roseofclare_labelFinished, finally, tweaking the novel’s manuscript late, late last night. Once the cover is completed and the proof approved, the novel will be available at local bookstores, gift shops and on Amazon.com. I’ll announce details of the launch, to be held at RiverRead Books in downtown Binghamton, when the date is set.
     I love how a novel becomes a tapestry of all the people and things you encounter. This novel, as an example, would not have been written if not for the kindness of my great aunt Mary Reilly O’Keefe who let us stay at her cottage on Keuka Lake every summer.
     Over the years I have spoken with many people involved in the Finger Lakes Wine industry. When it came time to write this novel though, Vinny and Kim Aliperti of Billsboro Winery (he’s also the winemaker for Atwater Estate Vineyards), were very generous with their time in answering detailed questions I had about the day-to-day operations.
     As for the scenes set in Ireland, I owe much gratitude (míle buíochas— a thousand thanks) to the very talented Irish author/blogger Eddie Stack whom I met through Amazon.com. Here’s a delightful twist of fate — Eddie also happens to be from Ennistymon, County Clare, the hometown of a main character in the novel, Fergal Griffin. He patiently translated expressions into colloquial Clare-speak and explained the details of terrain to match what I’d remembered from my last trip there. Up da banner, Eddie!
     Finishing touches added to the story were influenced by the great community of Finger Lakes Wine Region promoters, winemakers, tasting room guides and critics found on Twitter. Follow the #flx, #flwine and #flxcrush hashtags for quite a learning experience about one of the most beautiful regions on earth. (Not the least bit biased.) Wondering if your favorite FLX winery is on Twitter? Check this great list on Ithacork blog.
     This concept of a novel as a tapestry of your life reminds me of a saying on the sweatshirt I received for Christmas a couple of years ago:

Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel.

     Consider yerself warned….

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