Where did the love for Ireland come from?
My grandparents emigrated to the U.S. from County Sligo in the early twentieth century. I grew up hearing the stories, loving the music, wanting to go. Life interfered, however. I didn’t get over there until my kids were in college, but I’ve been visiting at least once a year since.
If you had to choose what would be your favorite holiday? A hot, tropical beach with a book in hand and cocktail on the ready, or hiking in overcast Ireland?
I would hike in overcast Ireland anytime, thank you very much. The scenery is spectacular, and the rapidly changing weather creates lots of magical rainbows.
Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?
Tea, and real tea, not the herbal kind, please. A good strong cup of tea is a mandatory start to my morning, and I turn on the kettle several times during the day.
What is your favorite dish and can you give me the recipe?
I doubt I could pick a favorite dish, but I’ll include a short one that’s right up there. Cooking is one of my favorite pastimes. I even have my own cooking blog, called Kitchen Excursions. I enjoy exploring different ethnic cuisines, and I’m constantly discovering new recipes. Like this one:
Spanish Honey and Cumin Marinade for Chicken Parts
½ cup white wine
4 Tbs. sherry or champagne vinegar
4 Tbs. honey
2 Tbs. Buffalo Wing Sauce
3 tsps. dried thyme
3 tsps. cumin
Lots of chopped/minced garlic
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Marinate chicken for at least one hour. Bake skin side up in a 350° oven for about an hour, basting once or twice. Serious Yum Factor here.
What is the title of the book you would like to talk about, and can you give us a small taster of it?
The Rosewood Whistle, my first adult contemporary romance, is a change from my romantic action/adventure tales. I wrote this “autumn” romance as a tribute of sorts, not only to one of my favorite Irish towns, but also to Ireland’s wonderful traditional music. Each chapter title contains a phrase from an old Irish song, though no one needs to know the songs (or have even a drop of Irish blood) to enjoy the story.
I’ve had the good fortune to visit both County Mayo and Dublin, the settings for The Rosewood Whistle, several times. My research also included lots of reading about local legends, Irish slang and proverbs, and the terror a person wounded by a bad marriage might feel when offered a second chance at love.
For those who are now curious to the book, below is the short description, aka the blurb.
Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?
For this one, yes. For my previous books, I had the titles before I wrote a single word. I was halfway through “Rosewood” before I realized what a big part the whistle would play in bringing Ben and Gemma together.
Is there any advice you would give to a budding author?
You’re the only one with the ultimate vision of the story you’re trying to tell. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Join a writers’ group, take classes or workshops, and never stop reading. Go out on a limb and read books you wouldn’t ordinarily read. Don’t be afraid other authors will influence your personal style. And exercise those writing muscles! The more you write, the easier it is to get your vision onto a printed page. Set goals and deadlines for yourself, and meet them. Persevere in your quest to become a published author, and enjoy the ride!
What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?
I’ve attended book marketing seminars and done a couple of book signings. A local book club chose my first book, A Band of Roses, as their book-of-the-month and invited me to be their guest author. Great fun. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the marketing process. The promotional aspect of writing bewilders me. I promote my books through my web site, my blogs, online interviews, word of mouth, and various internet sites. Word of mouth seems to generate the most interest in my work.
And finally, can you tell me something none has ever heard before from you? I just love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂
Once, when I was sixteen, I stayed out all night partying at a friend’s apartment. Since my mother and the rest of the kids were away visiting folks in Pittsburgh, I didn’t think I had to tell anyone. However, my aunts and my grandmother found out I hadn’t come home, and they called the police. I arrived back at the house at 6:00 a.m. to find my grandmother crying her eyes out and one of my aunts throwing up in the bathroom. I couldn’t believe how much I’d upset them. I never did that again!
Thank you, Pat. It was a great pleasure interviewing you and I hope you will want to come back when you have more news, or just feel you have something you want to tell my readers.
The Rosewood Whistle is available on Kindle and in paperback from Amazon.