TARPON SPRINGS, FL – In John Heagney’s debut historical novel, Traveler, Neddy McKenna’s world is about to be torn apart and everyone he loves will become a memory.
Unaware of what awaits him, Neddy is swept from his parents’ small Northern Ireland farm during the Irish War of Independence to begin a perilous ocean journey as an indentured servant in 1920s Canada. Away from family and all things familiar, he finds himself alone in a country of strangers, taking with him just a battered cardboard suitcase and his dreams. However, in those dreams, Neddy will encounter … time and again … an enigmatic visitor who calls himself Traveler. Advising, warning and challenging everything the Irish farm boy knows … or thought he knew.
But who is Traveler? Just an apparition? A guide? A guardian angel? Or something Neddy couldn’t begin to imagine as he travels on this life-altering odyssey?
Traveler is based in part on the experiences of Heagney’s father as a 16-year-old indentured servant shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to serve as a laborer in Canada like tens of thousands of other poor Irish children ensnared in the infamous British Home Children program. For nearly eight decades, the British government and Catholic Church sent more than 100,000 children of poverty – some as young as 4 – across the globe to lives of servitude. While some found good homes, too many others suffered sexual, physical and psychological abuse; deplorable living conditions and even death.
Having extensively researched the British Home Children program and what happened to many of those children, Heagney has intertwined harsh reality with a mystical thread, creating for readers a memorable journey into the sometimes dangerous and unexplained.
“Traveler explores possibilities and options in Neddy McKenna’s life when his dreams provide crucial guidance before situations arise,” Heagney explains. “Of course, whether or not he heeds the warnings is entirely up to him. But Neddy also must understand that wrong choices can have catastrophic consequences.”
Traveler is available in paperback or as an Ebook on Amazon.
About the author
Heagney is a first-generation Irish American, whose parents emigrated to the United States from Ireland and Newfoundland via Canada. He is a veteran writer and journalist who has won numerous awards and distinctions for journalistic excellence.
Following his journalism career in Pennsylvania and Florida, he founded John Heagney Public Relations in the Tampa Bay area (johnhpr.com), representing a national and international slate of clients for the past 40 years. Heagney also was an adjunct corporate communications trainer as well as an instructor teaching public relations writing and theory at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
He resides in Tarpon Springs, Florida, with his wife, Linda, and is tolerated by their two cats, Daltrey and Cami.
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To view a video about Traveler, visit: https://youtu.be/1QtiSjcJt9U