For those (scant) few of you out there who have read my books, you know that the series, as it is, is not yet finished. We’ve gone through Autumn with Moira and Jack finding a solace in one another through the chaos of weddings, running a business and the loss of a parent. We’ve suffered with Jaye in the Winter as she has recovered mentally, physically and emotionally from a vicious attack and we’ve shared Sloane’s joy of her new baby as well as watched her deal with a ghost from her past. Soon it will be summer, and the stories of my beloved Ryan family from the mythical Fayette will be coming to their apex.
I started writing Summer Poppies last year but, due to some hiccups in my personal life (okay, they were more than hiccups) I put it on hold in mid November. Now, I’m ready to start rolling on it again.
One of the things I really love about writing this particular book is that a good piece of it takes place in Ireland. And, if you read this blog, you’ll know that my Irish heritage is of great importance to me. My parents had taken my brother and I there was I was three, but until I was 36, I had not gone back. Nonetheless, my childhood is chock-a-block full of memories of the stories my dad would tell us of his own childhood in Ireland. We had Irish music playing all the time, my sisters and I and eventually two of my brothers learned Irish dancing and the culture of my father’s birth land was always a big part of our lives. So, while planning out a segment of the book that had to do with emigrating from Ireland to Canada in a certain time period came up, I went right to the source.
I sat down with my dad one Saturday afternoon in November and talked with him for hours about his memories, his experience and his feelings on coming to Canada. I have pages and pages full of notes and I can truly say that I came away from that day feeling like I knew a whole other part of him that I had not previously known.
Two years ago this past February when my husband and I went to Ireland, I got to feel things that I had only imagined I would feel while standing on Irish soil and that will be forever ingrained in me.
I only hope that all of this comes out in the final product.
Last night I had a moment that I have not had in quite some time. I was just hanging out in my room when something happened to me. One word, and that is sometimes all it takes, one word I heard spoken and suddenly I was dashing for my notebook and jotting down the rough words for a scene in the book. Back when I was writing every day, that’s how I would operate. I’d get a feeling, a thought, hear a word or a song and suddenly the work was pouring out of me. I haven’t felt that in a while; it was really good to feel it last night.
So, it is time for me to get back to it. As it currently stands, Summer Poppies is about a little over a third written and I hope over the coming weeks to get close to having a first rough draft ready by May or June. I’m excited about this one, though I have to say, there are few things to me more exciting about finishing a full length book at any time, but this one especially with the history, is close to my heart.