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Hello, I'm Susan Colleen Browne, avid gardener and lover of all things Irish!

As a reader, I love uplifting fiction about love and family with lots of hopefulness, like the heartwarming Scottish novels of Jenny Colgan and the witty stories of Jane Austen. 

When it comes to viewing, just give me British series like Downton Abbey or the new All Creatures Great and Small and I'm a happy camper!

 

As a writer, I weave my passion for Ireland and country living into my Irish Village of Ballydara series. When I escape from my laptop, I run a backyard farm in the Foothills of the Pacific Northwest.

 

As a kid, I read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books a dozen times apiece, never knowing I would start a homestead of my own! My Little Farm memoirs follow the true-story homesteading journey of my husband and me, from our first tumultuous year in the country to the many adventures and challenges we've encountered since then. 

So back to writing...why Ireland?

My ancestors hail from the Emerald Isle, but my family wasn’t your typical Irish-American crew. In my childhood, my mom was a lapsed Catholic, Dad’s folks had gone Protestant a couple of generations back, and he was a teetotaler to boot. And not one of us kids took step-dancing lessons. Somehow, though, I always knew I was Irish.

After I grew up, it took several years of writing novels to get seriously bitten by the Irish bug. What inspired me is a long story, involving a mash-up of not only Scarlett O’Hara, but “Darby O’Gill and the Little People,” seeing legendary Irish writer Edna O’Brien, the “Riverdance” TV show, and discovering Irish novels by Maeve Binchy and Marian Keyes. Soon, I’d hit a Perfect Storm of Irishness.

Susan in Cong, County Mayo, where The Quiet Man was filmed
Here I am in Cong, County Mayo, Ireland

The true tipping point was one unforgettable evening, when I was listening to a Celtic music program. A mournful Irish ballad came on the air, about the sorrows of emigration. I’ve never been a cryer, but tears came to my eyes, and I got a shiver up my spine. I realized that these were my people in the song. All of a sudden, I got this indelible sense of what it means to be Irish and I was compelled to bring Irish voices into my writing.

 

After immersing myself in the Irish experience with books, movies, photos, newspapers, maps, along came my first Irish heroine: Aislin (pronounced “Ash-lin”), a klutzy single mom who escapes a romantic entanglement by laying low in the little Irish village of Ballydara, in the West of Ireland. Her story, It Only Takes Once, was born. My Village of Ballydara series now includes 7 novels and two short stories.

 

I was busy creating Irish stories about love, friendship, and family when my husband and I made a huge life decision: wesold our city home and moved to a rural acreage to live a slower, more self-sufficient life. Well, if trying to start up a little homestead doesn’t interrupt your writing, then you’re doing something wrong. Working Berryridge Farm was my new life, a very absorbing one, and I took an extended time-out from novel-writing. 

Full-time food-raising was wonderful…But as much as I enjoyed living my beloved Laura Ingalls’ early life, after a year and a half, I was hungry to write fiction again. Out of practice, I developed a near-terminal case of writer’s block. Desperate to write something, anything, I began scribbling about our homesteading experiences, and within a few weeks, I’d written my first memoir: Little Farm in the Foothills. Then I came up with yet another kind of book, and developed a fantasy-adventure series for tweens!

But I love writing Irish stories best, and I can't get enough of all things Irish—books and films, travel articles, recipes, slang, politics and culture—a passion that’s only grown after taking my first trip to Ireland. I've interwoven some of my travel experiences into my 7th Village of Ballydara novel, The Fairy Cottage of Ballydara...

My brand-new release is another homesteady book, available now: Little Farm in the Henhouse!

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