Today I’d like to introduce you to my guest, fellow author Pat McDermott. Born and educated in Boston, Massachusetts, Pat McDermott grew up in a family full of music and myths, these have found their way into her stories. When she’s not writing, her favorite activities include cooking, hiking, reading, and traveling, especially to Ireland. She lives near the New Hampshire seacoast with her husband and their three talkative Tonkinese cats.
When did you decide to become a writer, and why?
No decision came into play, since writing is, and has always been part of me. My family included some talented storytellers, especially my father. His bedtime tales often kept me awake for hours, and in a good way: they made me want to tell 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 a short story in a Writer’s Digest Annual Writing contest and received an Honorable Mention for children’s fiction, an award that gave my confidence an enormous boost.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I try to write every day, usually early in the morning when it’s quiet. Whether I’m struggling with something new or revising pages I’ve already written, I find mornings most productive. If I’m not working on a story, I’ll promote either my own work or the work of other writers (I have a book blog for that). Reading and domestic chores fill the afternoons. Most Monday evenings, I meet with my writing group, which gives me the incentive to spruce up a chapter or two each week.
A writing group, how encouraging is that! Writing can often time be a lonely road, but when you share that with fellow writers it can be extremely encouraging. How do you think you’ve evolved in your writing?
Although I still have a long way to go, I have more confidence than I did when I began. I’m better at making words do what I want them to do, and I’m less reluctant to break the writing rules I’ve learned so well. The publishing aspect of storytelling is less of a mystery to me since I regained the rights to my books and went indie. I’ve also acquired a better understanding of the befuddling marketing aspect of publishing books.
Could you share with us what you have written?
The eight books I’ve written across several genres, including fantasy, action/adventure, sci-fi, romance, and paranormal. My Band of Roses Trilogy is alternate history fiction serving up a modern Ireland that might have existed had High King Brian Boru survived the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. The young adult Glimmer books, which I like to call Adventure for Young Adults of All Ages, add magic to this “what if” Ireland, courtesy of various fairy clans. County Mayo provides the backdrop for The Rosewood Whistle, an adult contemporary romance filled with “music, myth, laughter, and love.” My most recent work is Unholy Crossing.
I asked Pat to give us a blurb about her book Unholy Crossing.
It’s 1912, and America has lost its charm for Noreen Carbury, an educated young lady from Ireland. For five long years, Noreen has looked after the children of Boston’s well-to-do. Homesick and vexed by the gentry’s demeaning views toward immigrants, she schedules a voyage to visit her family in County Sligo.
Beneath the clothing and gifts she packs in her steamer trunk, Noreen conceals a wooden box whose grisly contents she’s promised to transport to Ireland. She boards a splendid new steamship expecting a crossing fit for a queen, yet her trunk has somehow harbored a spirit who plagues her during the week-long trip. She believes that once she delivers the box, the phantom will leave her alone. Although she keeps her promise, the visitations grow more sinister, pitting her strict Catholic upbringing against Ireland’s pagan past.
To protect the reputation of the man she loves, Noreen says nothing of the mysterious incidents. For decades, she bears the burden alone, until the elderly woman she becomes confesses the spine-chilling tale of the Unholy Crossing.
I must say, Pat, this gave me goosebumps. You captured my attention. Now is there anything that you are working on right now that you would like to share with us?
I’m having fun working on a sequel to The Rosewood Whistle. The story, untitled for the moment, will be another contemporary romance set in Ireland.
One last question before you go, what is your favorite cuisine?
Probably Italian, though I enjoy eating and preparing many ethnic foods. My cooking blog, Kitchen Excursions, explores several international cuisines.
Thank you so much for joining us today Pat, we really enjoyed it! I also want to thank my readers for coming back this week. I truly appreciate your following my weekly blog and staying tuned in. Please leave your comments below, and we’ll be sure to respond. If you would like to know more about Pat and her works, you can visit her at the links below.