The day that I get to write a blog post about my published novel ‘Secrets in the Babby House’, has finally arrived.
In 2016 I took pen to paper and started putting together ideas I had for a book. Little notes here and there developed into pages and pages of babble and unrealistic scenarios.
Eventually, things started to take shape and I wrote my first draft during NanoWriMo that same year. Very little from that draft ended up in the completed book.
Six years sounds like a long time to write a novel, but I had to learn how to do it properly. I had to learn how to turn my story into a readable novel. I did online courses, listened to YouTube videos, podcasts, read (a lot) about writing. I read various genres in fiction; traditionally published and indie published. I began reading as a writer. I analysed every scene and every character.
I often had to walk away from it for weeks at a time. Once or twice I wanted to give up on it, but I’m too stubborn to do that, and my family and close friends encouraged me not to. But I also loved it too much to just shelve it.
I loved my characters (even Alice). And I had to continue to nurture them, develop them, listen to them, and allow them to be who they really wanted to be. They didn’t feel like fictional characters to me. I created them and I felt responsible for them. I had to follow it through. I miss them now. Sounds mad, yes!
I’ve been practically living in the past for the last few years; researching days of old, life in the 1950’s/60’s, repressed sexuality, religious disagreements, politics, crime, social expectations.
My story could’ve been set in any town in Ireland, real or fictional, but I choose to set it in my own hometown of Bailieborough in Co Cavan because I have fond childhood memories of the place. Playing in the woods, at the lake, on the back lane, the busyness of the town on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The town has changed a lot since then.
On the night of my book launch, I was reminded of how people love to come together to support their own. This is especially true in a small town like Bailieborough. One thing that the town has definitely not lost is its sense of community!
Of course, my book is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea – no book is – but I’ve had a lot of positive feedback so far. Enough to make me feel like the hard work and perseverance has paid off!
Flossie Lynch is heartbroken when her only love, Frank Connolly, marries another. So when John O’Malley—the well-off catch of the parish—proposes to her, she resigns herself to a marriage of convenience, hoping to learn to love him.
For John, Flossie is mostly a respectable wife and caring mother to their son—and the perfect façade for his dark secret. But bloody Frank Connolly and his blackmailing wife are making things difficult for him.
Another victim of his jealous wife’s abusive behaviour, Frank stays in his loveless marriage for the sake of his two wee girls. He turns his childhood fort into a babby house to give them a refuge from their cruel mother. But for Frank, there is no refuge.
When Flossie rekindles her friendship with Frank, she tries desperately to save him from a life of misery and promises to always look out for his daughters. As the two star-crossed lovers near a second chance, tragedy strikes, forcing Flossie to make good on her promise—while attempting to protect her husband and son.
But as long as there’s a Connolly with a score to settle, there is no escape from the past and no promises for the future.
Set in a gossipy small town in Ireland at a time when marriage is for keeps and sexuality is repressed, Secrets in the Babby House is a family saga over three decades that starts in 1956. It is a story of love, deception, and stolen diaries filled with sins and secrets.