Blog to Book/ Author Interview
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
Interview w/ Shannon Haire
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.