Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Inspiration

Bernadette Walsh, author of The House on Prospect and Gold Coast Wives, is my guest. 
    A few years ago I attended what was billed as the “Griffin Tree Family Reunion.” Four sisters --the roots of the Griffin Tree -- immigrated from County Kerry, Ireland to Brooklyn, New York in the 1920s/1930s. My paternal  grandmother, Gert Griffin, was one of the four sisters.  As many descendants as we could track down -- the branches of the Griffin Tree --  gathered in the Catskill Mountains one summer weekend. Everyone pooled their bits of memories from these four women: pictures, keepsakes and old letters.
     One letter in particular struck a chord with me. My great-grandmother wrote to one of her daughters who’s husband was killed, leaving behind two small children. My great-aunt Agnes was left a young widow, an immigrant, and the only solace available to her from her parents were these thin sheets of paper. Almost eighty years later, the anguish of a mother unable to hug and console her grieving daughter rings through in these letters.
     My great-aunt Agnes lived well into her eighties and after her three sisters passed served as the matriarch of the Griffin clan. Agnes was strong, a survivor. She eventually met and married her second husband, a lovely man with who she had two more children. My cousins today remain a warm, close-knit family. Agnes’ story had a happy ending.  
     But what if? What if her second husband was not such a nice man. What if, left alone in America without the guidance of her parents, without the financial means to support her children, she made some bad choices, the consequences of which could ripple down into the generations. It was these “what ifs” that inspired me to write, The House on Prospect.
Review: "The House On Prospect is one amazing story. 5 Stars" by Miss Lynn' s Books & More
Bio
     I have always been a bookworm and had always meant to write a novel “someday.” You know, when I won the lottery and could live in beach house and look out onto the water and be inspired. Four years ago I decided to stop waiting for my winning lottery ticket and sat down and started writing in between work and family obligations, I piled the words on top of each other until they formed sentences, paragraphs, chapters and eventually a book. TheHouse on Prospect is my second novel. My first, a contemporary romance, GoldCoast Wives, was published in November 2011. The first book of my paranormal trilogy, Devil’s Mountain -- Book One of the Devlin Legacy, is due to be published in April 2012. While I’ve hopped around genres, all of my books to date have a common theme: strong women handling what life throws at them the best way they can.  Visit Bernadette's website.           

10 comments:

bj said...

In fiction, in movies, I love strong women. This is a trend I definitely approve of. Good for you.

Sandy Cody said...

I so relate to what you're saying. My mother was one of five sisters and I know my love of stories comes from listening to them talk about the events of their lives, each sister supplying different details, each filtering an event through her own sensibilities.

Sylvia A. Nash said...

Bernadette, The House on Prospect sounds like one I would love to read. I've often thought about the "what ifs" as I've researched my own family history. A great-great-grandfather received two land grants for his service in the War of 1812, one for land in Illinois and the other in Minnesota. He transferred both of them to someone else and moved to Kentucky instead. By doing so, his descendant, my mother, ended up where she needed to be to meet my father. Had he not moved to Kentucky, I wouldn't be here! Good luck with your new book!

Polly said...

My grandparents on my mother's side came here from Lituania at the turn of the twentieth century. My grandfather died in the influenza epidemic in 1918, leaving my grandmother with six small children. She never saw her family again. A few years back, a man came to this country to track the genealogy of my grandmother's family. He was the husband of my grandmother's sister's granddaughter. (Following so far?) Because of him, we found out about my grandmother's family. He even had pictures of the ship that carried my grandparents here, along with the ship's registry. It was quite a revelation. I doubt I could write about it and do it justice.

As children, we aren't interested in these things, and by the time we're adults, many of the stories are lost to either memory or death. You're lucky you had the chance to experience this, Bernadette. Otherwise, it might have been too late.

Your book sounds interesting. Best of luck with it.

Bernadette Walsh said...

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments. I hope you enjoy the book and feel free to drop me a line to let me know what you thought of it at bernadettewalsh.author@gmail.com

Tuere Morton said...

I love when events inspire people to do things!! Muses hide in the strangest places. Best of luck in your writing career :)

Donna Coe-Velleman said...

Polly said it right "by the time we're adults, many of the stories are lost to either memory or death."

How wonderful that you were able to touch the past.

I remember when you read a part of Devil's Mountain. I could have sat there and listened to more.

Good luck with all your books.

Ellis Vidler said...

Many of my grandparents' and parents' stories are lost to us now. How I wish we'd recorded or written them down when we had the chance.

Bernadette, the flavor the Irish family comes through very well in your book. And I loved watching how the characters grew and developed. I'm so glad you found your inspiration.

Gail M Baugniet said...

Books featuring stong female protagonists is one of my main critera when chosing a mystery novel. I love your "what if" scenerio and you sparked my long-standing interest in genealogy research when you mentioned the Irish family and immigration.

♥ Dawn said...

Sounds great! Can't wait to read. :)