Boston, Massachusetts native Pat McDermott writes romantic action/adventure stories set in an Ireland still ruled by the heirs of High King Brian Boru. Autumn Glimmer, a young adult paranormal adventure rich in Irish myth and packing a hefty wallop of fairy magic, is the sequel to Glancing Through the Glimmer. Both books are “prequels” to her Band of Roses Trilogy.
Pat’s favorite non-writing activities include cooking, reading, music, hiking, music, and traveling, especially to Ireland. She is a member of the New Hampshire Writers’ Project, Romance Writers of America, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. She lives and writes in New Hampshire, USA.
Travel/Writing Blog (Put the Kettle On): http://pat-mcdermott.blogspot.com/
Thank you for joining us today, Pat. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
Before I do, I’d like to thank you for having me today, Cheryl. It’s a pleasure to visit The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection. I grew up in Boston, and I miss it until I try driving down there. I currently live near the New Hampshire seacoast with my husband and three Tonkinese cats. My kids are grown, so I now have the luxury of spending my mornings writing. My grandparents came from Ireland, and the music and legends heard growing up still inspire the stories I write. When I’m not writing, I love to cook and have my own cooking blog. I also have a writing/travel blog in which I describe my visits to various places, especially Ireland.
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
I can recall writing down stories when I was six. My family included some talented storytellers, especially my father. He made up most of his bedtime stories, and his tales often kept me awake for hours, in a good way: they made me want to make up stories too.
Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?
I had already written the Band of Roses Trilogy when an acquaintance suggested the YA angle. I found I loved writing about my “Roses” characters as teenagers. Their romantic escapades are a tad sweeter than those of their grownup personas, but their adventures are just as exciting, thanks to the zany Irish fairies who’ve joined the cast, creating all sorts of mischief with their magical glimmer.
Both “Glimmer” stories take place in the modern Kingdom of Ireland. They star Janet Gleason, the sixteen-year-old granddaughter of the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, and Prince Liam Boru, the seventeen-year-old son of the King of Ireland.
What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?
I found it a joy to read dozens of YA books to get a feel for the genre, and I’m still reading them. YA is a perfect vehicle for creating imaginary worlds and devising impossible situations with happy endings. Troubled young readers can find comfort in characters with problems similar to theirs, or they can escape from the stress of growing up for a while. I’m happy to provide a story or two to help.
As for the challenge of writing YA, the biggest one for me is getting my head back in teenager mode, but only from an emotional point of view. No sense trying to incorporate fads or clothing styles, as those change too rapidly. I’m also careful to avoid using “current” American teenage slang, though I do have fun with Irish slang. It’s no botheration at all!
Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?
Autumn Glimmer reunites Janet and Liam for their second fairy adventure. It isn’t necessary to have read Glancing Through the Glimmer to enjoy Autumn Glimmer, but a touch of background wouldn’t hurt.
In Glancing Through the Glimmer, Finvarra, the King of Fairies, is unfazed by the fact that Ireland’s fairies are dying from lack of mortal belief in them. Finvarra would rather dance than worry—but he must have a mortal dancing partner.
When Janet Gleason’s grandfather/guardian becomes the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, she must leave her American school and friends behind. A royal invitation to the Ambassadors’ 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 Liam Boru loathes the idea of escorting another pampered girl to a ball. In fact, he detests most of his royal duties. He dresses down to move through Dublin unnoticed and lands on his royal backside when Janet crashes into him. He asks to see her again, and she agrees. Unaware of each other’s identities, they meet for a date, and the fairies steal Janet away. Liam’s attempts to find her lead to a glimmer-fraught showdown in the dungeons of Clontarf Castle.
In Autumn Glimmer, King Brian invites Janet and her grandparents to Glensheelin, the royal family’s country estate, to celebrate Halloween. Glensheelin is Irish for “the glen of the fairy pool,” which the mortals think is a fictitious old legend. In fact, a clan of fairies still lives beneath Glensheelin’s lake, and every seventh Halloween, they must leave their watery home to collect the flowers their queen requires to keep a hungry monster asleep. This year, Blinn, Mell, and Lewy get the job. Blinn wants to see the mortal king’s house. Lewy wants to taste oatcakes again, and Mell goes along on a tragic ride that leaves poor Lewy lost and alone. Liam and Janet must help him find the flower bag before the monster awakens, but Lewy’s misguided glimmer catches the young mortals in a magical spell that threatens to trap them forever in the palace beneath the lake.
What inspired you to write it?
Why, the fairies, of course! Seriously, a trip to Ireland, specifically to the Connemara Heritage and History Centre in Galway, introduced me to crannogs, which are ancient man-made islands. I liked the idea of having one in the lake at Glensheelin. As I already had my hero and heroine, I only had to concoct a troop of water fairies and a monster. That was easy enough to do after reading several old Irish legends, most of which I found in my aunts’ spectacular collection of antique Irish books.
Where can readers purchase a copy?
Autumn Glimmer is available in e-book format from:
MuseItUp Publishing http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=654&category_id=6&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1
Amazon Kindle U.S. http://www.amazon.com/Autumn-Glimmer-ebook/dp/B00B5E0MS0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1360330192&sr=1-1&keywords=autumn+glimmer
Amazon Kindle U.K. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Autumn-Glimmer-ebook/dp/B00B5E0MS0/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1361408068&sr=1-1-spell
What is up next for you?
I’ve nearly completed my first contemporary romance, set—where else?—in Ireland. After that, I’ll likely start a third Glimmer book.
Do you have anything else to add?
Just to say thanks again for having me, Cheryl. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my visit!
Thank you for spending time with us today, Pat. We wish you much success.