It’s kind of like the classic noir thriller Cape Fear meets Stuart Neville’s, The Ghosts Of Belfast.
Really, wow, that’s an interesting combination, kind of like a Guinness with a Bourbon chaser. Where does the Irish come in?
Well, my antagonist Rory Madden is an Irish dude from Belfast living in exile in upstate New York.
So then he’s a former IRA member back in Ireland like Neville’s character?
Not exactly. He was actually on the other side. Their protestant paramilitarty counterpart, the Ulster Freedom Fighters.
You don’t say? So he’s a bad guy then.
Indeed. He doesn’t think of himself as a bad guy though. Sure he’s done some things that people might consider bad: murders, selling drugs, etc. but you’ve got to understand where he’s come from, how he was raised and what created him.
Sounds like you’re defending him. You like this guy Rory? Have you got a crush on him?
Sure I like him, as in I enjoyed writing his character. A crush? Umm...no. He’s a killer.
That doesn’t stop some women. Isn’t it true that he’s “hot” according to your protagonist, ahh...what’s her name again? That blonde dame. The phsyco one.
Justine Jameson. And she’s not phsyco. She’s got some mental health issues.
Mental health issues? That’s putting it mildly. She thinks there’s people living inside the walls. And doesn’t she go and hook up with this Rory guy and ask him to kill her parents?
I thought we were talking about Rory Madden here?
Okay, fine, let’s talk about him, since you seem to like him so much. So what’s the deal with this Belfast bad body? How does he come to be living in New York?
When the leader of the UFF was ousted by it’s members, Rory and his partner Simon sided with him and were ousted too. So he had to get out of town. And he chose the states, New York in particular, because he beleives his kid sister who went missing as a child might have been taken there by their father. So he’s continuing the search for her.
Cool, so does he find her?
I’m not telling. You’ll have to read the book to find that out.
Okay, I already know the answer. But what about this crazy broad Justine? She’s living in his house with her parents, right? Tell me how that happens. How does he hook up with her?
Rory gets popped in a drug raid at his house which is located in Penn Yan on the edge of Keuka Lake. It’s a custom house on 20 acres of land that he built himself. But he dosn’t make bail and ends up sitting in pretrial custody for nearly six months. When he can’t make his mortage payments, the bank forecloses on his mortage and sells the house at auction. And the lucky family who purchase it is the Jameson’s from Manhattan.
Justine is the 17 year old daughter who’s just had a baby. So when Rory’s charges get dropped he gets out and wants his house back. Justine is spending a lot of time on her own at the house while her parents are at work and she’s extremely lonely. Then she meets Rory and that’s when things take a really bad turn.
She falls for him then?
And he’s hot, right?
Justine thinks so.
He’s got that big sleeve tattoo, covers his whole arm. You like that don’t you, heavily tattooed men?
Yes, he’s got a sleeve. (trying to supress a smile)
Okay, that answers my question (clears throat)...So does Rory go after this nice family with the crazy daughter?
Yeap. He gets out of jail and he’s pissed. He arms himself and goes after everyone responsible for fucking up his life, including the Jameson family who are living in his house.
Awesome. Sounds like a great story.
I like to think so. I certainly enjoyed writing it.
What’s a nice Canadian girl like you doing writing about some former Belfast gang member? Why did you choose that?
My family is from Belfast. I’m actually the first Canadian decendant of my family. The rest of them were born over there. So I grew up hearing all about The Troubles and I’ve listened to my parents and their Irish lingo all my life. I used to make fun of my mom’s “awk, aye”. I wanted to create a character who was from another country because I think that foreign element, especially foreign criminal gang element, heightens the fear. It seemed quite natural actually, to make my character from Belfast.
Isn’t your father an author too?
Yes, non-fiction. He’s written a number of electronic text books. He’s a retired college professor. He writes some fiction too.
And isn’t his brother some really famous scientist?
Yes, it’s true. John Stewart Bell, “Uncle Stewart” was Dad’s brother and he was physicist who worked at CERN. You can goodle him if you like. I once made him macaroni and cheese when I was a kid because he was a vegetarian.
You mean like KD?
No, like real macaroni and cheese.
Do you still have the recipe?
Where can we get it?
Email me at email@example.com and I’ll send it to whoever wants it.
Oh, one more thing, before you go...who’s that singing on your book trailer?
That’s my husband, Fabien. He’s a singer/songwriter. You can check out the trailer on my website http://www.juliamadeleine.com/ It should be up sometime in May.
Cool. Does he have a sleeve or two as well?
Like you don’t know that already (does a perfect one-eyebrow raise).
How about guns, does he have any of those?
No, I’m the one with the guns.
Oh, you’re such a liar!
It’s true. (laughs wickedly)