Sunday, May 1, 2011

First Book Stories: A Band of Roses by Pat McDermott


As an author, I can tell you that the publication of my first book was an amazing time. You make the transition from aspiring author to published author, and suddenly your life isn't the same. You have proof that all that time spent hunched over your computer keyboard has meant something.

I believe others find first book stories fascinating too. At the Write Angles Conference I'll be attending in October, we will have an entire panel dedicated to first book stories.

We kick off off our journey through first book stories with A Band of Roses by Pat McDermott. I hope you enjoy a month of great guest posts.

As the American granddaughter of Irish immigrants, I’ll never know what it is to be truly Irish. My childhood vision of Ireland was one of magical legends and ancient kings, banshees and leprechauns, rebellions and heroes. Among those heroes was my alleged ancestor, Brian Boru.

Born in 941 A.D., Brian Boru became High King of Ireland by 1002 A.D. He achieved economic and educational reform and united most of the lesser tribes against their common enemy, the Viking invaders who terrorized Ireland. Intrigue and tribal disputes led to the bloody Battle of Clontarf, fought on Good Friday, April 23, 1014. Brian’s armies routed the Norsemen, though Brian and his son and grandson lost their lives in the struggle.

As I learned more about King Brian, I noted that more than one of his biographers speculated that Ireland would be a very different place today if he had survived the Battle of Clontarf. That sentiment merged with my childhood vision of Ireland and gave birth to my first full-length novel and sale, A Band of Roses, an alternate history adventure that crosses several genres.

After I’d amassed a drawer full of rejection letters, the romance writer in my writing group suggested I join Romance Writers of America.

“I’m not a romance writer,” I said, though I joined to make her happy.

“RWA has a Celtic group,” she said. “Your story is set in Ireland. Join that too.”

Celtic Hearts Romance Writers is where I found Tiger Publishing, a new publisher looking for great stories. I queried them, they liked the story, and it debuted in paperback in March, 2008.

The story supposes what Ireland would be like today if Brian Boru hadn’t perished at the Battle of Clontarf. My Ireland is still a monarchy, one where the present King Brian is a descendant of the first Brian Boru—and his daughter Talty is a princess in trouble.

Talty Boru becomes a pawn not only in the high-stakes gamble for offshore oil, but in a murderous plot to seize the throne of England. From Japan to California to an eleventh century Ireland preparing for the Battle of Clontarf, she finds romance and adventure and brings back a discovery worth more than any oil well. Yet all she wants is to return to her family and her lifelong friend and protector, Neil Boru, the adoptive cousin she secretly loves but can’t have—or so she thinks. Talty’s warrior cousin has a secret of his own, one that emerges as the Boru clan scrambles to thwart an invasion of Ireland and bring Talty home.

Sadly, Tiger Publications closed its doors shortly after releasing A Band of Roses, but Talty and company are still going strong.


Born and educated in Boston, Massachusetts, Pat grew up in a family full of music and myths that have found their way into her stories. She is a member of The New Hampshire Writers' Project, Seacoast Writers' Association, Romance Writers of America, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. A frequent visitor to Ireland, she lives and writes in New Hampshire.


Pat’s Web Site: http://www.patmcdermott.net/  


Pat’s Blog: http://pat-mcdermott.blogspot.com/
Thanks for sharing your story, Pat. We wish you continued success.

Coming Monday, Tom McLaughlin talks about his first book, Borneo Tom, a travel journal.

28 comments:

Ellen said...

How cool! My daughter is fascinated by Ireland. I think she'd love this book!

lifeinreviewblog said...

This book sounds wonderful! Very interesting post. I wish Pat good luck with her book and future writing!

Blessings
Michelle V

Kristal Lee said...

Hey Pat!
I have a copy of your first print with Tiger Publications. Loved it!

Pat McDermott said...

This post brings back memories, Cheryl. Thanks for spotlighting A Band of Roses!

Victoria Roberts said...

Wish you all the success in the world!

avomnia said...

It has to be incredibly daunting to draw suppositions about where history may have gone given a different turn of one specific event. That takes a lot of courage to extrapolate something like that which would affect so many lives.

As an amateur student of Revolutionary War history (and late 18th - early 19th centuries) I can easily see what would have happened in the immediate aftermath of British success, but can't begin to dream up what might have happened to any one of the Founding Fathers afterward. I think we would have eventually attained independence, but that would certainly be for the imagination to dream up.

Karen Cioffi said...

The concept of your book sounds very interesting. I think many of us wonder about our heritage, and I'm sure we all wonder the "what ifs."

Pat, best wishes for A Band of Roses.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Nice story about your first book. Sorry the publisher is no more, but happy for you that Tally is still going strong. Best of luck to you.

Chelle Cordero said...

It's always terrific to hear how that special moment came about. Wishing you many successes.

~Chelle
http://ChelleCordero.com

Miriam Newman said...

Best of luck with your beautiful book, Pat. You and A Band of Roses deserve continued success!

Pat McDermott said...

Hi Ellen. Your daughter sounds like my kind of gal! I'm guessing she'd enjoy this book, as long as she's old enough for mature themes. Unfortunately, except for a box of the publisher's overflow I keep in an upstairs closet, A Band of Roses is temporarily unavailable. I hope to change that soon. Thanks for dropping by!

Pat McDermott said...

Thank you for your good wishes, Michelle!

Pat McDermott said...

Hi Kristal! Still have that "first edition" eh? I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the kind words!

Pat McDermott said...

Thanks, Victoria!

Pat McDermott said...

Hello, Avomnia. Nice to meet you. Dreaming things up is what writers do :-) What if America had lost the Revolutionary War? It's fun to imagine the detours history might have taken, but I'm truly happy our side won that one. Thank you for your thoughts, and good luck with your amateur studies. They must keep you busy!

Pat McDermott said...

Karen, thank you for stopping by, and for your good wishes.

Pat McDermott said...

Hello Beverly. Talty is going strong for sure. A Band of Roses has grown into a trilogy, and Talty's younger brother stars in a Young Adult "prequel" due for release this autumn. Thanks for visiting today!

Pat McDermott said...

Thank you so much, Chelle!

Pat McDermott said...

Thanks for the kind words, Miriam. They are much appreciated!

Rebecca Ryals Russell said...

What a great story, Pat. I was especially surprised to see your Irish roots. I married a man from Ireland and have an Erin Deirdre, Clare (for Clare County) and Brian (named for Brian Boru). I love Irish history and have read the mythology and history voraciously. I'll have to check out this book of yours. One day I'll write one based in Druidic Ireland or maybe during the Viking invasions.

terri.forehand said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. Blessings for success.

Pat McDermott said...

Rebecca, my husband isn't Irish (McDermott is my maiden name), but we called our daughter Bevin, the name of both a wife and daughter of Brian Boru. IMHO, Irish history and mythology are more than a match for any modern novel or soap opera. I hope you write those stories. I'd love to read them. Thank you for your comments.

Pat McDermott said...

Thank you, Terri. And my thanks again to Cheryl for hosting me and A Band of Roses. Such a great idea! I look forward to reading other authors' "First Story" stories.

Cheryl said...

Thanks to Pat and everyone for making our first special feature so memorable.

Tribute Books Mama said...

This book sounds really great, must read it.

Turning the Clock Back said...

I love all things Irish! Sounds like a good read!

Pat McDermott said...

Thanks for stopping by, "Mama" and "Turning the Clock Back"!

April said...

Wow! What an awesome post. I have always had a love for Ireland and hope to visit there one day!