This week I have the pleasure of author Pam Lecky, who has written a beautiful piece about the story and the inspiration behind her latest release, In Three-Quarter Time, a historical WW1 romance.
If you have ever spent time digging around in your family history, you will know how addictive it can be. Like Sherlock Holmes, you start to chase down the tiniest clue you find. Unfortunately, Irish records are notoriously difficult to find back beyond 1880 or so. Our census records were destroyed by fire during the Irish Civil War and although we were technically still part of the British Isles at the time, no copies appear to have been kept in the UK. Every time I think about it I want to cry.
So it was a very lucky break when my only surviving uncle casually dropped a gem of information. My grandfather had first dated my great aunt. She died of TB while he was in America and on his return he hooked up with my grandmother. Unfortunately, that was all anyone knew about it but the writer in me just couldn’t let it be. Needless to say, I didn’t unearth any further details but constantly found myself thinking about how it might have been. My short story, In Three-Quarter Time, is the result. It is ninety-nine percent fiction of course, but I guess it gave me a sense of closure.
Here is a little extract to tempt you!
Dublin was wilting in an Indian summer. To the west, a bank of steel grey cloud hung low on the horizon and the air was heavy with the promise of a storm. Lily looked up at the raucous gulls wheeling above the Liffey and wrinkled her nose at the strong and disagreeable smell wafting up from the water. The quays were never a pleasant place to linger on a hot day but they were waiting at the tram stop for Anthony. They had arranged to accompany him to Kingsbridge Station where he would board the train for Queenstown and from there the boat to America.
It was a busy Saturday afternoon and the cobbles echoed to the sound of horse hooves and the rattle and hiss of trams. Josie paced up and down, her cheeks pinched and pale, her eyes scanning the sluggish stream of pedestrians going about their business.
“Could we have missed him?” Josie asked. She checked her watch again. “It’s already a quarter to.”
Lily changed position and wished she had worn more comfortable shoes. As she turned, she caught a glimpse of herself in the window of McBirney’s Department Store. Her reflection did nothing to improve her mood. Her hair clung in damp curls to the side of her face and the cream linen suit, which had seemed an excellent choice that morning, was looking limp and sadly wrinkled. She was no beauty, like Josie, but she prided herself on always looking her best. She straightened her hat, tucked a stray red curl behind her ear and turned back towards Josie.
“I imagine he has been delayed saying goodbye to his family,” she said, trying to hide her impatience.
Josie gave her an apologetic smile. “Of course, that would be it – his mother is too unwell to travel to the station to see him off.” She resumed her pacing. Lily wished Josie didn’t always wear her heart on her sleeve. A little dignity would not go amiss.
Pam Lecky is an Irish writer of historical fiction with a particular love of the late Victorian era/early 20th Century. She is a busy working mum with three children, a dog and two cats! Yes, life is hectic.
She has a particular fascination with all things 19th century, from food and clothes to architecture and social history.
Her debut novel, The Bowes Inheritance, was published in 2015 and was shortlisted for the Carousel Aware Prize 2016; made ‘Editor’s Choice’ by the Historical Novel Society; long-listed for the Historical Novel Society 2016 Indie Award; and chosen as a Discovered Diamond in February 2017.
She has just published a short story set in her native Dublin, In Three-Quarter Time. It is a love story set against the backdrop of WW1.
Find out more about Pam here:
Buy The Bowes Inheritance here at Amazon
Buy In Three-Quarter Time here at Amazon