Your book is about the problem the fairies have because people don’t believe in them. Do you believe in fairies? I've read and heard enough about them to give them the benefit of the doubt. My grandmother once told me that when she was a child in Ireland, her father would seek the fairies' permission before making any changes to his farm. He did this by setting out rows of stones at night, and he would check them the next morning. If the stones weren't disturbed, he would build his new fence or storage shed. If the stones had been disturbed, he would pick another spot and try again.
Please tell my readers how you decided to become a writer.
I've lost count of the number of times I've "crossed the pond." My grandparents emigrated to the U.S. from County Sligo in the 1920s, and I grew up hearing the stories, loving the music, wanting to go. I finally went after my kids were in college, and I’ve been visiting at least once a year since. As for where I'd go, if I'm looking for new books or want to hit the museums, I visit the cities, and always manage to get to Dublin (just returned from a week there). If I want to chill out and see some gorgeous scenery, it's the fairy-infested countryside. If I'm going to write, I visit a retreat on the Beara Peninsula, where the only sounds are the mooing cows and the waves rolling in from the ocean. Wherever I am, I'm never far from the sea, and the castles and abandoned homesteads dotting the land are constant reminders that Ireland has been around for a long, long time.
In keeping with the last question, did you do a lot of research for this novel?
For this story, based primarily on Irish mythology, I went straight to Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts to visit my O'Brien aunts. Over the years, they've amassed a spectacular collection of Irish books, and more than a few are over one hundred years old. I also did some digging into the duties of the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. My heroine, Janet, is his sixteen-year-old granddaughter, and I had to know where she lived, why she hated it so much, and how her grandparents' formal social life affected her.
What is your writing process? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I'm a little of both, though mostly a pantser. I start a story with research, which I now know will give me plenty of ideas for subplots. The outline approach helps organize my thoughts, but outlines aren't written in stone, and they become quite useless when my characters take over the story.
Please describe a typical writing day for you.
I try to write every day, usually early in the morning when it’s quiet and my only interruptions are a cat or two in need of a hug. Whether I’m struggling with something new or revising pages I've already written, I find that quiet time of day most productive. I spend time in the afternoon reading for research and/or pleasure, usually with a cat or two in my lap. On Monday evenings, I host a writers’ group, which gives me an incentive to spruce up a chapter or two each week. For most of the year, I attend a writing class on Tuesday nights to polish those pages. Then there are the usual household chores and family and social commitments. When my children were younger, I doubt I could have managed all this. I have great respect for writers with growing families who find time to write, and write well.
What was the inspiration for this novel?
Glancing Through the Glimmer is the young adult “prequel” to my “Band of Roses” trilogy (A Band of Roses, Fiery Roses, and Salty Roses), coming in 2012 from MuseItUp Publishing. I’d already written the trilogy when an acquaintance suggested the YA angle, and I found I loved writing about my characters as teenagers. The Scottish legend of Tam Lin and the myths surrounding Finvarra, the King of the Connaught Fairies inspired many of the story's scenes.
Do you write in any other genre? Which genre is your favorite? Why?
My stories include all sorts of genres, fantasy, action/adventure, sci-fi, and romance. If I had to choose, I'd say I like the action/adventure aspect of writing best. I would like to try writing a straight romance one of these days, though I'm betting it would end up romantic suspense.
What kinds of books do you like to read? Which is your favorite genre?
Depends on my mood or why I'm reading. Having just written "The End" on my current WIP, I'm rewarding myself by reading for pleasure. I'm halfway through The Mark of the Golden Dragon, the 9th and newest "Bloody Jack" book by L.A. Meyers. I love his adventure series starring Mary/Jackie Faber, a street urchin in 18th century London who dresses up as a boy and joins the British navy.
Do you have any WIP’s ready to publish?
As I mentioned earlier, MuseItUp Publishing will release my "Band of Roses" trilogy in 2012. I am currently tweaking Autumn Glimmer, the YA sequel to Glancing Through the Glimmer.
Explain why you decided to go with a small press like MuseItUp Publishing.
Not only is MuseItUp rapidly becoming known as an author-friendly company, the publisher, Lea Schizas, is an old editing friend. She and her staff are responsive to my questions, amenable to my opinions, and more interested in good stories than in genre formulas. I feel quite at home with MuseItUp.
Is there anything else you wanted to say about yourself? Only to thank you, Barbara, for hosting me on your blog today. I've enjoyed visiting!
Well, I have enjoyed visiting with you too and now for a little about your book. Here is the book cover:
It looks really spooky with that castle on the hill. I can't wait to see what this book is all about!!
In the modern Kingdom of Ireland, few mortals believe in the fairy folk. Without that belief, the fairies are dying. Finvarra, the King of the Fairies, would rather dance than worry—but he must have a mortal dancing partner.
When Janet Gleason’s grandfather becomes the new U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, the sixteen-year-old orphan must leave Boston and her friends behind. Janet is lonely in Dublin and unused to her grandparents’ stuffy social life. An invitation to a royal ball terrifies her. She can’t even waltz and dreads embarrassment. Finvarra’s fairy witch overhears her fervent wish to learn to dance.
Seventeen-year-old Prince Liam Boru loathes the idea of escorting another spoiled American girl to a ball. In fact, he detests most of his royal duties. He dresses down to move through Dublin unnoticed and finds himself on his royal backside when Janet crashes into him. Intrigued, he asks to see her again, and she willingly agrees. Unaware of each other’s identities, they arrange to meet. When they do, the fairies steal Janet away.
