It's been one year since Mary Pat Kelly launched her novel, Galway Bay right here on Daily Grommet -- and we made a lifelong friend at the same time. Over these past months, we've continued to get emails and updates from Mary Pat, and have enjoyed seeing how many folks feel a connection to her story about the immigrant experience. So in honor of St. Patrick's Day, we'd like to share her latest letter with you. And if you leave a comment below, you could win a "green" Nightstar, LED shake-powered flashlight (see the Giveaway Rules below).
Dear Daily Grommet readers,
Exactly a year ago on St Patrick's Day, I launched my historical novel, Galway Bay, with an interview and conversation with the Daily Grommet community. Very appropriate since Galway Bay has an Irish theme and I used the life of my own great-great grandmother Honora Keeley Kelly to tell the story of the Great Starvation of 1840's Ireland and the immigration of two million Irish to America.
In the last year I've traveled all over the country to bookstores, libraries, cultural centers, Irish festivals and met with book clubs in private homes. The response has been gratifying--Galway Bay is in it's 4th printing and made the best seller list in Boston and Chicago. I am delighted and grateful to my readers. BUT for me the best part of my appearances comes when someone says, "Reading your book made me interested in my own family's history."
"Great!!" I tell them. "That's why I wrote Galway Bay."
I believe every family has a "rousingly epic" story to tell. All of our ancestors from whatever tradition survived great adversity to give us the lives we led. History sometimes seems so remote but when you realize that our great-great grandparents endured war or famine or genocide or the Middle Passage--all the horrors we read about and yet they managed to live and start families and we are their victory. So as we celebrate St Patrick's Day and the heritage of 44 million Irish Americans I want to thank all of you who connect through Daily Grommet for embracing Galway Bay and hope that you will find inspiration in your family's story.
General contest rules: To enter, you must be a U. S. resident, and at least 18 years of age and you must leave a comment or question on today's post. No purchase necessary. The winner will be randomly selected and will receive a win a "green" Nightstar, LED shake-powered flashlight. Employees, contractors, and the families of employees and contractors of Daily Grommet, Inc. are not eligible to enter. You are not eligible to win if you have received a prize or giveaway from Daily Grommet in the last six months. Void where prohibited. Contest will run from 10:30 am EST through 10:30 pm EST March 17, 2010.