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Dolphin Song: The magical Irish romantic fantasy novel set on the Beara Peninsula

Dolphin Song by Tom Richards is a new Irish romantic fantasy novel set on Ireland’s stunning Beara Peninsula with a message of hope and friendship.

In partnership with: Tom Richards

Dolphin Song, an Irish novel written by American Tom Richards, recalls your fondest memories of Ireland while delivering a message of hope.

The newly released romantic fantasy story has caught the attention of readers around the globe and managed to reach the #1 spot for new releases on Amazon US for 30 consecutive days. 

Author Tom Richard, originally from Chicago, Illinois, moved to Ireland in 1982 and was inspired by his surroundings on the Beara Peninsula to write Dolphin Song

The novel is a sweeping tale that follows the journey of an Irish-American family caught up in a storm of tragedy.

Bostonian Dawn McCarthy’s life is shattered following a profound double tragedy. Michael, her Irish husband, drowns in a fiery boating accident off the southwest coast of Ireland.

Dolphin Song has reached readers all over the globe including Orlando Florida, Ireland, India, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, England and many other places in the United States and Canada

While their only child, Jason, who has witnessed his father’s death, is diagnosed with traumatic mutism and retreats into a silent world of his own. Following a series of failed therapies, Dawn believes her son will never talk again. Rejecting the doctor’s advice, Dawn returns with Jason to the remote Irish fishing village of Kilcastle where her husband had lived and died. There, along the wild Irish coast, she hopes to find a cure for her son. But it is not an easy return for Dawn. She faces daily reminders of what might have been. The sudden appearance of a wild dolphin delivers newfound hope. In the days that follow, Dawn witnesses a powerful bond grow between Jason and the dolphin as the boy takes his first small steps toward healing. It is only then that she suspects the enigmatic mammal is much more than she had at first supposed. A story of Ireland, the novel is set in Boston and the isolated, stunning world of Beara Peninsula in the very Southwest of Ireland. Castletownbere (called Kilcastle in the book) is a central location that includes a picturesque pier, fishing fleets, McCarthy’s Bar, then all the way out to sea incorporating the Skellig Islands. Skellig Michael has been renamed Solas Mór (Irish for ‘The Place of the Sun’) and has been transformed into a mystical seat of Irish legend. Tom credits his close friend Liam O’Neill, a well-established Irish-American filmmaker, for encouraging him to put pen to paper and share the world of Dolphin Song. Liam sadly passed away from Covid-19 in May 2020 and Dolphin Song has become a cherished novel that reminds Tom of the friendship and memories he had with Liam. “Many people have lost their faith due to Covid-19 which has left a trail of human tragedy. In the book, Dolphin Song says: all you have to do is jump and someone bigger will catch you. We’re all looking for someone bigger to catch us: to dry our tears and mend our hearts. I guess that’s what the novel is helping people to do. Mend their hearts while helping them to cope with profound loss.” Richards is astonished by the book’s success. “Every year over two million book titles are published globally. Dolphin Song is only one of these – it is a book, after all, a mere book. Yet, it seems to be more than that. I have been staggered by the reception it has received worldwide. “If nothing else, I guess it lights a candle in a world of darkness, hoping that we may all be saved by a little bit of God’s good grace,” explains Tom. A stunning tale of romance, Irish legend and magic, Dolphin Song will take readers on an unforgettable voyage where those we have loved and lost are not gone forever. Instead, it only takes a leap of faith to find them again. Tom Richards has been approached by a well-regarded film production company seeking an option to the film rights. Renowned German director, Katja von Garnier, is being sought to helm the project. Dolphin Song is available in Kindle eBook, Paperback and Hardback Print formats at www.storylinesent.com/dolphin-song.com

Movie hopes for book by Cork-based writer

Dolphin Song is now in Pre-Production. To be shot in Boston, USA and Beara Peninsula Ireland

COLETTE SHERIDAN talks to West Cork-based writer Tom Richards about his best-selling young adult novel and his hopes to adapt it for the big screen

