About the Author
Stories where every underdog has his day
Kathleen L. Maher’s first crush was Peter Rabbit, and she’s loved conflicted heroes ever since. She has two novellas in BARBOUR BOOKS' collections: Victorian Christmas Brides and Lessons on Love. Winner 2012 ACFW Genesis Award. Author of Sons of the Shenandoah Series: The Abolitionist's Daughter and The Chaplain's Daughter.
Kathleen and her husband live in an old farmhouse in upstate NY with their children and a small menagerie.
GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | AMAZON | BOOKBUB
Thank you so much for having me here today. *Waving at your readers*
My Irish eyes are smiling, because I have a special book release for St. Patrick’s Day, which has a hint of my Irish family history in it.
1. What inspired the idea for this story?
Funny you should ask. My mother loved telling the old tales of relatives who lived long before me, and there was one in particular that sparked my imagination. Apparently, my great, great grandmother was quite a character. Katherine Meeghan lived in New York City, a first-generation Irish immigrant. Her courtship was quite colorful. She had two suitors interested in her, a doctor and a violin instructor, and she couldn’t decide which she liked better, so she made them run a foot race to determine which one she would allow to court her.
Though the inspiration for my fictional heroine was only a child during the Civil War, she did witness some of the aftermath of what was an infamous and tragic event known as the Irish draft riots. In my story, I have juxtaposed my heroine Rose Meehan’s courtship within the timeframe of this little-known slice of New York City Civil War history.
2. What did you as an author take away from writing this story?
My takeaway from researching my story’s historical backdrop is that we can become so entrenched in our own ways of life, our traditions, our values and deeply held beliefs, that our near-sightedness can lead to us making wrong assumptions about others if we don’t purposefully see others through the lens of Jesus’s love.
3. What type of research did you do for this story?
Some of what I learned was not pretty, but it is important history. During the Civil War, the death tolls on both sides were very steep, and the war went on much longer than anyone thought. Two years into the war, with dwindling manpower to win the conflict, President Lincoln signed the Conscription Act, and ordered a draft.
What was a bad situation turned worse, because the wealthy could buy their way out of the draft with a $300 commutation fee, but the poor could not. Furthermore, free black men were exempt from the draft. Though many freedmen dearly wanted to serve, and did, they could not be drafted because they were not yet considered citizens. Many immigrant Irish felt a profound sense of unfairness at this, which was only compounded by the fact that when they were called away to fight, they would lose their jobs to freedmen, their primary competition for the types of unskilled labor many of them worked. As a result, protests broke out in Manhattan, at first aimed at the draft offices, but sadly, turning into violent riots aimed at black neighborhoods and people.
In the midst, there were instances of heroism and noble acts. Not all Irish behaved with such ugly malevolence. Some stood between the rioters and their targets. In my story I show a fictionalized account of one such true event, a redemptive moment in the midst of chaos and tragedy.
4. Who is your favorite character in the story and why?
I have to go with Rose, my heroine. She’s an amalgam of all the Irish women in my family—funny, spontaneous, and a little hard-headed. She has a learning curve in the story, as she starts out as a bit of a flirt, and also suffers ignorance regarding people of different ethnicities. But with the help of one of her suitors, she matures into a lady of more noble character, while not losing a bit of her fun-loving personality.
5. When you are not writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
I love spending time gardening, decorating, and collecting vintage kitchenware. I also paint wildlife and pet portraits. I’m a real animal lover. I’m owned by cats, dogs, and a parakeet. And any time there is a good book or movie, especially if it is historical romance, I love getting lost in another time period. Sadly, I am not the reader I once was. Vision issues and time constraints have cut into my reading affair. Aside from all of that, I LOVE social media, such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Have a bit of an addiction, methinks. ;-)
Also, I am in a huge Rafflecopter giveaway with another Christian historical author. Please take a moment to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes!
Raffle copter runs from March 9-18th Grand prise is $50 Amazon GC. Enter the giveaway HERE.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. The luck of the Irish be with you!
Request an Interview
Hello and welcome to my author interview page. Here there will be interviews with some fun and amazing authors.
How to comment on the blog due to weird theme issues:
-Notify me of new comments to this post by email
Need to search the site? Use the search engine below...
Follow the author interviews blog via email: