What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Book signings at independent book stores, libraries, and other organizational groups. Talking to the public about my book and hearing their stories about their ancestry and the lives they chose in the US is very uplifting.
Describe your desk
My desk is a hodge podge of things that spread out to other areas. It's time for me to get a new desk with more organizational space for my printer, paper, pens, paper clips etc. and reference books. It would save me a lot of time hunting around for the things I need.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Dublin, Ireland. It is probably one of the best places not only to grow up, but to grow a child's imagination. My school was in the center of the city, right next to what's left of the wall that surrounded Dublin in the early centuries. When I was being taught history, all I had to do was look outside the classroom window and there it was. I also lived close to the Wicklow hills, Blessington lake and many different beaches around Dublin bay. We could ride to any of these places on our bikes, so we got to hide in caves, and hike the mountains. Ireland's history tended to repeat itself over the centuries and alternate between rebellions and famines. There were many heroes to look up to, and lots of stories to be told. Not to mention the Irish love to talk and they are natural story tellers. All this affected me greatly.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I am drawn to all things historical. Kilpara came about through certain incidences that occurred in my own life. The first idea for the novel came about when my sister and i took a trip to the west of Ireland in search of my mother's biological family. She was raised a foster child. The Lough Corrib region was where my sister's research had led us. We stayed at a place called Cregg Castle that once belonged to the Kirwin family, no relation to my mother. However, the gatekeeper, some fifty or so years previously, happened to be a relative. And while searching for my grandmother, we came across a lot of interesting stories. The second idea for the novel stemmed from that visit, and also from my own experience. It was believed that my grandmother emigrated to the US, just as I did. But in times previous to air travel, it was more difficult for people who left Ireland to ever return. I hear this also from many Irish-Americans when they talk about their ancestors. And the last piece of the novel occurred when I visited Civil War battlefields. This became the setting for the beginning of the novel, which is Maryland, before the story moves to Ireland. Together these experiences helped me form the basis for my characters in Kilpara.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had gone through the process of querying agents. I had several interested and settled on one that had Irish interests. However, she wasn't very well connected to the big publishers so she queried many of the indy publishers. With no positive results, we dissolved the contract. Going through the process I had learned quite a bit about indy publishers so I queried on my own. That is when I found Bygone Era Books who published my novel.
What do your fans mean to you?
Absolutely everything. It's amazing to hear a reader say they enjoyed the story. It's the best compliment an author can receive.
What are you working on next?
I have completed the second novel called Corrib Red in the family saga trilogy that I started. It will be release on March 1, 2017. I am now working of the final novel in the trilogy. The draft is completed and I'm starting into the editing phase. I'm still searching for the perfect title.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It's hard to remember the first story I read. I began reading at an early age and my favorite author was Hans Christian Anderson. I loved the story of The Snow Queen and The Emperor's New Clothes. The moral of those stories stayed with me all my life.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Yes. The sales report for my novel Kilpara has been very positive on Smashwords.
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