Friday, October 28, 2011

Hello, Pat McDermott

Thank you so much for being here, Pat.

1: Standard questions, what genre do you write?

I dabble in a bit of everything. Most of my stories contain elements of fantasy, alternate history, action/adventure, paranormal, sci-fi, and romance. Glancing Through the Glimmer, my first Young Adult novel, is no exception.    

2: Sounds fascinating. So how long have you been writing?

For as long as I can remember. My family included some talented storytellers. My father made up the bedtime stories he told me and my siblings. 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 in college before I started putting ideas on paper seriously.

3: So you get it honestly. One of the questions I’m asked most often -What do you like the most and least about writing?

I enjoy research, learning new ideas, and I love being in control of the worlds I create, devising impossible situations and happy endings. I’m sure I’m not alone in stating that I’m not fond of the marketing aspect of writing, necessary evil that it is.

4: Nope, you’re definitely not alone.  When you’re not writing, what do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?

When I’m not writing, I’m usually reading or cooking. Cooking is one of my favorite activities. I even have a cooking blog called Kitchen Excursions. My Irish-American family served basic, simple food, but I’ve learned there’s more to supper than meat and potatoes. I enjoy exploring different ethnic cuisines. I also love hiking, reading, and traveling, especially to Ireland.

5: What I’d give to go to Ireland. So tell us, which authors do you like to read?

Hard to pick a few with so many wonderful authors out there, but here are some of my favorites: 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.

6: A bit more on the personal side, what’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

That I do not and never have suffered from empty nest syndrome. Let’s go!

7: You’re the first one I ever heard say that. Okay, tell us about your current novel, where we can find it?

Glancing Through the Glimmer is a young adult alternate history adventure set in modern Ireland that’s still a monarchy, one in which the present King Brian is a descendant of High King Brian Boru. Seventeen-year-old Prince Liam is the hero, Janet Gleason the heroine. When Janet’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. The King of the Fairies, learns of her fervent wish to dance. Fancying a new dancing partner, he sends his fairy witch after her.

Prince Liam 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, and when they do, the fairies steal Janet away.

MuseItUp Publishing will release the book on November 11, 2011. Here’s the link to the
Bookstore Page:

8: Sounds like something my grandchildren would love. Another question I’m frequently asked - Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

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 ride!

9: Great advice. Another question most authors get asked - Do you base your characters on real-life people?

Absolutely not, at least not consciously. To me, writing is an escape from real life. I may have a personality type in mind, or use bits and pieces to create a “role” in my story, but I’d never risk hurting anyone’s feelings by basing a character completely on someone I know. I need wiggle room to develop a character’s good and bad traits without having to look under my car at night. Besides, if I did base my characters on folks I know, they’d all want to be in my stories!

10: Isn’t that the truth. I’m curious, how did you come up with the idea for this book?

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.

11: What a great idea. So what are you currently working on?

I’m putting the finishing touches on Autumn Glimmer, the sequel to Glancing Through the Glimmer.

12: Again, getting a little personal - Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

That I really hate green beans? Seriously, most folks are surprised to learn that before the kids came along, I spent a few years as a guitarist and lead female singer in an Irish-American folk band with three very talented guys. I still enjoy traditional Irish music and love the fresh slant the new generation of musicians has put on it.

13: Multi-talented.  Tell us where can we find you? Website? Blog?

My Writing/Travel Blog (Put the Kettle On):

Facebook page for Glancing Through the Glimmer:!/

MuseItUp Bookstore Page for Glancing Through the Glimmer:

My cooking blog (Kitchen Excursions) Provided just for fun, and not necessary to include by any means:


          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.


Mindy Hardwick said...

What a great idea to write a prequel as a YA! I can't wait to read your book!

derekd said...

What a fun interview ladies. It is great to hear about your process Pat. GTTG sounds like a wonderful read. I wish you the best of luck.

Pat McDermott said...

Hi Mindy. It seemed like a good idea at the time :-) Book day is only two weeks away! Thanks for stopping by.

Pat McDermott said...

Derek, thanks for the good wishes. I appreciate your visit!

Charlie said...

Hi Pat. Love the concept of this story. I'm anxious to read it. It sounds so intriguing being set in Ireland and all. Fantasy and romance...sigh. great combination. :-)
C.K. Volnek

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Great interview, and I love your answers, Pat. I've never suffered empty nest syndrom either! And what good advice you give to authors. All the best with your new release - not long now!

gail roughton branan said...

Pat, you are not alone. I don't suffer from empty nest syndrome either. That is, I wouldn't if I had an empty nest, can't seem to get rid of my two boys. But trust me. I don't treat 'em like they're still there!

Pat McDermott said...

Charlie, I thoroughly enjoyed writing this one. What girl can resist a handsome prince - even if she doesn't know he is one? Thank you so much for stopping by.

Pat McDermott said...

Rosemary, no, not long, but sometimes it feels like forever. As for that empty nest, I put in two decades of quality time with my kids, and they're friends more than children now, both married and both happy. Time for the next act in the play. I appreciate your visit today, ma'am!

Pat McDermott said...

LOL, Gail! My kids both left and came back home. Briefly. I'm not a smotherer, but their father is. He wanted to know where they were all the time and when they were coming home. After they'd been away at college! I don't think he did it to get rid of them, but they didn't linger long :-) Great to see you here!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Enjoyed reading the interview, ladies. Good luck with the release, Pat. I can't wait to get my hands on Glancing Through the Glimmer. It's sure to be a great read.

Pat McDermott said...

Thanks, Dawn. I think it's a great read :-) I hope you'll agree. And thanks for dropping by!

lionmother said...

Pat, it's great your father used to tell you stories. I think that is where kids get their imagination and parents hand down the stories they were told. It's the old fashioned way.:)

Great interview Roseanne. Pat, good luck with Glancing Through the Glimmer! I know I love the story and want to find out where it is going. Who could resist a handsome prince?

Anonymous said...

Great Interview, and loved the excerpt! Wishing you lots of Sales!

Hugs, Kari Thomas,

Pat McDermott said...

Barbara, I agree about old fashioned storytelling. Some stories have been handed down for thousands of years. I enjoy being a humble part of that tradition, and so do all my storytelling friends, my friend. Thanks for stopping by!

Pat McDermott said...

Kari, thanks so much for dropping by. I appreciate your good wishes.

Anonymous said...

Pat, I'm looking forward to reading this! Fantasy, romance and Ireland - sounds like a winning combination to me! Best of luck with "Glancing Through the Glimmer!"

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Hi Pat! HEY, we enjoyed that Irish stew recipe last weekend and it is still a favorite just like you said when you posted it!

How fun to get to know you better. This books really sounds interesting. I wish you the best of luck in selling loads of them.


Pat McDermott said...

Cynthia, you'd know about those winning combinations. Thanks for the good wishes!

Pat McDermott said...

Paisley, I made that Guinness Beef Stew for a writers' group supper recently, and the guys had third helpings. Fabulous recipe! I hope readers like my stories as much. Thanks for popping by!

Pat McDermott said...

Roseanne, I've enjoyed my visit to your cheery blog home. Thanks for hosting me. All the best to you and your writing! Pat