Liz McKague

 Written Works

Published Literary Fiction Books

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Chateau Beauchere

Chateau Beauchere is a novel set in the south of France where “the colors are all gold, blue and swamp green”. Nick Lock, a surfer from Santa Cruz, inherits a castle in Provence upon the death of his wife, and faced with the emptiness both literally and emotionally of living alone in a huge castle, turns it into a residency for artists who arrive from Europe and Africa. The story progresses as the private lives of the various tenants unfold while Nick procrastinates on writing his memoirs. Nick is also an opera aficionado and along with his passion for the waves, happens to be a fantastic chef. The residents at Beauchere gather every Thursday evening in the courtyard under an ancient oak tree for luxurious dinners where not only friendships but also romantic relationships develop. The narrative twists and turns between a surfing ‘Lord’, an Italian cello player, an Italian violinist, a Moroccan painter, an Algerian falconer, an old, grumpy French sculptor, a young untalented painter from London and her actor boyfriend with abundant piercings and tattoos, a Romanian gypsy, an Irish American novelist and yes, even a ghost, all working and living in a semi-crumbling medieval castle, set to a background of one of most beautiful regions in the world.

Drumcliff or Rori the Biker

Drumcliff or Rori the Biker is a novel about Rori O’Ceallaigh, an Irish poet in his 30’s who returns to Sligo, Northern Ireland after riding a motorcycle around the United States of America from the years of 1968-1973. The narrative recalls his wild episodes abroad while presenting the days now back home in Sligo, where after five years away, “Nothing had changed. It could have been 15 or 50 years, and nothing would have changed. The rain still made the hills green; the stones still spoke, and Dustin McBride still sat on the last stool at the end of the bar, facing the door, waiting for eternity to swallow him.” During his travels in America, Rori’s resilient and aloof yet sentimental character, is at once attractive and aggressive, his loner nature his protector. After five years of love affairs, one serious and the rest not, he is notified that his grandmother died and that he has inherited a mansion in Drumcliff that has been abandoned for a century. The narrative begins with his return to Ireland and weaves from reconnecting with the people at home and the progress of renovating the mansion to his past adventures in America. The contrast between late 1960’s into early 1970’s culture of hippie mania, full of love and freedom, flourishing over U.S. conservatism, and rural Irish village traditionalism, highlighted with ancient beliefs of folklore, (faeries and leprechauns included!) makes for a stark, unique and entertaining read. Rori does begin to settle down at the end of the novel, learns that his future is behind him, his past in front, solipsism is a curse, nostalgia a blessing and community a grace.


The Lover from Sarajevo

The Lover from Sarajevo is a novel about Cidro Lemieux, a twenty three year old cellist in Sarajevo who finally escapes the Bosnian War (1992-1996). Cidro then travels through Europe to Paris as a street musician. He spends time in Vienna, Berlin and takes an unexpected detour to travel and play music with the Rom (Gypsies) into Belgium. He lived in Paris as a child yet wishes to go there because he longs to find a French woman he believes he fell in love with in Sarajevo at the onset of the war. When he does get to Paris, she is nowhere to be found yet he stays in the city, ‘busking’ in the metro tunnels for a living. Cidro makes many new acquaintances and slowly forgets about the French woman, yet 10 years later, meets her again. In context, it is a kind of Bildungsroman, the journey of a young man struggling with poverty, artistic genius and isolation caused by the storm and stress of exile.

The Paper Boat

Based on  the life and works of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, the novel begins in Pisa, Italy, nine months before Shelley’s death and flashes back to trace his vigorous interior and multifarious exterior life. The book exhibits extensive and thorough research and although most of the scenes stem from accurate historical facts, it is a work of fiction. Shelley’s relationship with his wife Mary is tender yet complicated by financial hardship, constant relocation and the loss of four children. Shelley’s alternative bond with the poet Lord Byron, an outrageous, extravagant character, is somewhat absurd yet courageous and intellectually provocative. The novel illustrates the fullness of the poet’s character, a vibrant conflict between imagination and reality, and the radical pendulum of idealism in the Romantic era. Shelley’s life ended tragically and my telling of his story reads with compelling passion, darkness, much light, humor and delight.

The Woman in the Middle

The Woman in the Middle is a modern day tale based loosely on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, a writer named Sophia is torn between lovers; poets who mirror Orpheus by turning back to see her as if they were the mirror, rather than letting her see herself. For the poet must see the light and dark of All yet can only repeat his visions through language as a reflection. To concentrate upon original loss, original failure in a human condition that must serve this loss to regain paradise is the essence of Orpheus’ turning back at the brink of daylight. He fails, yes, but his failure represents the work, the loss of Eurydice, the sacrifice made by the ambiguity and powerlessness of language to raise the love of the other (whether it be man, woman, sea, sky) and the love of the word into the same world.