Liam’s attempts to find her trigger a series of frustrating misadventures. Can he and Janet outwit a treacherous fairy king who’s been hoodwinking mortals for centuries?
Ah, it's a love story too! I hope you have brought us an excerpt too! Yes, thank you!
The first time Liam slipped and fell, he cursed the rain-damp grass. He blamed his second tumble on his haste to catch up with Janet. What on earth had possessed the girl to run off like that? She couldn’t possibly want to find music that badly.
Music only she could hear.
The third time he lost his balance, he’d swear someone had pushed him, but no one was there. He landed on his hands and knees and cursed again. He might not be a muscleman, but he was far from a clumsy dolt. A lifetime of sports and outdoor treks had surely left him fit enough to climb a scrubby little hillside.
Something strange was afoot.
I’m being ridiculous. The breeze must have kept him from hearing the music she heard. She’d likely gone after the owner of whatever was playing the tune to learn its name.
Yet the Nose of Howth seemed deserted. How odd for a sunny Sunday morning. Even if Janet had gone off seeking the source of the music, no amount of rationalizing could explain why she’d left so abruptly. The chilling sense that she was in danger had Liam’s heart thumping high in his throat.
Should he call his cousin? If Kevin was still on the pier, it would take him a while to get here. And practical Kevin would surely think Liam astray in the head.
Maybe he was, but something told him he had to find Janet, and fast. Keeping close to the ground as if he were dodging radar, he clambered monkey-like up the hill. This time he reached the top of the rise. Lumps in the landscape surrounded him, clumps of rock and rolling masses of heather and gorse that encircled the level spot where he stood. He knew the place well. Except for the curious lack of weekend hill walkers, nothing seemed amiss.
He listened hard. A seagull cried in the distance. Otherwise, all was silent. No, wait! Music drifted toward him, a plucky harp tune he might have enjoyed under different circumstances. Was that what Janet had heard?
Where was it? He turned in a circle, squinting in the sunlight, scanning, straining to hear. When he returned to the spot where he’d started, a jolt of fear set his pulse racing.
A round stone hut had appeared on the highest part of the clearing. Its low thatched roof rose to a ridiculously high point. It resembled a roundhouse, the sort of dwelling that belonged in a prehistoric ring fort.
Or a fairy fort.
Liam swallowed hard. He’d seen replicas of such huts in Ireland’s folk parks. He’d also viewed ruins of the original ring forts, all that remained of the structures built by the mysterious peoples who’d lived and died in prehistoric Ireland thousands of years ago.
Where had this one come from? Why was it on the Nose of Howth? Liam had never seen it before, nor had he heard of any gimmicky tourism plans for the cliff walk. Of course, he didn’t know everything. Convincing himself that he’d failed to see the hut at first because the sun had blinded him, he ventured toward the structure.
He spotted a doorway and relaxed. Janet was there, speaking to a woman wearing a period costume, medieval or older. That’s what it was, he thought: tourism come to tarnish Howth. How could Uncle Peadar have allowed such nonsense?
Liam called Janet’s name again, but neither she nor the woman showed any sign that they’d heard him. The wind must have carried his voice away. He stalked toward the roundhouse. As he approached, the costumed woman placed a necklace over Janet’s head.
The roundhouse flickered, faded, and reappeared. Alarmed, Liam stopped. This was no tourist gimmick. As his thoughts scrambled for an explanation, the woman grabbed Janet’s arm and pulled her into the hut.
“Janet, no!” His ferocious roar proved useless. Unbelievably, the roundhouse began to dissolve. No longer doubting his horrified senses, he dove at the hut and charged through the disappearing door.
The world around him melted away.
Are you going to leave us wondering whether or not he finds Janet? I know I am going to want to read more to know this. Good luck with your book launch in November, Pat. It has been a pleasure having you as my guest and learning more about you. Thank you for being my guest author. Are you giving away anything to our readers?
Readers can find you on your Author Page and in The Muse Bookstore.
Until the next time, I have posted all of the reviews I have gotten for my book, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, which you can find on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, CoffeeTime Romance, The Muse Bookstore and a few other ebook sites. The exciting news is this will be out in print in November!!! So everyone who has wanted a copy but did not have an e-reader can enjoy it.
Also, my Blog Talk Radio Show, RRWL Tales from the Pages will have Roseanne Dowell and Nancy Bell, two other authors from MuseItUp Publishing. Nancy is also my copy editor and both of them are delightful! I hope you will tune into the show at 3PM Central Time, 4PM EST on Thursday, October 27th.
Thank you to my new followers and of course, to the people who continue to come over here to read my meanderings. I haven't been posting as much, but it isn't due to any real problems. Yay!! My husband's feet are healing and he is getting back to work again.
One more thing before I go. I want you all to know about the Muse Retreat, which is happening on November 4th, 5th and 6th in Montreal, Canada. We are all getting together to celebrate the first anniversary of this awesome publishing company. I will have photos to let you all see. We are going to have a mass book signing at Zeller's too. Very exciting!!! I will be signing copies of my own book and as a special addition I am going to be giving away a copy to the lucky winner. More about this contest next blog post. Have fun and enjoy the fall days that are coming our way.