Fifteen years ago, I finished an Irish novel I called "Dreams of Ballydara." I loved the characters, but I wasn't happy with the story I'd created. So I put the manuscript into the proverbial drawer (a computer folder) and vowed to write a new novel "when I got around to it."
Then life happened. I made a huge change--my husband and I moved to the country for the homesteading life--and wrote my first Little Farm memoir. As the months, then years went by, other novels took my attention, But the characters from that early novel were very much with me: Declan O'Donoghue, his parents Frank and Maeve, and his children. I ended up writing two short stories about the O'Donoghues: The Secret Well and The Christmas Visitor. Still, I hadn't forgotten about the novel, or my hero Declan and the woman he falls in love with.
After writing the Ballydara short stories, I plunked around with the novel and created an all-new heroine, then the homesteading life became more intense. The book went back on the shelf, and I ended up releasing Mother Love. Still, the characters had found a place in my heart.
After I published Little Farm Homegrown, my second homesteading memoir, I knew the time had come: I had no more excuses not to write my novel about the O'Donoghues. Still, I was almost afraid to start it. What if the story had passed me by? I couldn't do justice to these characters that I loved?
Well, I started the novel anyway. The story, intertwined with the two Ballydara short stories, begins before the events in The Secret Well, and continues through what happens in The Christmas Visitor, and beyond. I plan to release the novel in the Spring of 2020. I'll be posting some sample chapters and bonus content soon!