I was lucky enough to interview Pat McDermott who's book, Glancing Through the Glimmer, debuts this Friday, November 11th, 2011. Can you see why I'm excited? I can only imagine how busy she must be! Glancing Through the Glimmer is a prequel to her Band of Roses trilogy, set to release in 2012. I'm in love with the cover to Glancing Through the Glimmer. I can't wait to read it, I've always loved all things Irish. Not only does Pat write, but she cooks. A jack of all trades! You can follow her cooking, and traveling, blog. Well you, the lucky reader, can now read on to find out how Pat McDermott answered the questions posed to her. Get to know this author a little bit better, then visit her via the links at the end of the blog!
*Where are you from?
I am a Massachusetts native from the Mission Hill section of Boston, which, during my childhood (I'm not telling when), was a mostly Irish neighborhood. My earliest years were spent on the top floor of a triple-decker house owned by my grandparents, who occupied the first floor along with my mother's two sisters. Another aunt and two cousins lived a few doors away. Having the family so close together was great, but sadly it's not the way of things these days. My son and daughter are married, and I now live on the New Hampshire seacoast with my husband and three lap-friendly Tonkinese cats.
*When and why did you begin writing?
When I was growing up, my family included some talented storytellers. My father made up the bedtime stories he told to my siblings and me. His tales often kept me awake for hours, they left me so enchanted. I wanted to tell enchanting stories too. I've attended writing classes over the years, but my own children were nearly grown before I started putting ideas on paper seriously. I entered one of my short stories in the 74th Writer's Digest Annual Writing contest and received an Honorable Mention for children's fiction, an award that gave my confidence a big boost.
*How personal is your writing?
Not very. I write to escape real life and personal issues. The only realistic aspects of my writing are human nature and interpersonal relations. The characters, settings, and events are completely fictitious. With fairies in the story, they'd have to be . . . wouldn't they?
*When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I signed my first publishing contract, for A Band of Roses, my first full-length novel.
*What inspired you to write your first book?
I'm blessed to have two wonderful aunts who are both Irish history buffs. When I was a little girl, they assured me we were descended from Irish royalty. (Isn't everyone who's Irish?) From one of their frequent trips to Ireland, they brought me a copper statue of High King Brian Boru, and I wanted to know more about him. Everything I found said how sad it was that Brian didn't survive the Battle of Clontarf, as Ireland would be a very different place today if he had. So, I started wondering . . . what if he had survived? A few years later, I finished writing A Band of Roses.
*Do you have a specific writing style?
I generally write in third person limited point of view. Diction and conversational rhythm are important, especially since it's hard to “hear” various accents on paper, and my books contain a fair assortment of accents. I've tried to embellish the main characters' voices by adding slang to their dialogue. My stories cross several genres, including fantasy, action/adventure, sci-fi, and romance. I would like to try writing a straight romance one of these days, though I'm betting it would end up romantic suspense.
*What sparked the idea for your series?
I had already written the “Band of Roses” 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 some of the story's scenes.
*What was your favorite part of the book?
Visiting a fairy banquet in a cave beneath a seaside hill in Ireland.
*What was the hardest part to write in the book?
Getting back into “teenager mode” proved a challenge. I learned to avoid using current American teenage slang, as it changes so rapidly, though I did have fun with Irish slang. (Irish slang is lots of fun!) In the end, my 13-year-old beta reader approved, so I think I did an acceptable job.
*Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
Depends on the story. For Glancing Through the Glimmer, the characters came first. I wove the plot around them, and their reactions to the scenarios I threw at them surprised me more than once.
*What are your favorite authors/books?
Hard to pick a few with so many wonderful authors out there. To name a few: Edward Rutherford, Leon Uris, and Diana Gabaldon have drawn me into their historical worlds, John Sanford and John Connolly into their crime scenes, and William Trevor and Sebastian Barry into the joy of phrasing words to create vivid images. I love the adventures of Clive Cussler, L.A. Meyers, and Jack Higgins, and I enjoy the writing styles of Roddy Doyle, Penelope Lively, Kate Atkinson, Dean Koontz, Kate Thompson, and Helen Simonson. I also admire Simon Winchester's ability to impart scientific and historical facts in an easygoing way that seems more like fiction than nonfiction.
*What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
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. To paraphrase an Oliver Wendell Holmes quote, a mind stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions. 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 r
*Tell us your latest news?
My first YA novel, Glancing Through the Glimmer, debuts November 11, 2011 from MuseItUp Publishing. The story, set in an Ireland still ruled by kings, is the young adult “prequel” to my “Band of Roses” trilogy (A Band of Roses, Fiery Roses, and Salty Roses), coming in 2012.
A brief blurb:
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?
MuseItUp Publishing: Glancing Through the Glimmer Page
Pat's Web Site: http://www.patmcdermott.net
Pat's Writing/Travel Blog (Put the Kettle On): http://pat-mcdermott.blogspot.
Pat's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.
Facebook page for Glancing Through the Glimmer (feel free to “Like” it!):
Pat's cooking blog (Kitchen Excursions): http://kitchenexcursions.
Thank you for your interest in my interview with Pat McDermott. Be sure to check out her upcoming book. I hope you enjoyed reading and have a great day!-Melissa
A room without books is like a body without a soul. -Cicero