A few months ago I had the fun of being interviewed by Sharon P. Lynn for In-Print Radio at the Barnes and Noble in Rockford Illinois.
One of my favorite parts was when these teenagers started cursing about the prices on the items behind us. Yes. While we were recording. I think they had to edit out a LOT!
However, in this clip, I am reading an excerpt from A Murder at Rosamund's Gate. My part begins at 10:45-14:40. I'm pretty sure someone was killed somewhere in here. Check it out!
In 2001, I traveled to County Clare, Ireland with my new husband (aka alpha reader and my chief psychological consultant) on our honeymoon. I remember we were struck by the beauty--and moodiness--of the land.
I'm delighted to be joined today by Lisa Alber, who perfectly captures this sense of mystery and longing in her debut novel, KILMOON.
From the official blurb:
Merrit Chase travels to Ireland to meet her father, a celebrated matchmaker, in hopes that she can mend her troubled past. Instead, her arrival triggers a rising tide of violence, and Merrit finds herself both suspect and victim, accomplice and pawn, in a manipulative game that began thirty years previously.
When she discovers that the matchmaker’s treacherous past is at the heart of the chaos, she must decide how far she will go to save him from himself—and to get what she wants, a family.
Lisa, thanks for joining us today. What inspired KILMOON?
Two places in Lisdoonvarna village, County Clare, Ireland, sparked my imagination: The Matchmaker Bar and an early Christian ruin called Kilmoon Church. The Matchmaker Bar represents the village’s annual matchmaking festival and Kilmoon Church represents secrets long buried. Together they grounded me in place and set my thoughts churning about a matchmaker with a dark past.
My dad’s death also inspired this story. I was grieving his passing (from cancer), and it was only later that I realized I was processing our relationship through the father-daughter themes that run through the novel. Of course, in the novel they’re far darker than anything from my life. Thank goodness!
Your locale is very evocative—sometimes dreamy, sometimes harsh. How did you settle on County Clare for your location? Did you spend much time there?
You might say I accidentally ended up in County Clare. I traveled to Clare for the first time to see an ecological area called The Burren, which is a vast area of limestone leftover from the Ice Age. I’d read about it in a memoir. I planted myself in a random B&B near The Burren—in Lisdoonvarna, as luck would have it. While there, I discovered that Lisdoon (as the locals sometimes call it) hosts an annual matchmaking festival. I visited the area three times for novel research.
I found the landscape both harsh and dreamy. How interesting that these aspects of the locale came across to you in the novel! The Burren has a harsh appearance, that’s for sure, and the winds that come in off the Atlantic can be dismal. On the other hand, on mild days, the rolling green hills with their drystone walls are peaceful and otherworldly—like the landscape hasn’t changed in a thousand years.
Life has been crazy, crazy, CRAZY busy...I've barely had any time to post. Work is, well, busy, on top of that I just finished up teaching two classes and now I'm prepping for the next quarter, and I'm still working away on Book 3--The Masque of a Murderer--due to my editor very soon.
All the while I'm trying to gear up for the launch of Book 2--From the Charred Remains--which will be released on April 22. Yikes and a half!
But it's fun to take time out to celebrate the different writing milestones. Today my first novel, A Murder at Rosamund's Gate, came out in paperback. I even signed a few copies, just for fun!
Historian. Mystery writer. Researcher. Teacher. Occasional blogger.