Thursday, May 5, 2016

I Made The Southern Star

I'm not one of those authors who spends every waking moment on promotion, shilling my ebooks like a carnival barker. I prefer to write my stories and plays first, and do the promotion and marketing in whatever time is left over after that.
I'll admit that long periods go by when I do no marketing or promotion at all. I need to get better at that, because it's critical when you self-publish to get the word out to your audience. So, lately I've been on a promotional binge, and I've been contacting newspapers in the U.S. and Ireland to publicize my ebooks. Ireland is a natural, of course, since my Rose Of Skibbereen series starts out in that beautiful country.
I'm happy to announce that I have a story in today's edition of the Southern Star, a newspaper in West Cork, near Skibbereen, the town some of my ancestors came from, and where my novel begins. You can read the story here. It's even got a picture of me, taken when I visited my great-grandmother's house several years ago!
I'm very happy that this newspaper, which was established in 1889, only a few years after my great-grandmother left Skibbereen to come to Philadelphia, has a story about my book.
It feels like things have come full circle, in a way.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Immigrant Thoughts

I have watched the current anti-immigration talk from candidates like Donald Trump and it has disturbed me. I understand that some American workers may be angry if they think immigrants are taking their jobs, but we are a nation of immigrants and we should not close the door on people who are trying to do the same thing our ancestors did. 
Here’s what I learned about Irish immigration in my research for my “Rose Of Skibbereen” books. 
Ireland in the 19th century could not support its population. The potato famine made the situation desperate, forcing poor families to send their children away. None of them really wanted to go. They would hold “American Wakes”, like the one I portray in the first "Rose Of Skibbereen" book, and these gatherings were called wakes for a sad reason -- the families felt they were burying their sons and daughters because they knew they would never see them again. 
And it was true. My great-grandmother came to America when she was just a teenager, and although she lived until her eighties she never saw her parents or her homeland again. It was not an easy thing for these immigrants to leave a place where their families had roots stretching back hundreds of years. 
They left their families and came to this country, starting at the bottom rung of the ladder and enduring much hardship and even persecution. They did it because they were seeking a better life than what they had in their homeland. The first generations usually didn't see much improvement over the life they left behind, but their sons and daughters achieved a better life. That's certainly what happened in my family
I know there are some different issues today than there were 150 years ago but there are also similarities, even to the cry of, “They’re taking our jobs!”. People are still coming here for the same reasons they always did, it hasn’t been easy for them or us, but in the end it’s made America stronger and given a better life to millions. 

We should remember that when politicians talk about shutting the door. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

My Latest Ebook Is Out!

I have a new ebook out! It’s the latest in my “Rose Of Skibbereen” novels about an Irish immigrant named Rose Sullivan Morley and her many descendants. This is a historical novel series done in my own unique style, and at this point I’ve written about 300,000 words of it. The latest book brings the saga up to the present, so the story has covered 135 years now. Several dozen characters have come and gone, and I’ve had a great time getting to know them. 
Book Six is told through the eyes of Rosalie Morley, who is the great-great granddaughter of Rose Sullivan Morley. Rosalie has a unique way of looking at the world. She’s socially awkward but funny, blunt but witty, a thinker who’s also a dreamer. She shares the psychic streak that all the women in the family have to some degree. 
This book is different than the others in one big way: it’s a thriller. There is danger in the air in Rosalie’s world, and she has to find a way out of a scary situation with a stalker.
I don’t want to spoil the story so I won’t say any more. I hope you download the book and that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Tell me what you think about it -- send me an email. Or, if you want to post a review on Amazon or Smashwords, that would be great also. 

Happy reading!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Get Your Red Hot Quotes Here!

It's a new year and one thing I always do at the start of a new year is make resolutions and try to make improvements in my life. It always feels like the right time to make a fresh start, when the year is young and there are so many possibilities. So, this year one of the things I decided to do is post a quote every day on social media. It's been a habit of mine to read inspirational quotes, and all of a sudden I thought, Why not write some of my own? I have lots of ideas for quotes -- some funny, some starry-eyed, and some with a bit of an edge to them. Some will be pearls of wisdom, and some will probably be pearls of understatement. Some will hit you right between the eyes, and some will probably take a little while to sink in. Some may sound like they came from a Zen master or ancient sage, while others will probably make you smack your head and say, "What makes him think there's anything special about THAT?"
These are just the thoughts of an ordinary guy making his way through the world, and they'll be the essence of what I've learned (and what I'm still learning, mostly through making the same mistakes over and over). Just a momentary thing, offered for your reflection.
If you like any of my quotes, feel free to share them on whatever social media world you inhabit. It would be nice if you'd give me credit, somehow, by just mentioning my name. If you don't like my quotes, you can feel free to forget about them the minute you finish reading them.
And here's one of my first ones: