SAGA SATURDAY!! Please welcome self-published saga author, Catherine M Byrne...

I was so delighted when I finished my first book, Follow the Dove! I’d actually done it!
Nothing quite matches the feeling of holding your first paperback in your hand, as I’m sure all authors know.
Since then I’ve written  five books in the Raumsey series, a saga following the lives of two families. I write about strong women, close relationships, and some not so close. I put my heroines through all the trials and tribulations common at the time, including two world wars.
My first book starts in 1899, number five takes us up to the end of WW2. And I do believe in a happy ending!
‘Follow the Dove,’ is loosely based on fact. A woman in Canada, sadly no longer with us, contacted me as she was doing her genealogy and couldn’t find out where her grandfather, who was born on Stroma, was buried. She told me the sad story of her grandparents, and, with her permission, they became my main characters. I have changed the names, and also the name of my island, and, of course, used a fair bit of poetic licence.

When I sent my first book to an agent, I was told that, much as she loved the story, only sagas set in large towns sold well, and anyway, sagas were not in vogue at the time. But believed I had a good story, and wanted to set it on my home island, I also didn’t want to wait years for sagas to become popular again. I was determined, so I went ahead and self-published, successfully.
My characters do not remain on the island, however. For ‘The Road to Nowhere,’ I visited Canada three times, for both research and pleasure. Isa’s Daughter is set mostly in Glasgow, and in ‘Mary Rosie’s War,’ Mary joins the WAAFs.

Since first attending the AGM of the Scottish Association of Writers in 1999, I have won several  prizes, commendations and have been short-listed both for short stories and chapters of my novel.  In 2009, I won second prize in the general novel category for ‘Follow the Dove.’ 
My fourth novel, ‘Isa’s Daughter’ won first prize for the best self-published book of the year in a competition run by the Scottish Association of Writers.

Blurb & Amazon buy link for Follow The Dove:

Fifteen years of age, Isa Muirison loves working for the floating shops of Orkney at the turn of the 20th century. But her life is thrown into turmoil by her father’s decision to emigrate to Canada, her sister’s illness and her own love for Davie, a penniless whisky runner.
Despite her family’s opposition, she follows Davie to his tiny island home where she is met by the fierce hostility of his mother and his childhood sweetheart, Chrissie.

Alone among strangers, Isa’s unrelenting determination gains acceptance and popularity in the close knit community.

But no one could have foreseen the tragedy that rips the heart out of that community and shatters Isa’s security.

Meanwhile, Chrissie has found solace in the arms of Davie’s violent brother Jack, only to discover a darkness in his soul she could never have imagined. Events are set in motion over which the two women have no control.

Will either of them ever find peace? And in whose arms will Davie find solace?

First novel of an exciting new series set in the northern isles


Catherine has studied an HNC in English and Art and is working towards one in Creative Writing. She has previously had stories published in My Weekly. She has attended an Arvon Foundation course and was chosen for a Hi-Arts writing program as one of ten Scottish writers most likely to be published. Catherine, who lives in Scotland, is also the member of a writing circle.


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