Author Gemma Mawdsley


Gemma Mawdsley, now working on her sixteenth novel called Bonded by Blood, is an internationally renowned writer of Gothic horror novels. Since moving to West Clare last February, this Limerick Lady is enjoying getting inspiration for her writing from her quiet, fruitful surroundings.

“I love my adopted county. From the window of my upstairs office, I can see the fields stretching out for miles, and it’s a joy to watch the ever-changing kaleidoscope of colours. The people here are really friendly, and the men seem to have retained some of that old world charm. At times, it feels I have stepped back decades,” said Gemma.

Gemma’s fascination with the gothic began at a young age, when, gathered around an open fire at her Grandmothers, where there was an old graveyard at the back of the house, her imagination was fuelled by ghost stories, some about her Granny’s resident ghost.

At ten years of age, Gemma had her first taste of success when her poem was published in the Limerick Leader. However, it wasn’t until years later, when her mother died, needing a distraction from her grief, she enrolled for a creative writing course at the University of Limerick run by David Rice.

Her journey through writing styles eventually led her to combining her love of history and the paranormal to create a unique genre, which has seen her career as a writer go from strength to strength.

“My first novel, The Paupers’ Graveyard, dealt with the famine. I did countless hours of research as the topic is such an important one and sadly, many of these famine graveyards are neglected and unmarked, when they should be as important to our culture and history as Egypt’s Tombs of the Kings.”

Gemma’s second book, Whispers, is told by two spirit children who inhabit an industrial school, a story which was inspired by the reports of abuse in industrial schools which have dominated headlines in Ireland over the last number of years.

Currently working on three books, (Erebus, the story of a haunted house over three generations; The Wraith, about a mother trying desperately to find her kidnapped child; Bonded by Blood, three sisters who are determined to destroy one another), this prolific author has still found time to enjoy exploring her new surroundings, especially the coastal areas, visiting small cottage businesses and writing about them on her author pages.

“I’m hoping to write from September to June, so I can take the summer months to enjoy my new surrounding and all the beauty Clare has to offer.”

When Gemma isn’t writing she enjoys sewing period costumes for her antique doll collection, but is especially looking forward to long walks in the Clare countryside with her new dog, Toby.

“I’m aware that many people hate the dark, winter nights, but I’m in my element. I like nothing more than the crisp, frosty mornings and as the evenings draw in, the strange scurrying in the hedgerows, as the nocturnal foragers come to life.

“One of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given recently is, that if I’m walking late at night and hear, what seems to be the cough of an old man coming from behind the bushes, not to panic. It is the cough of a cow. I don’t know how true that is, but it made me smile.”

Growing up, her favourite book was Anne of Green Gables. Now she tends to read detective novels, so as not to be influenced by other horror writers, her favourite author is Val Mc Dermid and her favourite film is An Enchanted April.

After all these years Gemma still loves telling stories through the medium of writing, and has enjoyed hearing many ghost stories since she moved to Clare.

“But I have frightened myself. Most of the stories I would write come from mythology. When I was writing Death Cry, it’s about the banshee. I’m afraid of loud noises and at one stage I actually came out and sat on the stairs, just to get away from it.”

Though Gemma doesn’t claim to be psychic she is very sensitive, and has had a lot of experiences that she can’t explain, such as her encounter with the ghost of an old housekeeper at an historic manor in Bedfordshire.

“I think as well, when I’m writing the characters are alive for me, I sometimes think I see something from the corner or my eye, but that’s probably that you are caught up in the tension of it all.

“That’s why I think people like the ghost stories, because people get the thrill, and that, it couldn’t really happen, but at the same time you have the thrill of thinking could it?” said Gemma.

Though Gemma has visited many fortune tellers, she wouldn’t go to mediums, or advise anyone to have anything to do with Ouija boards, however she does believe in Quantum theory, which is where the two worlds run parallel, the real world and the spirit world, and sometimes cross over when you can see spirits.

“People would often say, if I go, do you want me to come back? And I say, no, keep going, you’re fine where you are, don’t tell me, let me be surprised,” added Gemma.

The Paupers’ Graveyard, Death Cry and Whispers are available to buy on Amazon.  For more information on her books see

Eve’s Bed and Breakfast, Bexhill-on-Sea


“I love Bexhill because of its unique charm. It is a beautiful, interesting but quiet little town, but also has a great community that gets together and puts on fantastic events that make the town buzz, the Roaring 20’s Day or the Festival of the Sea for example,” said Jenny.

Jenny, Justin and their gorgeous daughter Grace, are the proprietors of Eve’s Bed & Breakfast, a second generation family business. Their beautiful red brick Victorian home is nestled into the picturesque, historic seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea in the UK.

“Being in the B&B business I meet so many amazing people. I love chatting with my guests over breakfast and finding out about their lives. My favourite thing is when you figure out that you have something in common with a guest, several times I have discovered that I had someone in common with a guest, or we had done the same thing on the other side of the world for example. It’s a small world,” smiled Jenny.

Eve’s is a cosy, home from home, where Jenny makes you feel as if you are visiting a friend’s house. Her attention to detail, from stylish breakfast crockery, delicately scented toiletries, tea and coffee facilities in your room, and Jenny’s warm, friendly personality made it a very memorable place to stay.

Our room was bright, plush, and like the rest of the house, was tastefully decorated in a way that complements the period of the house. After a peaceful nights sleep in extremely comfortable beds, and a hot shower with soft white towels, the scenic beauty of our surroundings unfolded as the sun rose, where from my room, beyond a manicured garden, I could see the sun sparkling on the sea.

Justin is coelaic, so special bread, separate butter, even sausages were available for breakfast for me. So after a delicious fresh fruit salad of watermelon and blueberries, a full English for my brother, eggs and tomatoes for me, we chatted with Jenny.

The business was set up and run by Eve, Justin’s mum in 2004, until she retired and Jenny and Justin took the reins as hosts in 2012. Jenny has a degree in Hospitality Management and trained at The Grand Hotel, a five star hotel in Brighton and Justin  has a background in customer orientated roles.

While chatting and lingering over our coffee, I suddenly became aware of something pressing against my leg, when I looked down to my delight, I saw Ralphy the Parsons Terrier who was looking for some attention. Korky their black and white cat had also made a brief appearance the night before, they must have known we were pet lovers, my brother having a Malamute and I a West Highland Terrier and a cat.

“We allow dogs here as there is access to the back garden in our ground floor room, and there are not many places around that allow them. It is lovely to meet so many gorgeous doggies! My daughter just loves dogs as well!”

An Edwardian town, we managed to catch a brief glimpse of the elegant promenade that stretches for two miles, where Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco buildings adorn the sea front.

Though we were there for a family bereavement for a dear Uncle, Eve’s and Bexhill-on-Sea left an enduring impression.

Eve’s Bed & Breakfast

01424 733268