I am happy to give the writer, Caren Werlinger, some space here on my blog. Welcome, Caren! Your new novel sounds just riveting — I hope loads of readers get a chance to check it out.
An ENORMOUS thank-you to Amy for tagging me and hosting me, since I don’t have a blog of my own at this point.
What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
When I was about nine, my dad got transferred and we were having to move. One of the houses we looked at was this dilapidated old farm house with peeling paint, broken windows and an old barn – a perfect place for me finally have a horse! For some reason, my parents weren’t as keen on the house. But of all the houses we looked at, that one, for some reason, has always stayed in my memory. So, I placed it in West Virginia instead of Ohio, and let my imagination go with the stories it could have told.
What genre does your book fall under?
General dramatic fiction, or perhaps historical fiction.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I’m honestly not sure. I describe the characters in the book, but they’re not based on anyone I know or can picture, so I have no idea.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When her father goes MIA in the summer of 1968, ten-year-old Connemara moves with her mother and brother to her mother’s family home where she discovers that her family is living under a curse only she can break.
What is the longer synopsis of your book?
Here’s the back cover blurb:
1968 – a year of upheaval for the nation and for the Mitchell family. When her father goes MIA in Vietnam, ten-year-old Connemara and her family move to West Virginia and into her mother’s ancestral home – a neglected house whose walls hold old secrets of forbidden love and knowledge of things best forgotten.
For reasons she does not yet understand, Conn is chosen as the one who must unravel the mystery surrounding her ancestor, Caitríona Ní Faolain, who disappeared soon after the Civil War – a mystery that has condemned her family to a curse for over a hundred years.
Set during two of the most turbulent periods of American history, this story takes the reader on an epic journey through time as Conn delves deeper and deeper into her family’s past in order to end the curse before it is passed on to a new generation. Along the way, she teaches the adults around her something of the enduring power of love and hatred – and the terrible price of redemption.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Miserere is my first self-published release under my new imprint, Corgyn Publishing.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Probably about three years. I stopped work on this story when another captured my attention, and then came back and finished it in May of 2011.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I’m of Irish descent myself, and I’ve always been fascinated by the circumstances that forced so many from their homes to a new country – like the two teenage sisters in my story, sold by their father to be servants in America. I’ve lived in West Virginia and now Virginia where Civil War history is still very much a part of the geography and the mindset of the people who live here. This story was a way of combining those elements.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There are so many elements blended together in this story – history, adventure, mystery, romance, family connections, the struggle for freedom. It’s also a coming of age story, something that happened entirely by accident. If I’d had a story like this to read when I was twelve or thirteen, it would have made a powerful impact on me. This book really is a bit of a roller coaster, and I hope readers enjoy the ride!