I'm excited to introduce one of my talented and oh so helpful critique partners, Patti Lacy, with her debut novel An Irishwoman's Tale. For a picturesque look and bold feel of Ireland, you'll not want to miss this novel. Please read on to learn a little about Patti's writing journey of An Irishwoman's Tale and a chance to win a copy of her debut novel.
An Irishwoman's Tale Back Cover Blurb:
“Ye can’t mean it,” Mam screamed. “Not now. She’s all o’ a bloody five.”
“The little eejit. Get ’er out.”
A fist crashed to the table. Cups and saucers and cigarettes flew. Tea splattered onto the wall, onto the front of Killian’s shirt.
“Ye swine.” Mam was in Killian’s face. “For the sake o’ St. Patrick, she’s my flesh and blood.”
“She’s got to go.”
Mary Freeman’s earliest memory has haunted her since childhood: An old oaken table, bitter faces guzzling tea, a heated argument about what’s to be done with the “little eejit”—her. Now she is far removed from this family that didn’t want her, and separated from her native Ireland. Living in the United States Heartland, Mary searches out fulfilling roles—entrepreneur, wife, Christian, mother, community servant—but her loneliness and torment remain as acute as ever.
A crisis in her youngest daughter’s life—and the encouragement of Sally, a plucky Southern transplant—propels Mary back to the rocky cliffs of her home in County Clare, Ireland. Her harrowing journey unveils her tragic past and forces her face-to-face with God.
And, on with the interview:
1) Patti, what influenced you to write a story partially based in Ireland?
Aye, have ye seen the thousand shades o’ green in those hills? Sniffed the breeze perfumed wi’ turf fires? Been “right for a chat” wi’ the most loveable people in God’s world?
RIGHT, but…WRONG! An Irishwoman’s Tale examines the first memories of Mary, a spunky redhead given away by her mother. Since my novel was based on a true story, I just HAD to get Mary to chaperon me back to her first home, the rugged cliffs o’ County Clare. There God gave us the most remarkable ending for an already poignant tale.
2) What research was involved in preparing to write the scenes set in Ireland?
Oh, I scanned library stacks, Googled Irish literature till my eyes blurred at anything green. Favorites? Angela’s Ashes. The Vintage Book of Irish Contemporary Fiction. God Made Little Green Apples
On a lark, I phoned Tourism Ireland and found wanna-be writers and bored students disguised as customer service agents manning the TOLL-FREE phone number. Did I hit the jackpot or what? They shared their grandmothers’ stories and patiently spelled out great Gaelic dialogue!
It didn’t hurt to have two Irish friends who now live in Normal as close as e-mail!
When we went to Ireland, Mary drove—on the “wrong”side of the road, of course! While we dodged potholes and oohed and aahed over ancient crumbling castles, I pried her story from trembling lips —and let the tiny tape recorder sitting in my lap do its job! The camera came in handy, if you believe that lie that a picture is worth a thousand words!!
3) This was your first book, was there a “best” part to writing this story? Before, during, or after publication.
Ooh, it’s nearly impossible to separate three incidents from God’s river of mercies!
Before publication—Passion surged through me as writing romanced this 54-year-old. Definitely a March-December thing here! And I fell hard!
During publication—Working with a professional editor is truly blissful! Talk about growing your craft! Kregel’s editors truly made it fun by adding pertinent little comments, happy faces…an occasional sad face, too!
After publication—Taking a case of books with the cover photo of the Cliffs of Moher to my Mary. The tidal wave of supporters at my first local book signing. My first fan snail mail letter! Oh. I need to stop…now!
4) What do you hope your readers take away from reading An Irishwoman’s Tale?
The image of our lives as a kaleidoscope image that God, the master artist, has pieced together to form a unique and beautiful work of art. The mandate by our Christ to forgive others. The truth of Romans 8:28: Through ALL things, God can work for good in the lives of those who love Him, who call on His name.
5) What advice do you have for authors who wish to write stories set outside their native land or a place they are not well familiar with?
Immerse yourself in the culture. I’ve called an embassy in D.C., university foreign language departments, visited Google Web and Google Images for specific native customs and mores. So many knowledgeable people are lurking out there, just waiting to provide that link that you need to write a sock-’em in the gut chapter!
6) What can we look forward to seeing on the bookstore shelves in the future by you? Any release dates?
Lord willing, I hope to soon make an announcement on my third novel, which takes the reader from 1940s New Orleans to the Midwestern states of Minnesota and Illinois to Bangkok, Thailand. Whew! My current WIP is set in Boston, Massachusetts, Fort Worth, Texas, and an east coast Chinese village. Yep, Lord willing, I will spend part of April in China. Send me yuan!!!!!
Thanks so much for your time, dear writer friends!
Adios! Au revoir! Aloha! Slan! (Irish) Donadagohvi (Cherokee) khodaa haafez (Persian), Ja mata ne (Japanese), Auf Wiedersehen (German), Addio (Italian) Shalom (Hebrew), Farvel (Danish), Paalam (Filipino), Zai Jian (Mandarin), Namaste (Hindi), Do zobaczenia (Polish).
Thank you, Patti, for taking the time to share this with us! Readers, if you'd like to learn more about Patti, I featured an interview with her last week regarding her second novel, What the Bayou Saw, on my personal blog, and of course you can visit Patti at her website, http://www.pattilacy.com/ as well. She loves visitors.
Book Giveaway: If you would like to be entered into the drawing for a copy of Patti Lacy's An Irishwoman's Tale, please leave a comment with a way to contact you, either through an augmented email addy, or a link to your blog. The drawing will take place and be posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009.
"Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws."
Author of this post: Eileen Astels Watson lives in a small village in Ontario, Canada with her husband and three daughters, and a zoo of well-loved pets. She writes Contemporary Christian Romance Novels, not yet published, but all in God's timing she prays. You can learn more about Eileen's writing journey on her personal blog, A Christian Romance Writer's Journey.
Update: Wanda is the winner of Patti's book. This giveaway is now closed. May God bless you all!