How a successful Irish writer ended up living in Maine

Born in Ireland, he first traveled to the United States in 1991 when he was just in his twenties, and what happened shortly after his arrival changed the course of his life.

PORTLAND, Maine – If things had turned out slightly differently, John Connolly might have fallen in love with Delaware over Maine. Born and raised in Ireland, he first traveled to the United States in 1991 when he was in his early twenties, and what happened soon after his arrival changed the course of his life. .

“You have this wonderful student visa program that allows people to come to work – or work as little as possible while sitting on the beaches,” he recalls with a smile. “I had this vision of coming to the United States and seeing golden sand beaches and the kind of girls that were in the Beach Boys videos.”

Reality, as it usually does, imposed itself.

“I ended up in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, which was a lovely place,” he said. “But there weren’t really many girls. And I couldn’t figure out why until someone said, ‘You know, this is the gay summer capital of the country.’ And I was like, ‘Lovely people, not my market, but lovely people.'”

A friend had an uncle who owned the Black Point Inn in Scarborough and said the prospects were excellent for Connolly to find employment there. Looking to leave Rehoboth Beach, he decided to check it out.

“I came and kinda fell in love with the place,” he said.

Over time, his affection for the state grew.

“I liked the scenery. I liked the people. It wasn’t too alien to me. I go to places like Nevada or Arizona, and I have no connection point with them there. -down – completely different landscapes. But Maine, I might like to understand.”

In the three decades that followed, Connolly wrote or edited more than thirty books, including a popular series of novels featuring a private detective named Charlie Parker, who by no means resides in Maine – just like Connolly. , who bought a house in Portland. several years ago and spends at least a few months here each year.

He quickly recognizes that he is a city boy for whom the state’s remote lakes, mountains, and forests hold little appeal.

“Maine is the great outdoors for so many people. Give me the great outdoors,” he laughed. “I think the great outdoors are very overrated.”

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