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  • Writer's pictureJoey Amato

Following Sunshine: A Voyage Around the Mind, Around the World, Around the Heart


Niamh McAnally (pronounced “Knee-if Mack-an-alley”) is an Irish-born bestselling author, keynote & corporate speaker, former TV director, and youngest daughter of the late BAFTA award-winning actor, Ray McAnally, and actor, Ronnie Masterson. Niamh has traveled all over the world and lived and worked as a volunteer in many island nations in the Caribbean and the South Pacific.


Niamh’s first book Flares Up: A Story Bigger than the Atlantic was shortlisted in the 2023 Sunday Times Vikki Orvice Award. The Ray D’Arcy radio show chose her memoir-short Haul Out from over 3,000 entries for a coveted spot in the anthology A Page from My Life, and her whimsical series Falmouth Freddy and the Cruising Kanes has been serialized in Caribbean Compass Magazine.  Niamh has also been published in The Journal, Sail, The Irish Times Abroad, Writing.ie and Subsea magazines. Following Sunshine is the winner of the 2024 Literary Titan Gold Award for Nonfiction.


In Following Sunshine: A Voyage Around the Mind, Around the World, Around the Heart, Niamh shares the story of her liberating journey from being unemployed, homeless, and divorced in her fifties, to embarking on a global quest to find purpose through volunteer travel and ultimately finding a profound love that changed her life.


From volunteering for marine conservation projects on remote islands in Belize, Vanuatu, and Tonga, to exploring exotic destinations like Bora Bora, Palau, Fiji, and St Barths, Niamh takes readers on a captivating journey where each destination unveils a layer of her self-discovery. And be prepared for the most unexpected love story when she is selected as crew for a solo sailor in the Bahamas–a project that was only supposed to last a month but will now last a lifetime.


In 2016 she helped a solo sailor crew his boat from Florida to the Bahamas. It was only supposed to last a month. Niamh soon realized she had not only found the life she loved but also the love of her life. She and Captain Gary have sailed as far north as Maine in the USA and to Bonaire off the northern coast of South America. With toes in the sand in Antigua, Captain and Crew became Husband and Wife. Many of her stories are inspired by her travels on land and at sea. She now lives on the Southwest Coast of Florida.


In 2020 she founded an international writer’s group, with whom she meets monthly and has curated and contributed to an anthology of their work Stories of Place due out May 2025. Believing everyone has their own unique story to tell, Niamh also runs writer’s workshops, both in person and online, to encourage emerging talent.


Advance Praise for Following Sunshine

“Gripping and heartfelt, Niamh’s beautifully written memoir [Following Sunshine] unfolds with warmth, courage, and a touch of cinematic magic. A truly brave, enriching read that will take you on a global adventure in pursuit of purpose, and leave you uplifted by the impact one person can have. A MUST-READ for anyone seeking inspiration and a deeper connection to the world."– Liam Neeson


 “A story of an ordinary woman doing an extraordinary thing. As Goethe said, ‘Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”Jeremy Irons


To learn more about Niamh McAnally please visit www.thewriteronthewater.com/ and connect on Instagram @niamh_mcanally, X (formerly Twitter) @niamhmcanally, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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