Faced with an uncertain future, sometimes all you have left is the courage to dream. Brianna and Colleen O’Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he’s put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.
Story Behind Irish Meadows
Tell us a bit about the story behind your latest novel. Where did you find inspiration?
Part of the inspiration came from researching my own family history and discovering how my Irish ancestors came to New York from Ireland and settled in Brooklyn. I also was inspired by the sweeping saga of “The Thornbirds” — in particular the ill-fated love story between the heroine and the priest!
What was the hardest part about writing your novel: Getting started? Keeping it going? Finding the perfect ending?
The hardest part for me was making all the pieces and the timelines fit together. It was hard to entwine two complete love stories together and keep both stories happening at the right pace.
What trait do you love most about your main character?
I love Brianna’s courage. Despite being timid in nature, she finds the strength to defy her father and go after her dreams.
When readers get to the last page, what do you hope they take away from the story?
I hope they take away a sense of God’s unconditional love for all of us. And the knowledge that with God all things are possible.
What are you working on next?
I’m working on Book 3 of the Courage to Dream Series (working title “Love’s Healing Grace”). It’s the story of the last two O’Leary siblings, Deirdre and Connor, and their journey to love.
Character Interview with Brianna O’Leary
What is the most interesting thing about you?
I was a tomboy growing up and used to wear my brother’s trouser to ride horses!
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Kind, quiet, intelligent.
What do you do for fun?
I ride my beloved horse, Sophie.
Share a favorite childhood memory:
The day my father gave me my own horse!
What is your life motto or goal?
My goal is to attend college and become either a teacher or librarian.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d be bolder, able to state my opinion without caring who might not agree, and stand up for myself.
Fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
What is the most important thing to you?
My family is most important to me.
Biggest pet peeve:
Not being taken seriously, especially by my father who is trying to marry me off. Though I hope to get married one day, it’s not at the top of my list right now.