“Writing begins with Orpheus’ gaze. And this gaze is the movement of desire that shatters the song’s destiny, that disrupts concern for it, and in this inspired and careless decision, reaches the origin, consecrates the song.” – Maurice Blanchot

Navel of the Sea

The Navel of the Sea  is a collection of different love stories that take place in different countries during select time periods of history, spanning the golden age of ancient Greece to our modern era. The separate stories are connected by an ongoing narrative about the two writers of the stories, husband and wife, Claude and Marianne, who live on the Maltese island of Gozo, Italy, where they receive postcards from the past that dictate the century and setting for each story. The story at the end of the novel tells how they first met and fell in love.


London San Francisco

London San Francisco is a contemporary novel about two people in a long distance relationship. Elaina, the woman, lives in San Francisco and Paul, the man, lives in London. They first meet at Heathrow airport and in time, Paul visits Elaina in California and stays for one month. During this brief visit, they fall desperately in love and he returns to England, promising to return. Alas, this return does not happen. The novel follows their separate daily existence in the two cities via their emails and skype calls while they are holding on to each other from afar. Soon, strange and troubling difficulties in the character of Paul are revealed and Elaina nearly goes mad, unwilling to stop loving him. Ironically, the drama of their separateness appears to strengthen their attachment. Paul’s jealousy and depression escalate while Elaina’s hopelessly romantic visions of hope seem to victimize her. The style is very bold yet quite whimsical, and portrays an overall examination of heartbreak.


“Emily Gwendolyn Trippenny, get down from that tree!” her mother shouted. From an early age, Gwendolyn has been a rebellious sort and at the age of seventeen, takes a greyhound bus from her home in Upstate New York to California where she tries to find her way. She settles in San Francisco where she falls in love with a young painter squatting in a warehouse and together they embark upon a visceral journey into a fantastic landscape of like-minded rebels who make up the urban subculture of the city’s club scene. A tour de force of post-hippie punk and sexual liberties, Warehouse brilliantly captures the climate in the South of Market district in the early 1980’s and even a vampire is included!

Notes to Hermes

Notes to Hermes is a collection of academic essays on Roland Barthes, Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, George Bastille, D.H. Lawrence, Homer, William Blake, Arthur Rimbaud, Fredrich Hölderlin and Marcel Proust.

Eleanor March: King Arthur's Scribe

Eleanor March, King Arthur’s Scribe is a novel about a woman who has been chosen by her reputation for excellence in calligraphy to become the personal scribe for King Arthur. She is a 48 year old widower who has lived a difficult life involving being orphaned, growing up in a nunnery two husbands, the four failed pregancies. Her life drastically changes when she is called to come and be part of the magical kingdom of Camelot, and she revels in the luxury while maintaining a devout work ethic for the king and queen and befriends other members of the court, whose lives become interwoven in her own. The novel spins out from her point of view upon all the marvelous events as well as the sometimes violent quests of knights that infiltrate the castle. Although Lady Eleanor March has been hired to write for Arthur only, Guinevere soon asks her to secretly write the queen’s love letters to Lancelot. Alas, our obedient scrivener is found out, along with Guinevere and Lancelot’s illicit affair, and whilst the queen is condemned to burn at the stake, Lady March is sent to prison in a tower. Soon, Camelot is attacked by enemies, every one vacates the castle and Eleanor ends upon alone, locked in the tower…to perish? Or will somebody save her?

Bridges, Short Stories

Bridges is collection of short stories about people meeting on bridges and developing a relationship all over the earth. Bridges include the Wind and Rain bridge of Chenyang in Sanjiang, China, Le Pont Neuf in Paris, France, the Crusell bridge in Helsinki, Finland, the Ponte Scaligero in Verona, Italy and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in county Antrim, Ireland.

Mr. Mist

Mr. Mist is a rather depressing novel that I completed but do not think I will ever publish it. Yet the title is cool, so I've listed it here anyway.

Handcrafted Poetry Books


Cover by Justine Lucas

Lokking for St. Loop

Cover by Liz McKague

The Station

Cover by Justine Lucas

Green Light at Fontainbleu

Cover by Liz McKague

The Dignity of Fire

Cover by Liz McKague

After the Uffizi

Cover by Liz McKague

The Pomegranate

Cover by Justine Lucas

the Station

Cover by Justine Lucas


Poems and cover by Liz McKague & Jonas Kyle


Cover by Romain Peltier

Sex and Affection

Cover by Liz McKague & Paul Wise

Panhandle Skateboards

Cover by Liz McKague


Cover by Liz McKague


Cover by Liz McKague

The Other Shores of Icarus

Cover by Liz McKague

Chiaroscuro in Trees

Cover by Liz McKague

Liz Mckague

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