Thursday, June 27, 2013

Rose Of Skibbereen, Book Two Is Published

This is a very quick, short post to tell you that "Rose Of Skibbereen, Book Two" is now published. I had a deadline to get it finished before I left for my trip to Ireland, and I just made it (I'm leaving tomorrow). This is such breaking news that I don't even have a link available to it in the Amazon Kindle store, because it takes 24 hours for Amazon to review and approve it. I do have a link to the book on Smashwords, though, and it's here. It's available in all formats on Smashwords, so you can download it and start reading the book right away.
I had a great time writing this second installment of the series, and I was really pleased to see where the story took me. The characters in this book live through the First World War and the Roaring Twenties, as well as a lot of other personal events that keep them on a roller coaster of emotion. Rose has a lot to deal with, most of it caused by her scoundrel of a husband (who changes his name yet again in this book) and her longing to go back to Ireland. There are more than a few surprises, and I think readers will like this part of the family saga.
Well, that's it for now -- I have to finish packing for my trip. I hope you enjoy "Rose Of Skibbereen, Book Two". Let me know what you think -- I love getting feedback!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Inspired Like John Lennon?

I've been hard at work on Book Two of my "Rose Of Skibbereen" novels and things are moving along nicely. I should have the ebook published by my target date of June 27.
Although there are no problems with writer's block, and I'm feeling inspired, maybe I've gotten extra inspiration lately because I took a trip to Bermuda.
My wife and I visited Bermuda almost three decades ago, early in our marriage, and we wanted to go back to celebrate our anniversary this year. It's a beautiful place, and in fact I'd say it was the second most beautiful place I've ever visited, behind only Hawaii.
Anyway, I learned during our visit that John Lennon also visited Bermuda, back in 1980, and the trip opened up new creative wellsprings in him, which culminated in "Double Fantasy", the last album he recorded before his death. Shops all over the island were selling Lennon Bermuda, which is a double CD of Lennon songs recorded by various artists.
The Bermuda trip was something special for John Lennon. He had been in a creative drought, and had not released an album in five years prior to the trip. In June of 1980 he rented a yacht with a crew, and they set sail from New York to Bermuda. They encountered a fierce storm along the way, and Lennon had to help the crew, which was overwhelmed, to sail the boat through the raging gale. The experience seemed to release a lot of bottled up energy, and when he got to Bermuda Lennon found that he was able to write songs again.
The result was "Double Fantasy", one of the most memorable Lennon albums ever.
When I heard this story I wondered if Bermuda could have the same effect on me. I've had no problems with a creative drought, but even so, inspiration is always welcome. I had my laptop computer with me, and I did feel that I was writing at a higher level on the trip than I had been before. Maybe there's something about those balmy breezes or the clear Bermuda water that inspired me to new heights of creative writing.
Whether readers will agree, only time will tell.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

On My Way To Skibbereen

I have news to share. I'm going to visit Skibbereen this summer. That's the town in Ireland where the  main character in my "Rose Of Skibbereen" novel comes from. It's a little town in County Cork, and it happens to be where my great grandmother was born. She left Skibbereen in 1880 and eventually lost contact with her family back in Ireland. I did some family history research on a year ago and found some very interesting facts about my great grandmother to go along with the family stories my mother told me. I was amazed at how much history I was able to find, and I even made contact with people from the area who had a connection to the family.

The whole thing inspired me to write the "Rose Of Skibbereen" novel, actually to write a series of novels about a fictional family that is somewhat like mine. I'm hard at work on the second novel in the series, and I'm very excited to be able to see the country that I've visualized in my mind to this point. I did a lot of research before writing the first novel, but there's still nothing like visiting a place to get a proper feel for it.

I can't wait to see the actual farmhouse where my great-grandmother grew up, the fields she worked in, the church she worshiped in and the town she walked in. There are no more direct descendents of her line living in Ireland, but there are some distant cousins I can talk to. It promises to be quite an interesting trip. I will be sure to post updates here and pictures when I get back.

In the meantime, you can read the first book in my "Rose Of Skibbereen" series here. I should have the second one available by the end of June. It's been great fun writing this story, and I can't believe the many twists and turns it is taking, and the characters I'm meeting along the way.

Stay tuned.