West Coast of Ireland will visit West Coast of U.S.

Ireland girls' trip 2011 263


I’m excited! Going to be interviewed on Writers’ Block on LA Talk radio on February 25 by terrific radio host, Jim Christina.

He will ask me all about writing Shanty Gold. There’s nothing more fun for me to talk about than that because the story is so very cool.

You may have already heard this one, but here goes.

From earliest childhood, I dreamed of a young girl with curly red hair riding a chestnut horse along the seacoast of Ireland. She was strong and free and confident—all the things I wasn’t as a little kid. Well, that’s kind of stretching the truth. Actually, I was quite confident in those days.

As years passed, I heard the name Mary Boland whispered by my mother and aunts. Turns out Mary Boland was the name of my great or great, great grandmother who came over from County Cork. That’s all they knew about her, but there was magic in the way they spoke her name.

There were no pictures of her and no records to help me know her better. A fire in Ireland of all records back in the late 19th century had destroyed every trace of her. How sad.

But the Irish are a savvy lot. She began coming to me in dreams saying, “Tell my story.”

Well, that was complicated since I didn’t know her story. Nor did anyone else. So, when I decided to write about her, I asked her to direct my prose and turn me around if I got off track.

She did exactly that, often waking me at night with a jarring correction.

Now, I have no idea if Shanty Gold is fact or fiction. All I know is that readers love it and love Mary with a passion seldom evoked by a heroine.

And I love her, too.

Now, all I need to know is how to stay awake ‘til 11:00 p.m. for that interview. It’s 8:00 p.m.in California. Gotta get some No Doz.