (38) will be signing copies of the self-published book in Wexford Library on Thursday August 18 at 7 pm and all are welcome to go along.

A daughter of Joe and Joan Nolan who retired from Enniscorthy to Rosslare, Emily is a granddaughter of Florrie and the late Fran Nolan formerly of the Corner Shop in Barrack Street, Wexford.

After leaving school, she worked in the retail business in Wexford for several years including stints in Colman Doyle's, Curtain Creations, Wigoders in Redmond Square and Arthur Kelly's.

'There was a recession and places kept closing down. I took whatever work I could,' she said.

She met he husband Navan man Bryan Clarke who was head chef in South 51 and moved to Cork where she became cosmetics manager in Debenhams.

Writing was always a sideline interest ever since she was a child. She self-published a children's book 'The Wandering Dog' in 2003 with all the sale proceeds going to the mental health charity Aware.

She and Bryan were planning a visit to New Orleans in 2005 but their plans changed when Hurricane Katrina struck and the couple went to California instead, eventually travelling to New Orleans on their honeymoon three years later.

It was while walking through the streets of the city and getting to know the locals that the idea for the book really started to take shape and come to life. She published it first as an e-book for Kindle and then in paper form through Amazon with copies available at 'When you have the physical book in your hand, it is an incredible feeling. There is nothing like it,' said Emily.

Readers can follow Emily on her Facebook page Emily Clarke Author.

Finishing work and starting a family gave her the time to write and she is now working on her second adult book 'Magnolia Blooms', also set in the American South.

Wexford People

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