This book is fiction. The story that inspired it was not. In 1990, a box of very old documents was found on a small farm in the west of Ireland. They had been stored for well over a hundred years and told an incredible story of suffering, of love and of courage. In 1846, a young couple met during the worst days of the Great Irish Famine. The Killing Snows is a way to imagine what led to their meeting and what followed from it.
Charles Egan was born in Nottingham, England, of Irish parents. When he was five, the family returned to Ireland as his father had been appointed Resident Medical Superintendent of St. Lukes, a psychiatric hospital in Clonmel, in County Tipperary. Every summer they visited his father's family's farm, outside Kiltimagh in County Mayo for a month, where his grandmother and uncles spent many evenings talking about family and local history. The family subsequently moved to County Wicklow, where Charles Egan initially attended the De La Salle Brother's school in Wicklow town. He then went to the Jesuit's Clongowes Wood College (James Joyce's alma mater), and subsequently studied Commerce in University College Dublin, graduating in 1973. After an initial career in the private sector, including Marubeni Dublin, (where he met his wife, Carmel), he joined the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) in Dublin. After a few years, the desire to be his own boss led him to resign and set up his own business, which has now been running for over 30 years. Apart from business, his main interests are history, film and worldwide travel.