01 Jul 2022

Kilkenny author to release her first novel tomorrow - inspired by true life tragedy


'The Lotus and the Tiger' by Lizzy Shortall

County Kilkenny-based author Lizzy Shortall found novel-writing a cathartic way to process the grief associated with losing her brother, Lar, to suicide.

If you would like a copy (signed too) just pop into Kilkenny Book Centre or call 056 7762117.

From mid July it will be available from all good book shops in England and on Amazon.

Lizzy explains, "When I started writing The Lotus and the Tiger I was expecting my first child and began thinking about how my baby would never meet my brother. I was still experiencing grief. I had not yet resolved the pain of how my brother died and I wanted to focus on how he lived instead of how he died.

"I was two years into writing the book when that happened for me. It took me five years to complete the book as I had a baby, then moved home and county and then had another baby. Lockdown finally gave me the opportunity to complete the book."

Lizzy continues, "Part of the process of trying to let my brother go was to travel to Thailand where I carried out a ritual with a lotus in a beautiful temple among other efforts to try to reconcile the grief.

"The Lotus in the title represents bereavement. I started to write about that time to make more sense of it. Writing The Lotus and the Tiger helped me to heal my own grief. I believe this is a book about hope and resilience."

While writing the book, Lizzy, who is a former social worker, trained to teach mindfulness for wellbeing. Lizzy, like the protagonist in her book, Lucy, is a strong believer in the benefits of practicing both mindfulness and gratitude. 

"My novel explores some serious and sensitive themes such as grief, abuse, ostracism or estrangement and addiction," Lizzy explains.

"I would like people in emotional pain or turmoil to know they are not alone and that they can recover from circumstances that may initially seem impossible to accept."

About the book:

Lucy Woodrow, a life-loving Dublin girl, tries hard to make sense of her life and her family. Her romantic and personal adventures are full of charm, wit and are highly entertaining. She goes on a worldwide adventure of self-discovery, returning to Thailand three times. Each time her experiences there are radically different. 

This is a story of one woman’s determination to find and live the life she loves. Along the way Lucy experiences the devastating loss of her older brother, Shane, and true love with a wonderful man, Charlie.

Although at times she goes through painful personal growth, she refuses to give in and ultimately finds her very own happy ever after.

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