Interview With: Patti Lacy

I am excited to introduce you to Patti Lacy.  Patti is a first time author that swept me off my feet with her book An Irishwoman’s Tale. She lives with her husband and two children in Illinois.  When she is not volunteering, Patti is hiking and sightseeing in most of the fifty states, as well as Canada, Ireland, and Switzerland. Her travels have made the vivid imagery of her book come alive. Patti has the gifted ability of making you as the reader, feel you are right there with her character.

Without further introductions I would love to share this new author with you.

Thank you so much for joining us here at CWO.  Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

Your invitation thrills me; thanks!

I’m a middle-aged former college instructor who loves to cook, jog, and eat, not necessarily in that order.

In 1995, a wild-haired Irish friend told me a story which God cemented in my brain. I continued to teach but began listening to the Still, Soft Voice say, Write that Story. I finally did. Since 2005, words have been pounded into computer files, and I hope to keep writing until God directs me to do something else.

An Irishwoman’s Tale is your first book.  What would you say to someone who wants to become a published author?

Read incessantly. Study the craft. Save money until you’re able to hire a top-of-the-line editor, preferably one specializing in your genre of writing. After you make the changes they suggest, ask them if the work is ready for submission. If they say yes, buy stamps and some high-quality business stationery and query away.

Great advice, thank you!

The imagery in An Irishwoman’s Tale gives the reader the feeling they are walking the hills of Ireland with your character Mary Freeman.  Can you tell us what research you did to write your book?

That’s because Mary and I did walk County Clare, clinging to each other so we wouldn’t get blown off the dangerous cliffs! She really did run off and leave me on the treacherous Croagh Patrick climb. I spotted with my own eyes the thousand shades of green and saw mist and sea and land mingle to form a third dimension…Drat! I opened my eyes to find that I’m not in mystical County Clare but plain ole Normal, Illinois.

That is the way I felt when I was reading your book An Irishwoman’s Tale, I was swept away to the cliffs of Ireland.

When I read that the protagonist Mary Freeman was based on a true story, it drew me in and made me want to jump inside the book to love her and save her.  Can you tell me more about the real life Mary and how she is doing today?

Mary continues to minister to the downtrodden in her community. A vibrancy surrounds her, goodness radiates from her soul, and I love her more than ever.

God has blessed Mary and Paul, their two girls becoming productive and beautiful young women. Through God’s grace, Mary is at peace with her past and hopeful about the future. In some neat ways, she’s returned to her rural roots and hears the mournful yet melodic minor rhythm of her beloved County Clare as she works the land. And she still gains tremendous pleasure from cooking for others! In fact, I enjoyed a fresh-from-the-garden feast on a recent visit.

Oh yum. It is great to see how God works in peoples past to bring Him glory in the present.

I read that An Irishwoman’s Tale is the first installment in your Kaleidoscope series.  Can you tell me more about the series?

We have to let Sally the chatterbox have her voice! Expect Sally’s story, crawling with secrets she tried to bury deep under a Louisiana bayou’s murky waters, to be released by Kregel in April 2009!

I can not wait.  I loved Sally’s character.

I think there is so much you can take away from this book, but what are the major themes of “An Irishwoman’s Tale?”

Romans 8:28, God working for good in the lives of those who love Him, who call upon His name. Even though Mary’s Heartland home had its share of problems, America served as the catalyst to get Mary out of a horribly dysfunctional Irish home. And as Mary began to offer her problems up to God, He worked to change both her inner and external life.

Another crucial element of the book is Mary’s Christ-mandated need to forgive both her mothers for the pain they inflicted on her (Matthew 6:12-14). When I think of sacrifice, I think of Mary bathing, feeding, and changing her mother for well over a decade, during which time she grappled with raising teenagers.

Some social issues explored include: dealing with aging parents, substance abuse, mental illness, and the residual effects of suicide. As my son told me, “This book’s stuffed with problems.”

An Irishwoman’s Tale would be a great book for a book reading club.

Can you share with our readers about Magdalene Homes?

“Aunt Jo” really did loan me a book about the Irish “Magdalene Laundries” entitled The Light in the Window by June Goulding. Apparently the Catholic church originally founded the Magdalene Homes to help “fallen women” find a place in society. Over time, the charitable, caring aspects of this institution eroded, and women were treated like slaves, toiling long hours in unsatisfactory conditions. The Homes also became depositories for women who’d become pregnant out of wedlock. After the “poor dears,” as “Jo” described them, gave birth, their babies were ripped from their arms and put up for adoption.

Apparently the Irish society virtually ignored the Magdalene phenomenon until around 1993, when a real estate developer unearthed the mass grave of over 150 Magdalene “inmates.” This discovery set off a shock wave of allegations, accusations, and investigations and resulted in films, songs and books documenting the degrading treatment of women.

Thank you for sharing this Irish history with me, it is the first time I have learned about Magdalene Homes.

Are there any projects in the works that you can tell us about?

I’m currently working on a series entitled “Spanning Seas and Secrets.” My first novel of that series has the tentative title My Name is Sheba. In this novel, the gregarious daughter of 1930s New Orleans jazz musicians must choose between the son she never knew and the husband that never knew her.

Thank you so much for joining us here.  Can you share one thing or verse God is using to speak to you right now?

Thank you for having me! Dear writing friends and readers, whatever you do, do it with all your heart, soul, and mind for that Audience of One. Then you’ll never be disappointed.

I look forward to more of your books!

Ladies – If you would like to win a copy of  An Irishwoman’s Tale: click here for details .

©2008, Laurel Wreath

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