WEST Cork-based American writer, Tom Richards, a best-selling young adult novelist and screenwriter, recently published Dolphin Song, his debut novel for adult readers. Some of it is set close to his home in Eyeries, on the Beara Peninsula. The novel, which he hopes to adapt for the big screen, is an Amazon best-seller. It offers “a ray of hope to lighten the dark times we face”. The novel’s protagonist, Dawn McCarthy, suffers a double tragedy when her husband is killed in an accident at sea. Having been traumatised by witnessing his father’s death, Dawn’s son, Jason, develops traumatic mutism, and retreats into a silent world of his own. It is only when Jason and his mother meet an enigmatic dolphin, that the boy takes his first steps towards healing. Dawn discovers that the mammal is not what she had first supposed. Dolphin Song, which includes legends, is inspired by a true story that Tom read about. A family of three were involved in an horrific accident in London. A six year old boy and his father were trapped in their car. The car started to burn. “This boy watched his father burn to death. He was rescued. But he was so traumatised that he wouldn’t talk any more. He had acute traumatic mutism. “The poor mom took her son everywhere, trying to get him healed. Nothing worked. And then, for some reason, she decided to take him swimming with dolphins. The boy started talking again.” The story intrigued Tom. He relocated it to Beara “because it’s a beautiful part of the world. It’s also isolated. One of the themes in my novel is about connectedness. Dawn needs to reconnect if she’s to help herself and her son. They go back to Boston where they’re from. But Dawn can’t find anyone to heal Jason. “When they go back to the Beara Peninsula, they meet a wild dolphin which results in Jason making his first tentative steps towards healing. I can’t say anymore after that.” Tom, aged 65, who has been living in Ireland for 40 years and in West Cork for ten years, says his novel will appeal to female and male readers of fantasy, aged 18-plus. “It is a book that is close to my heart because if it hadn’t been for my late best friend, Liam O’Neill, it would never have been written. Liam, who died from Covid in May, 2020, aged 64, was working on the screenplay of the novel with me. “He was just starting to pitch to European production companies for finance. He was hoping to make the film in Beara. Liam’s passing has changed the status of the project. Now that we’re in pre-production, and that I’m looking for co-producers for this feature film and others based on novels that I’ve written, we’re very likely to be ‘green-lit’. The book and film of Dolphin Song has sold to a wide range of demographics across the entire world. This adventure story also appeals to males because many parts of it include sea stories.” Tom hopes that if can get enough traction with the novel, he’ll be able to attract a film producer and eventually bring the film to fruition in Beara. “It is what Liam wished, and I so much hope I can help to achieve that.” Tom has a well known German director in mind, Berlin-based Katja von Garnier. Liam was Irish American, who was brought up in Chicago. “We were born two miles from each other and we had to come all the way to Ireland to meet. We became best mates. Liam would have helped to establish the Irish film industry as it’s known today. Nobody hears much about him. He never had a breakthrough film.”

Tom Richards’ book, Dolphin Song. Liam leaves a wife, living in Carlow, and two children.

In 1998, Liam recommended that Tom attend a screenwriting course. “He called me and asked me to put together a 25-word pitch for a story that could be used as an excuse to get on a European screenwriting training programme. I came up with the 25 words.” That became Dolphin Song. Tom came to live in Ireland when he fell in love with an Irish woman. They have been separated for some time and are going to get divorced. Tom has three children and five grandchildren. He spent 30 years in Navan where his ex-wife is from. Now semi-retired from his marketing company, he is concentrating on writing. What brought him to West Cork? “I fell in love with the place. I came here 15 years ago to work on Dolphin Song.I went to Anam Cara (a writers’ and artists’ retreat in the village of Eyeries) to do that. I was working on the screenplay of Dolphin Song with Liam. The area reminded me of Seattle, where I’ve lived. If you took this place and added trees, you’d kind of get Seattle. It felt like home.” Tom lives with his partner, Carmel Murray, in Eyeries. “Unfortunately,” Tom continues, “Carm has Early Onset Alzheimer’s. That’s the reason why Dolphin Song, the novel and the film, are and will be dedicated to Liam O’Neill and Carmel Murray. Both of them are now gone. Liam has passed on from Covid. Carm is gone because she doesn’t remember me. It’s horrible but, well, we all just have to keep marching to a different tune now. One that continually prays for the plight of survivors of Covid and those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia. That’s all we can do, isn’t it?” His company, Storylines Entertainment Ltd, was set up to handle the rights and “sort of be a producer for the Dolphin Song film if it came about. “If it works out, I want to turn Storylines Entertainment into something that would publish Irish writers of fantasy, legends, poetry and fiction. I’ll have to get traction first on the novel.” Tom has written novels before. “I started writing in 1995 for young adults. The most successful book was Hot Foot which went to number 1 in the Irish Times bestseller list. And good old Gay Byrne had the book on The Late Late Toy Show. “My intention with Hot Foot is to rewrite it and republish it under the Storylines brand name. I’d hope to have it ready for next summer and see what happens. “I wrote it specifically for Liam O’Neill. That’s how we met. He optioned it years ago as an animated movie or a TV programme. You never know what could come of it.” It sounds like Tom has no shortage of stories and imagination, nurtured by living in his West Cork idyll. To buy Dolphin Song the novel or any other novels and books that Tom and other great writers have written, go to www.storylinesent.com

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