If you read my debut New Adult novel, Altered, you will notice that the hero, Nicholas Sheenan, is of Irish descent. You will also notice an homage to Love/Hate which is an Irish RTE drama set in Dublin, starring one Robert Sheehan. I’ll write more about that in another post, but would like to explain further my fascination with the Irish people and culture.
Growing up, my mom would always tell me that I was Irish. Clearly I’m African-American so that was somewhat confusing to me. As I grew older, I came to realize that I had an ancestor who immigrated from Ireland, but the details were always vague. When my mom spoke of one of her aunts in particular, she would always say, “that’s the Irish in her.”
It wasn’t until recently, while combing through my family tree doing research for another project I’m working on, that I discovered for sure who this ancestor was. She was my maternal grandmother’s mother, and her name was Laura Harris. There’s not a whole lot of information available about her other than the fact that she was, indeed, from Ireland. I’d be extremely interested to discover how she ended up having African-American offspring during a time when this seems nearly impossible to have happened.
My mother was the baby of her family and she’s been gone two years, so I’ll probably never truly know how my great-grandmother came to be my ancestor. Instead I’ll continue to make up stories to fill in my own blanks. For instance, the manuscript I’m currently revising, has a heroine who is biracial – her Da’s parents immigrated from Ireland, and she spent most summers growing up there. It was great fun researching that part of the world and building the linage from which she came. Possibly from where my own great-grandmother came.
I’m writing a new story. I’m about a fifth of the way in, but it doesn’t have an Irish character… yet.