Iona Carroll is the penname of Iona McGregor.
grew up on the black soil plains of western Queensland and it is from here that
she looked out to the distant mountain range
and wondered at the world beyond. Books, readers and writers played their part in her journey as she set about discovering what
was beyond the horizon of her childhood home.
Iona's love of books developed into a career with the Brisbane City Council Library
Service where she was to become a
branch librarian and book buyer. The urge to venture further afield was strong and she moved to New Zealand where
she worked amongst books again, this time with the Wellington Libraries. On her return to Australia, she was to spend
two years as a librarian with the Australian Army based at Northern Command.
Iona made a major move to Britain and to the West of Ireland. Here the people,
landscape and way of life were to
provide her with the inspiration for her novel, Crying Through the Wind.
married a Scot and has made her home in the beautiful Scottish Borders where
she has lived for thirty years.
It is here that she is actively involved with the local literary scene. She is a member of the Borders Writers’ Forum and
held the position of secretary for seven years. Iona has taken part in the
annual Borders Book Festival held in Melrose.
She is also a member of the Society of Authors.
2012, Iona set up and tutors a group of fiction writers – The Kelso Writers’
She is a co editor of the Scottish Borders Council’s literary magazine, The Eildon Tree, now in its twenty-fifth issue.
thoughts on the writing life are that, in order to be writer, one has to be a
reader first and to love books.
Combine this with observation, imagination and life experiences and a novelist is born.
discussion in the small community of Ballybeg in which he lived. For it seemed to all that Bernard, aged thirty-two was set for
a life of bachelorhood, destined to live out his days with his elder brother, Mick.
is the tale of Oisin Kelly, beginning with his
mother, Annie as she struggles to come to terms with her love for two
brothers in a small West of Ireland community in the 1950’s.
to Bernard, she is attracted to his brother, the mysterious and much
misunderstood Mick. Annie’s strong Catholic
faith engenders a deep sense of guilt, at the same time it helps her to cope.
story moves forwards, sometimes gently, sometimes turbulently all the time
combining pathos with humour.
Although Crying Through the Wind is very much Annie’s book, the stage is set for Oisin who has a quest of his own.
CRYING THROUGH THE WIND
Mauve Square Publishing
Available from Amazon in paperback and ebook formats
Oisin’s story continues:
the Vietnam War as background, life in 1970's Australia was a time of
social and political change. Bitter, disillusioned
and still haunted by past events, young Irishman, Oisin Kelly arrives in the outback Australian town of Kilgoogla.
As he struggles to
come to terms with this new and sometimes frightening environment, he
falls under the spell of
the enigmatic Eleanor Bradshaw. He is totally unprepared for what happens next.
intrigue and misplaced loyalty are at the heart of this work of fiction
as Oisin discovers that things are
not always what they seem.
FAMILIAR YET FAR
Mauve Square Publishing
To be published October 2015
Oisin’s story concludes in the third novel:
* * *
Iona Carroll's short stories are studies of the human condition. By depicting people in real-life situations, she draws the reader
into the minds of her characters. Her people are real and the situations in which they find themselves, believable.
The following three stories are samples of her work:
Father Vic looked out his window and saw the
cold Atlantic waves crashing onto the sand, sweeping back and forth,
rolling in and out again. Wind and rain worked together to further bend the black trees at the roadside. Those trees
that stayed contoured for all time in their twisted, peculiar shapes, a remembrance of winter's fury. Above black
clouds raced across the sky - it was a wild, wild day...
It was the flies that got to Father Vic. They
clung to his face in swarms, he would wave his arms around madly and try to
be free of their persistence but at every opportunity they alighted on his face again and crawled on his cheek, their
feet seemed like glue. He would mutter to himself and get quite angry sometimes and then feel guilty. After all, they were
God’s creatures and they served a purpose but he would wonder irritably what that could be! ...
A MOMENT IN TIME
When Mary O'Rourke ran past the hay shed on that hot summer's day, clutching a
letter addressed to herself in her hand,
she was eleven years of age. Ten minutes later, Mary O'Rourke was still eleven years of age, still held the letter, but she
was no longer a child.
Publication of a collection of some of Iona's stories will be available shortly.
* * *
is the course plan for Workshops for Fiction Writers. Please contact Iona for
further details or visit The Kelso Writers' Blogspot.
You can also find us on Facebook and on
SESSION 1 Introduction: The Writing Process
SESSION 2 Beginning Stories
SESSION 3 Writing from Life
SESSION 4 Creating Characters
SESSION 5 Use of Dialogue
SESSION 6 Finding a Theme
SESSION 7 Plot
SESSION 8 Structure and Pace
SESSION 9 Endings
SESSION 10 Putting it all together
SESSION 11 Editing and presentation
SESSION 12 The Market. How to Sell
* * *
Follow these links to read the latest news about Iona Carroll:
* * *
* * *