Alexis: Hi Pat. Thank you for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts :-) What inspired you to try a young adult novel?
Pat: Thanks for having me, Alexis. I’m delighted to be here. I had already written my “Band of Roses” trilogy when an acquaintance suggested the YA angle. I knew nothing about YA, but soon became engrossed in these delightful, multi-genre stories. My adult books, set in a modern Ireland still ruled by the heirs of High King Brian Boru, follow the adventures of the Irish royal family. I started writing with the characters as teenagers, a sort of “prequel” to the trilogy, and I had a great time. Their romantic escapades are a tad sweeter than those of their grownup personas, but their adventures are just as exciting, thanks to the troop of unpredictable Irish fairies who’ve joined the cast—and I don’t think they mind being part of the story. The book recently received a 5-star reader review!
Alexis: Wow! Congratulations on the review! This story sounds wonderful. Can you tell our readers a little bit about, Glancing Through the Glimmer?
Pat: As with all my stories, Glancing Through the Glimmer crosses several genres. The publisher lists it as a Paranormal Young Adult Fantasy. It’s also a romance, an alternate history, and an adventure. The title is a phrase from The Fairy Thorn, an old Irish poem by Samuel Ferguson. In my story, “Glimmer” refers to the fairies’ magic. Here’s the book 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?
Alexis: This sounds like such fun. Where did you get the idea for this story?
Pat: The Scottish legend of Tam Lin and the myths surrounding Finvarra, the King of the Connaught Fairies, provided inspiration. Most of the plot and subplots developed as I wrote.
Alexis: Ah, legends are great inspirations. What are your favorite character traits of Janet and Liam?
Pat: Janet’s resilience impresses me. An aspiring young actress, she uses role-playing to help her adapt to her “fish out of water” life in Dublin—and to charm Liam. Liam is a scholar, a smooth-talking poet-prince who becomes a reluctant hero when ancient magic imperils Janet.
Alexis: I can see the adults in these two characters already :-) This book is set in Ireland. Do you have a special affinity for this country?
Pat: My O’Brien grandparents emigrated to the U.S. from County Sligo in the early 20th century. I grew up hearing the myths, the songs, and the history. My kids were nearly grown before I finally got to see Ireland myself, and I’ve been back several times. The scenery is gorgeous, and diverse. Wherever you go, you’re never far from the sea, and the ruins of castles, towers, and abandoned homesteads dotting the countryside are constant reminders that Ireland has been around for a long, long time.
Alexis: How lovely that you have been able to visit the place you set your stories in. What can we expect next from you? Do you have any new releases coming or a work in progress?
Pat: The “Band of Roses” trilogy, A Band of Roses, Fiery Roses, and Salty Roses, is coming in 2012 from MuseItUp Publishing (the first two are re-releases). Right now, I’m sprucing up Autumn Glimmer, in which Liam and Janet return for a Halloween weekend they’ll never forget.
Alexis: Excellent! A whole trilogy plus a prequel. Thank you so much for telling our readers about your lovely Ireland set stories. We appreciate you coming for a visit.
Pat: Thanks again for having me, Alexis. I’ve enjoyed chatting with you.
Alexis: For a chance to win Pat’s Glancing Through the Glimmer, be sure to leave a comment for her. If I have contact information I will let you know when you win, otherwise, check the side column for your name on Wednesday under WINNERS :-)
For more information on Pat’s writing, go to http://www.patmcdermott.net/
To buy Glancing Through the Glimmer click on this link: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=224&category_id=54&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1
Alexis: Check out this excerpt from Glancing Through the Glimmer.
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 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.
Alexis: Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win this adventure filled novel :-)