Today, I have the pleasure of hosting a tour stop for the fiction novel, Here Among Us by Maggie Harryman. Below you will find information about Here Among Us, along with an author interview! Tomorrow, Maggie Harryman will be participating in a live interview with me on BlogTalkRadio. The show airs live at 9:30am PST. A recorded copy of the show will be available after the show. Here is a link to the BlogTalk Radio Show.
Here Among Us by Maggie Harryman
Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Straight On True (October 1, 2012)
Genre: Literary Fiction
When unemployed San Francisco attorney, Flynn O’Shea, and her teenaged daughter, Didi, are summoned to New Jersey for the Thanksgiving holiday by Flynn’s socialite sister, Maeve, she expects a fight.
After all, she has been battling Maeve most of her life. Disagreeing about the extent of their Irish mother’s creeping dementia and the fate of the family’s thriving restaurant business, named for their beloved, long dead father, Paddy, is surely a recipe for a world-class brawl.
What Flynn doesn’t expect is the fragile truce the sisters forge to save O’Shea’s from the clutches of Maeve’s scheming husband, Jeffrey. Flynn and Maeve are reluctantly aided by their forty-four-year-old brother, Osheen, a handsome Peter Pan still cruising the Jersey shore, getting high and dodging responsibility.
And while Didi tries to convince her mother that “everything is as it should be,” just when Flynn is sure she’s gained the upper hand on Jeffrey, her own mother’s shocking confession sends her into a wine-soaked tailspin and forces her to deal once and for all with the ghosts of her past. Devastated, Flynn must choose to save O’Shea’s or risk losing forever all she has left of her father.
In Here Among Us, the O’Sheas find themselves dealing with the very timely issue of Alzheimer’s, a disease that strips the victim's identity and wreaks havoc on the family left to pick up the pieces. But Flynn, Osheen and Maeve’s troubles began long before their mother started to “slip.” For the O’Sheas, much of their shared angst is rooted in the single most devastating event of their lives—the death of their father when they were young children. The novel explores not only how deep wounds can seem impossible to heal, but how refusing to let go of the stories the O'Sheas desperately cling to about who they are, threatens to hasten their demise.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sure. I live in Northern California about an hour north of San Francisco in wine country. I have two children, a boy and a girl, both in college. The fact that they’re in college means I’m home alone…a lot! That’s a good thing since writers need solitude. I have a rescue dog named Humphrey.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I read as much as I can, both fiction, poetry and non-fiction. I also spend a lot of time learning about marketing. Recently I joined a hiking club and try to do at least two hikes a week in the 4-7 mile range (which, believe it or not, is considered easy to moderate!). I also practice yoga (but after almost three years, I’m still not very good).
Where do you get your ideas?
Mostly from people I meet or have known over the years. I got the idea for Flynn from Here Among Us from a friend I met years ago in San Francisco. She was bright, funny, beautiful and successful and yet she seemed stuck somehow. It turned out her father had died when she was young and she’d never quite gotten over it.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
Absolutely with an outline although I don’t fight it when the story takes me somewhere else.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I don’t think I had a favorite although I did feel that my writing was at its best when I was writing the Osheen characters.
How did you come up with the title?
Years ago, just when I was starting to map the book, I read an ancient poem that I found in an anthology of Irish poetry. The line “here among us” jumped out at me. It seemed perfect for the title of the book since one of the themes is the idea that those we love don’t leave us when they die; they’re here among us. It also seemed to have resonance considering the fact that the story revolves around a bar and there’s something about the idea of community in that title.
Author Website: http://www.maggieharryman.com/