The Story Behind Fiery Roses

Fiery Roses didn’t start as a sequel. I originally envisioned the book as a scary story based on the horrors of raging, out of control flames. Early in 2005, I started researching arsonists and developed a preliminary character sketch of a fire-setting villain.
Meanwhile, I was monitoring the Irish news online, vicariously living in Ireland, the country with which I’d fallen instantly in love during my first visit in 2004. I noted rumblings concerning plans to harvest the natural gas discovered offshore in 1996 in an area known as the Corrib Gas Field. The area lies off the northwest coast of County Mayo, and certain Mayo residents were objecting to the planned installation of pipelines that would cross unstable bogs.

The arsonist I’d created began to merge with the characters I’d created in A Band of Roses. With Princess Talty, my indomitable veteran of “otherworld” adventures, and the rest of her spirited royal clan still fresh in my mind, I couldn’t help wondering how the gallant descendants of High King Brian Boru would deal with the political tangle the Corrib Gas Field had become.

My husband and I had already planned to visit Ireland in the summer of 2005. We decided to visit the Mayo bogs. As we weren’t brave enough to drive on the opposite side of the road back then, we hired a driver and headed north.

We passed through some exquisitely scenic country, the Atlantic Ocean to our left, the Nephin Mountains to our right. I didn’t realize we’d reached the bogs until the driver pointed them out. They might have been rolling meadows, but the blankets of green weren’t grass. They were scraw, the layer of tough fibrous sod that covered the peat, or turf, as it’s called in Ireland. Masses of white bog cotton and yellow buttercups painted the scraw. Cows and sheep roamed everywhere. Rows of shrubbery divided the bumpy land into square patches. New homes and crumbling old cottages dotted the landscape.

On we went until we saw a sign for the Corrib Gas Terminal. Down the road, men in hard hats were hard at work behind a chain link fence, large sections of blue pipe awaited installation, and protestors sat in parked cars. They had set out hand-painted signs that said things like, “We are Irish citizens, not Shell subjects.”

The next morning, we learned that Royal Dutch Shell had sought and obtained a court order for the arrest of five Mayo men who refused the company access to their land. The men spent ninety-four days in prison.

As I worked on Fiery Roses, a story filled with fictitious villains and heroes, I followed the Irish news online, waiting for some resolution to the increasing hostility in the Rossport area. I finished writing the book a year ago, after spending more than three years tidying up all the imaginary plot twists with the help of make-believe characters. Sadly, the real situation in north Mayo remains unresolved.


Born and educated in Boston, Massachusetts, Pat grew up in a family full of music and myths that have found their way into her stories. She is a member of The New Hampshire Writers’ Project, Seacoast Writers’ Association, Romance Writers of America, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. A frequent visitor to Ireland, she lives in New Hampshire, where she is currently working on her next novel

Pat’s Website:
Pat’s blog: Put the Kettle On

This entry was posted in Guest Blogger and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Story Behind Fiery Roses

  1. Julie Robinson says:

    Pat, Very interesting about the inspiration behind the story. Thanks for sharing. I would never have known about this conflict.

  2. admin says:

    Pat McDermott says:
    January 21, 2010
    Thanks so much for playing hostess today, Lisa. Your new home on the web is warm and inviting,and the blog looks great!

  3. Farr Design says:

    I think I’ve figured it out! Let see though if this one sticks.

Comments are closed.