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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sacred Heart Alumna Wins Fiction Contest with Theatrical Mystery Novel

Elizabeth McCormick Ireland, BC'73


Barat Alumna Wins Fiction Contest with Theatrical Mystery Novel and Incorporates Theatrical Experience in Novel Series

Barat alumna and former faculty member Elizabeth (McCormick) Ireland’s first mystery novel, Death Takes Center Stage won the 2012 fiction contest sponsored by Atlanta publisher BookLogix.  The winner was announced last fall at the Decatur Book Festival, the country’s largest independent book festival. 

Death Takes Center Stage combines mystery, strong characters and historical events to create a definite page turner – the perfect summer read.  Written as a memoir of 19th century actress and amateur sleuth, Lillian Nolan, who foregoes her upper class Chicago upbringing for a life in the theater, it chronicles her career and adventures from the point of view of her personal and professional life.  The book tells the story of the death of the great tragedienne, Irene Davenport who is murdered onstage during the opening night of one of the greatest and haunting plays by Shakespeare.

“I’ve always had a passion for American theater history and wanted to blend that with my favorite type of fiction.  Since I grew up outside of Chicago and the vibrant theatrical world there, it was a natural blend of elements,” said the author Elizabeth Ireland, a former associate professor of theater at Barat in the Theater and Dance Department.

The first in the Backstage Mystery series, Lillian investigates crimes in the theatrical world of the 19th century through the help and hindrance of her clairvoyant abilities. “Because so many died during the Civil War, many families wanted to make contact with their loved ones; giving rise to an interest in bridging the veil between life and death and spawning the Golden Age of Spiritualism.  I wanted to include that element as well in the book so I gave Lillian some intuitive abilities,” said Ms. Ireland.

About Elizabeth Ireland:  Author, screenwriter and ghostwriter, Elizabeth Ireland is an alumna and former professor of theater at Barat College where she taught for ten years.  Her career continued at The Disney Channel where she worked in the Atlanta and Burbank, CA offices.   Her nonfiction work, Women of Vision: Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives, was published in 2008. Her work has also been published in a collection of paranormal short stories, Paramourtal: Tales of Undying Love and Loving the Undead.  She has also written screenplays, two of which have been optioned.  Her screenplays have been quarter-finalist and semi-finalists for the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting sponsored by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  She lives in metro Atlanta with her ever-patient husband, an amazing teen-aged daughter, and two quirky dachshunds.

For further info about the author and book signing events - click here.

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