I’d like to welcome Stasia Ward Kehoe to Good Books And Good Wine today! She’s here to talk about a character from her sophomore novel, The Sound Of Letting Go and to share a playlist with you. And you guys, I am pumped because we are featuring one of my favorite characters, Cal O’Casey!
I won’t deny it. Writing a swoony Irish guy into this manuscript was SO MUCH FUN!
And here’s another behind-the-scenes secret: I didn’t know he would be such an important character in the story when I started writing. In fact, when he first appeared on page 20 of the manuscript, it was one of those zen-type experiences where you are writing but kind of have no idea where it’s coming from. I LOVE THOSE MOMENTS.
Looking back (and getting a little Freudian), here are a few things that were probably floating around my subconscious as my fingers ran wild across the keyboard.
1. My family has Irish roots. I didn’t think this really mattered until I visited Dublin and that place got into my bones. The Abbey Theater is my favorite theater in the world. And sitting on a green Irish slope looking out at the sea is the happy place to which I travel when getting dental work.
2. My first serious boyfriend was a British guy I met while studying writing at Oxford. He had a great accent, pale skin and fair hair. I was kind of a jerk to him and I think that, though Cal is Irish and not English, I wanted to make him a good guy by way of a decades overdue apology.
3. I loved the first season of The Glee Project and the Irish dude who wound up doing some guest appearances on the actual series was definitely in my mind physique-wise when I wrote Cal.
4. When my husband and I started dating our senior year at Georgetown University, we discovered was that we’d been in the same freshman history class, adored the professor and, inspired by his course, listened to a lot of Irish folk music, particularly the group Makem & Clancy.
5. I love the Irish playwright Sean O’Casey, so I gave his last name to Cal.
So, conscious or unconscious, the pieces of Cal were already in my soul. As I wrote, I began to love Cal’s backstory and the fact that he didn’t know Daisy’s. I loved that he knew so little about American history, too. Yet, he, like Daisy, understood very deeply how it felt to be enslaved by your family situation.
And, last but not least, WHO DOESN’T LOVE AN IRISH ACCENT?
Listen to some Makem & Clancy and other songs I think would speak to Cal here: http://thesoundoflettinggo-cal.blogspot.com/
Stasia Ward Kehoe’s second novel, THE SOUND OF LETTING GO is available now from AMAZON, B&N, INDIEBOUND and wherever books are sold. She loves recommendations about Irish theater and music so PLEASE don’t hesitate to share some with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Author.StasiaWardKehoe
ENTER TO WIN…a signed first edition of THE SOUND OF LETTING GO, one of four different TsoLG Swag Packs, or a pair of author-designed custom Keds sneakers (size 8)