Well, several months ago I said that there was going to be a book club here at String of Pearls and that it was going to start in early 2015. So...I think it's about time I got going on that.
Since my first novel is titled Finding Grace, I thought I'd use "Tuesday's child is full of grace" (a line from an old nursery rhyme that begins "Monday's child is fair of face") as inspiration for the name of the club, as well as the day of the week on which it will be held. (BTW--thanks to those who voted when I asked what your favorite names for the club would be.) I will use this book club to discuss Erin's Ring as well, which has no character named Grace in it, but is also--I hope--full of grace for the reader.
Okay, where to start? Well, I'm just spit-balling here...but I though I'd point out some things that both of my novels, Finding Grace and Erin's Ring, contain (and I don't think I've included any true spoilers here, but it might be better to join the club after you've read the books).
1. A family with lots of boys in it (five Kelly brothers in FG, four McCormick brothers in ER--and who knows, maybe that baby Ellie McCormick is carrying is another son?). Hmm...wonder why?
3. Lots and lots o' Irish characters! Folks with names like Kelly, Foley, McCormick, O'Brien, Finnegan, Kennedy, McQuinn...if you're a sucker for an Irishman, you just might like my books. (My mom's maiden name is Kelly; and my husband is just about 100% Irish, on both sides--I never thought the last name Pearl sounded all that Irish, but turns out it is.)
4. Men who are carpenters (Abe Perlmann in FG, Tommy McQuinn and Dan McCormick in ER), with comparisons to St. Joseph the carpenter. My husband, you might be shocked--shocked!--to know, is also a skilled furniture-maker and woodworker.
6. Reminders of Mary's role as a Mediatrix, along with characters who pray the Rosary.
The daily Rosary has been a part of our life for many years, and we are devoted to Mary, our Mother.
7. An important male character with many of my husband's attributes--physical and otherwise (Tom Buckley, the handsome, gap-toothed love interest in FG, and Dan McCormick, the airline pilot/devoted husband and father in ER--and when I wrote about Seamus Finnegan in ER, it was my husband's face I pictured). I read an interview once where an author admitted that even after many years as a writer, her husband still got a little jealous of her male characters. I could never create a love interest for my female characters who didn't have at least a passing resemblance to my guy, so I don't think that's going to happen in our house!
During some recent airline travels, I started reading a work of fiction wherein the main character is a young woman who pretty much lives to read--she's a quiet type who works in a bookstore and always has a novel going. I find this sort of character in a lot of the novels I read. And it hit me that many people who write novels create characters who are avid readers (and often writers) like themselves. My sweet bookworm Grace fits this bill, always alluding to Mr. Darcy and other favorite characters from her favorite books--and hey, it just so happens that all of her favorite works of literature are mine, too! Who would have guessed? But with Erin's Ring I actually managed to create two young female characters who aren't obsessed with reading, like I am. However, Molly McCormick loves learning about history and combing her grandmother's attic for treasures from times gone by...and boy oh boy, does that ever sound like a girl I know very well. (Can writers ever really separate themselves entirely from the characters they bring to life?)
Okay then, that's a good start--don't you think?
If you're reading this, and you've read both of my novels, can you think of any other similarities between the two? Or do you just have a question you'd like to ask me? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear from you! And I will respond--that's a promise.