28 Jan 2022

Derry author Jane Buckley publishes Stones Corner Volume 2, Darkness amid rave reviews

'We can't face conflict again' - local author Jane Buckley

Derry author Jane's debut book receiving rave reviews

Author Jane Buckley has published Stone Corners (Vol 2).

Local author Jane Buckley recently published the second of her four novels, Darkness, following the release of Stones Corner, Turmoil earlier this year.  

The novels tell about the everyday realities of life in Derry and beyond from the early dark days of the 'Troubles' in the 1970s through to the Good Friday Peace Agreement in April 1998.

Jane said: "When I look back at the launch of Stones Corner, Turmoil in February, I can't believe since then I've completed a second novel, Darkness, and I'm now working on the third, Light. Having begun to research the early 1980s, I'll admit it's been tough to find positive storylines. I've also found it challenging, at times, to remain objective.  

"For example, not only did I have to dig deep for good news stories, but events such as the HMS Maze hunger strikes along with the 'Troubles' continuing to rage on was difficult. Thankfully, I came across some encouraging tales, and I've developed them into progressive storylines." 

Jane said the global reception and 'fantastic' reviews she has received for Turmoil and Darkness have been 'overwhelming.'

She added: “Readers from as far as New Zealand, the USA, Canada and even Denmark have remarked on how much they've enjoyed the thrilling cliff-hanging endings.

“Although one US reader was particularly upset when she got to the end of Turmoil without realising it was the first in a tetralogy. She was about to award me a four-star review until she got to the last chapter of Turmoil and instead sent me an email venting her frustration!

"I quickly contacted her and, thankfully, explained all, so much so, she gave me a five-star rating for Darkness."

When Jane first completed Stones Corner,  Turmoil during lockdown, it began as a one-off project, a single novel but now its evolved into a series of four books or more formally known as a 'Tetralogy,' a term for her which she admits she had to look up in a dictionary when one of her readers referred to it! 

Jane's ambition was to educate the younger generation on life during the 'Troubles.' However, she’s discovered that demo- graphically, most of her readers are women aged 50 upwards; many of whom have remarked that through the descriptions of people and places in the books, they've found themselves taken back in time and can closely identify with it. 

Marketing and promoting the novels has been a new experience for Jane.

She explained: "Marketing Stones Corner, Turmoil and Darkness, has been a whole new experience; I've learned so much in such a short time, some good, some bad!

“There are so many books published every year in the UK, circ.180,000, and an average author's sale per book is around 250.

“Thankfully, my sales have exceeded that in just a matter of months, and with fingers and toes crossed, sales will increase over time as word of the books spread.

“Given I'm an indie author, I must think out of the box when attracting readers – a continual challenge. Why would readers want to buy my book - a mere unknown? Yet they do, so I must be doing something right!  Reviews are crucial to and it’s a fine line in nagging readers to leave them, but they’re critical for success. Local support for my work has proven invaluable; readers are now recommending the books and knowing that they’re being read and discussed out there is satisfying beyond belief."

Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol has added impetus to Jane's desire to remind and encourage people to remember and learn everyday life during the 'Troubles.'

"I think it's more important than ever that we don't allow the ugly head of sectarianism to rise again and threaten us with the horrors of another conflict and struggle. The Good Friday Agreement is still on thin ice and must be treated with care and common sense and clear thinking. You can't tell me there's anyone in this amazing country of ours would want to face conflict again? It would be a catastrophe for all of us."

Jane has also received support from local authors, and in the process of introducing her work, investigated the opportunity of holding a 'Walled City Literature Festival' in the city. 

She said: "I was stunned at the amount and quality of Northern Irish based writers but couldn't see a local literature platform for us to share and show off our work. As such, I spent a great deal of time putting a plan together for a three-day Derry-based festival over a weekend. Sadly, it didn't take happen because of a lack of funding.  Maybe one day!"

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