Where did the idea for Butterfly come from?
That is how it happens…a news article, a stranger’s reminiscences, a song that sticks in my head and causes me to wonder what pain or joy the composer felt when it was written. The images, words, sounds coalesce and I start to form the story.
Butterfly was born very much like this. I love music. I’m a musician. Irish music, art, literature and culture are part of my DNA. For years a particular tune, a slip jig, “The Butterfly,” has been a favorite. I believe I first heard it as a flute piece. It is used in a film that touched my Irish soul, The Secret of Roan Inish. This gave me a focal point for my character, a theme to carry across the story, a sort of glue to hold the bits together. The theme also describes Flannery, the heroine in my story. “She was a butterfly, flitting from blade of grass to flower without a plan, joy and passion her only map.”
My husband and I raised a houseful of sons. They were exposed to music from the womb…literally. I would sing to my unborn child, play music, have a record on the stereo (back in the days of vinyl!) It seemed a natural progression to write a story about a family deeply steeped in musical tradition. The three Sloane siblings: Flannery, Tynan and Kerry were born from the seeds of imagination, but they have their roots in my memory as well.
I love stories that encompass family dynamics in a positive way. Each person, even born and raised by the same parents, in the same global environment, will have unique personality traits and values. A film that played in my head while coming up with the idea for Butterfly was Big Night. Two brothers, one with business sense, the other the artist/chef, open a restaurant. The theme is one of those “seven stories”…two people taking different paths to the same end.
In Butterfly, Flannery is the dreamer, the artist/music purist, she doesn’t care if she eats her next meal, buys a new dress or meets Mr. O’Perfect. At the beginning of the story, her music is her soul friend, in the Irish it is her Anam Cara.
Butterfly, the first book in The Fadό Trilogy, a contemporary romantic comedy, is available now in paperback and e formats. The second book in this trilogy is Angel’s Share, a romantic suspense that takes the reader from the pubs of Dublin to the dark and dangerous streets of South Boston. It is set to release March 2010. The third story in this series is Selkie’s Song. It is my work in progress and takes Tynan Sloane back to the land of his birth, Ireland, for a romantic tumble in this magical tale.
Please go to my website www.clareaustin.com for excerpts and cover art for all my upcoming books.
If you go to www.myspace.com/clare_austin you can see some of my pictures of Ireland and hear some of my favorite music.