The book started as the lead to one of my Tributary interviews entitled “An Irish Storyteller.” Tributary was my online interview publication.

“In the town of Ballybay, in the County of Monaghan, four roads converge beside Lough Mór. The Dromore River meanders south of this Irish town. Tommy Makem, The Godfather of Irish Music sang about a young lass in Ballybay who had a wooden leg to which she tied a string and played it like a fiddle.

Along Clones Road sat an old nursing home where another storyteller was born in 1951. A nun wrapped the infant, Mick Bolger, in a blanket and placing her hand on his head, whispered a prayer in Gaelic that the Lord would guide his steps.

Mick listened to many stories over the years in the places where Irish stories are shared; living rooms of neighbors, on the bus to school and later in the pubs. The Irish would call him a seanchaí (pronounced shan-a-kee), a teller of Irish stories.”

The lyrical prose inspired me to continue as a short story. It was as if Mick had composed the lyrics of a song. I was encouraged by friends to expand the story into a full-length novel.




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