Pete also plays blues guitar in Boston bars, and on increasingly rare occasion, plays a round of golf. He lives in a money pit on the seacoast south of Boston, in an area once known as the Irish Riviera. He is represented by Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary Agency.
A Dublin reporter is on a mission to find the murderer of an honest politician and close friend. A Boston lawyer is hired to dig up dirt on a conniving Irish competitor. When the two collide at a famous County Kerry castle and discover their mutual interests, the ensuing game plan is more Pink Panther than Hercule Poirot. Full Irish marks the return of Paul Forté and his wife, Shannon, and the introduction of Finola McGee. In a sometimes madcap, sometimes dark adventure, Shannon lands a blow against lecherous politicians, McGee shows off her pole dancing prowess, an Anglo-Irish butler turns double-agent, and the zygomatic bone takes disproportionate abuse. But can the trio unravel the web of conspiracy stretching from the back corridors of Leinster House to the polished inner sanctum of the Massachusetts Senate? Against the backdrop of the windswept west coast of Ireland and the watering holes of Dublin and Boston, Full Irish exposes a rivalry that goes to the very heart of politics.
Where to buy:
How did this novel come to be? Was it envisioned from the start as a bigger canvas, or did it expand organically out of an idea?
This novel arose out of a new collaboration with co-author Susanne O’Leary. I have known Susanne in the virtual (and virtuous) sense since we became acquainted on the Authonomy community website in 2008. Although Susanne previously has written principally romantic comedy, she has the particular skill that I lack: an ability to work through a plot from beginning to end quickly. Another skill she has is handling a curmudgeon.
But really, the thing that clinched it was that Susanne is married to a former Irish diplomat; so she had had many years of exposure to the Irish political establishment, and therefore knew and understood it well. And we happen to share a virulent disdain for crooked politicians.
Anyway, having realized that two and a half years between novels wasn’t going to make it in today’s marketplace, I sent out a solicitation for a collaborator, and Susanne responded. We decided to chat about it further, and after a few Skype sessions, we’d settled on a story about dirty Irish politicians, in Ireland and in Boston.
We were both committed to a return of Paul and Shannon Forté (the main characters in Diary of a Small Fish). Then we had to invent a Boston-based political/legal controversy to throw Paul into. Say, a seemingly dull-sounding contract procurement – until Paul learns that an ex-rep who cheats at golf is the lobbyist for the competitor.
Then we had to marry it to an event in Dublin, like, say, ohhhh…the murder of an Irish politician, which got Finola McGee, the political editor for a Dublin newspaper, involved.
Then we sent Paul and Shannon to Ireland, and arranged for them to meet Finola at a castle in Kerry.
Then…well, they took it from there.
The theme is the avarice, mendacity and hubris of people in power, with a special look at Irish family feuds and rivalries along the way.
Is storytelling mostly entertainment, or does it serve other functions? Do you have particular goals other than telling a good story?
It’s all about entertainment, touching the buttons of reader’s emotions. Think about your favorite movies. You laugh, you cry, you get angry, you feel vengeful, you boo, you cheer, and you clap. That’s entertainment.
Any other goals you’ve set for yourself, professionally or personally?
Professionally, none whatsoever. I’ll write as long as it is the pleasure it is. Personally? Maintain a sense of humor in a world going to shit, try to prepare my children for what they’re likely to face, and enjoy good health and family.
Stories can be told by using a different medium. Can you see your book as a film, audio, etc.? How would that alter the telling?
I don’t see my book as anything but a story in written form. I don’t dream about a movie. An audiobook is a nice proving ground for a story. If it doesn’t read well in the oral telling, it’s not going to sound good in an audiobook.
I was awfully lucky to have Diary of a Small Fish produced as an audiobook by a superb television character actor, Keith Sellon-Wright. He did a masterful job of capturing Paul Forté’s voice, and read the highly emotional scenes in that story with incredible feeling.
What’s the next step in your writing world?
Susanne and I are committed to doing at least one more Ireland-Boston tale starring Paul and Shannon in Boston and Finola McGee in Dublin. After that, who knows? Six months is a long time in the ebook world. No sense in planning into an ever-changing world.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I play blues guitar and love to cook.
Any other information you’d like to impart?
My golf game is going to shit. Don’t tell anyone.