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Shamrocks of Stone- Orfhlait

My book, Shamrocks of Stone is available on Amazon (click the book cover to take you to the page), but for the next couple weeks, I want to focus a bit more on the process of creating the book.

First up is Orfhlait ni Sorcer, the main character. Her name is pronounced as OR la nee SOR ca, and is a patronym since last names didn't come into common use until later.

Sorcer, Orfhlait's father, is the king in their little kingdom. During the early fifteenth century when the book takes place, Ireland is controlled by the English under law, but the English control very little. Their power is centered around Dublin in the area called the Pale. In the remainder of the country, the English and Irish have an uneasy relationship. The Irish continue to practice many of their traditions despite English laws.

Orfhlait enters this world through a deal made with God. Dedicated from birth to the Lord's work, Orfhlait struggles to find her place in her world. A world in which women are not always valued as much as men, and a world where few opportunities exist for intelligent women outside the convent or powerful families. Into this world, Orfhlait lives as best she can, but often comes into opposition with traditions and expectations.

For her, the worst part is feeling stuck in a never ending parade of boredom. When her brother asks her to help with his investigation, Orfhlait jumps at the chance to do something.

As I developed the storyline for this series, I knew I wanted a character who could hold her own in any argument. She had to be fairly knowledgeable of both her culture and history as well as the greater culture and history around her. She had to have enough spirit to fight for what she wanted, and not accept the lot in her life.

I knew the character would eventually face uncertainty in her life, even as I knew she would have to make some hard choices later. I wanted a character who could wrestle with the elements in her life without just reiterating the accepted answer.

Researching her time period proved the harder task. Characters must fit into their worlds, or it never seems quite right. Orfhlait had to understand her limitations as well as know how to bend the rules. I needed to learn about those elements as well, and continue to do so.

All in all, Orfhlait is a confident women who fears what her future holds. What she sees is bleakness, and she cannot accept that God created her with such intelligence and talent only to be stuck in a dark hole. It's through the series that Orfhlait comes to understand how she is to balance those two elements.


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