Blog to Book
Author Interview w/ Shannon Haire
I am pleased to introduce the readers of Celticthoughts.com to author, Shannon Haire who has just released her new book, Petticoat, Patriots, and Partition. Shannon also writes a blog called Choosing the Green,
Brighid: Can you tell us a little about yourself, Shannon?
Shannon: I guess I’m a little bit of a Jill of all trades. I write and blog, make jewelry, play with herbs, and I make my own liqueurs. I’m obsessed with music and I actually read all kinds of books. My grandfather sang Galway Bay a lot when I was a child and something about that song stuck. I’ve been a little obsessed with Irish music and Ireland ever since. I grew up in the seventies and eighties and the Troubles were plastered all over the news so I remember some of those snippets too, even though I was young. These events solidified my interest in Irish history and it has never waned.
Brighid: Yes, you said the book is split into 3 sections and the last part of the book is about the Troubles. It was fascinating to me and I learned a lot reading it. Tell me, what lead you to write this book and to begin a blog?
Shannon: I went to Ireland in 2013 and I booked a walking tour through the Sinn Fein Bookshop in Dublin. I did not expect to learn anything I didn’t already know but I actually learned quite a lot on that tour. One thing our guide said stuck in my head. I asked him about Anne Devlin and he was surprised I knew about her. He briefly talked about her and concluded with “but no one really remembers her or the other women who fought for Ireland, and that’s a shame.” That sentence haunted me and directly led to this book. I love history, but it’s hard for many people to read. Non-fiction books can be dry and academic and I didn’t want to create one that would bore people, so I concentrated on using interesting facts and biographies.
Brighid: Which character speaks loudest to you and why?
Shannon: Anne’s story started it all, so I probably should choose her, but I have a deep connection to many of the people I write about. Margaret Skinnider is probably my favorite woman in the book. If I were forced to choose one it would be her although Anne and Lola inspire me a lot too. Actually they all inspire me in one way or another.
Brighid: I loved all the links at the back of the book. Where and how do you get your research?
Shannon: I study all the time. Trinity College in Dublin has started some online courses that are amazing, and I have a room filled with books on Irish history. Its my own personal library.I spend a lot of time scouring bookstores and libraries and I watch a lot of documentaries and fall down plenty of online rabbit holes. I read a lot of other Irish blogs and newspapers and hit museums and exhibits.
Brighid: Do you have any other projects you are working on?
Shannon: I have an ongoing Irish history blog and I do have an idea of what I want my next book to be. I’ll be researching a lot on my next trip to Ireland, and hunting for enough material to write a biography. The woman I have in mind makes an appearance or two in this book, but I’d love to expand her history.
Here is the link to buy the physical book, in trade paperback.
Here’s the link to the (US) listing from Amazon for the Kindle E-Book
And the UK listing to it too.
Thank you Shannon. I appreciate your time and good luck with the book. I enjoyed reading it and can recommend to anyone with a passion for Irish history.