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Wednesday 18 September 2019

ℚ♫ New York Orphan: Tales of Flynn and Reilly [1] - Rosemary J. Kind

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about New York Orphan (, Alfie Dog Limited, 302 pages), a Historical Fiction, book one in the Tales of Flynn and Reilly series.

New York Orphan has been awarded a Premier Chill with a Book Readers’ Award.

John Shontz of the Orphan Train Rail project has said of the book that it "Captures the grit as well as the joy of the children who were sent west over the years."

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Rosemary J. Kind; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in New York Orphan , or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"I don’t have a playlist as such, but the book contains a number of Irish songs that the lead character sings. I’ve included some of those in the back of the prequel, ‘The Blight and the Blarney’, as free additional content when you sign up to my mailing list."

What was the inspiration for New York Orphan?
"It all began with a chance reference to Charles Loring Brace and the Orphan Train Movement. I had never heard of him or the Children’s Aid Society who set up the Orphan Trains. I was astounded that over 70 years 220,000 children had been taken off the streets of East Coast USA cities and placed, primarily in farming homes, across the country.

I am sorry to say that I didn’t listen to the rest of what was being said in the meeting I was attending, as my mind had disappeared off on a tangent. Who were those children? Why were so many living on the streets at that time? Where had they come from? How would life work out for them all?

Being a writer, I rapidly moved into the territory of ‘What if?’ What if there were three orphans who ended up having very different lives as a result of the process? By the time I went home that day I already had the basis for a story and couldn’t wait to start my detailed research and to develop the idea."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I suspect you can learn a great deal about my principles and priorities through my books. Certainly I come back to looking at the power of friendship, what makes us who we are and questions of justice and equality. Even with my bad guys, I try to help the reader see that what motivates someone’s actions is not always black and white and we should not judge too hastily. There are usually feisty women around somewhere too, which is no coincidence!"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for New York Orphan - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I am so glad you asked. I just love my book covers.

Katie Stewart of Magic Owl Designs in Australia is the artist. We’ve been working together for years and are very good friends.

I wanted something that captured the power of the story and she has certainly done that effectively. It’s comparatively easy for a cover designer to come up with a one off brilliant cover, but Katie has managed to produce three so far for this series, all of which are effective, easily identifiable as part of the Tales of Flynn and Reilly and tell the reader a lot about the books."
Why should we read New York Orphan and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"I think the reviews of my books speak for themselves. Readers love engaging with my characters and feel part of the story. Readers laugh, cry and cheer for them. I have joked that some of my books should be sold with a free box of tissues as they’ve been known to make men shed a tear as well as women. You are as likely to cry for the happy moments as the sad ones, so there is balance. There really is enough to keep any reader turning the pages in order to find out what happens next.

My books are unique because they are in my own style of writing. I don’t try to emulate any other writer. I found my voice in writing a long while ago and in that regard I am very lucky."
Can you tell us something quirky about New York Orphan, its story and characters?
"One of the things people say most often when I tell them where the book begins is, ‘Oh so they went in through Ellis Island.’ I have to explain that this predates Ellis Island and way back in the 1850s there was very little controlled entry to the United States. I did have to do a fair amount of work to check where the ships sailed into from Ireland to make sure I had them in the right place. It mattered, not just for the arrival scene but a little later when I describe the walk from there to the slum where William lives. If I had them arrive on the wrong quay then they would have ended up walking in the wrong direction to go home."
Who would you recommend New York Orphan to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Anyone who enjoys fiction driven by a strong story. You don’t have to be a history lover necessarily in order to enjoy it. If you are over-sensitive to facing some real life issues of the period then it may of course not be for you! It’s a gritty story but with a lot of light relief."
If you could / wished to turn New York Orphan and the Tales of Flynn and Reilly series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"That is so hard to say, especially for the actors. Given the characters start as children and through the book reach their late teens it would really mean more than one person playing each. I think when he was younger Daniel Radcliffe could have made a good Daniel.

In terms of director I would probably choose Martin Scorsese. His experience in directing Gangs of New York would stand him in good stead. I might insist on ironing out one or two of the factual inaccuracies in that film though!

I think Helena Bonham Carter would be an excellent Miss Ellie, Molly’s feisty guardian. Tom Hanks could certainly do a very good job of Mr Dixon, William’s father, the lawyer who saves the day.

The locations are already there in the book and I wouldn’t want to change them."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular Historical Fiction or do you like to explore different ones?
"My starting point is story rather than genre. I have written in a number of different genres and at the heart of all of them is a strong story. There are genres I would not choose to write in, as they just aren’t my taste, but I have fairly broad interests otherwise. Having said that, I am thoroughly enjoying writing historical fiction and it is definitely something you will see more of from me. Much as I love reading, I prefer to read a different genre to the one I’m writing, at least while a book is in progress."
What is your writing process?
"I do a lot of planning. I start from the hook, then develop the book jacket blurb. If I can go on to write the story that has initially hooked the reader then I will have got something right. I do a lot of research up front, but inevitably have to check details once I’ve started writing. I also do a fairly comprehensive chapter plan before I begin, so I’m clear what the twists and turns of the story are going to be. New characters have to fill in a questionnaire so I can get to know them and then I have a period where the characters simply socialise in my head, so we’re all comfortable with each other. After that the serious business of writing begins."
What is in store next?
"The next in the series ‘Unequal By Birth’ comes out on October 18th. I’m very excited about that. In this one we find a number of the characters becoming involved in the campaign for equality and particularly suffrage for both women and other races in America in the 1860s.

I’m working on the next one now and I can’t reveal the title of that one yet. It picks up the theme of justice and corruption both in law and politics.

Each of the books so far has focussed primarily on one character. New York Orphan is Daniel’s, Unequal By Birth is Molly’s and the next one will see William come to the fore.

After that, I haven’t decided. I have a couple of contemporary fiction novels waiting to be written and a completely different historical fiction series, so watch this space."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have four dogs, all Entlebucher Mountain Dogs and my hobby is developing the breed in the UK. My absolutely constant companion is my youngest, Wilma, who is now four years old. She really is the best friend I could ever have."
Wilma, you are absolutely beautiful; lots of head-scratches and belly-rubs to you and your other three fur-siblings :-)

Rosemary, thank you for sharing Wilma with us. We hope you are having a great tour!

Based on real history, the strength of the characters in New York Orphan will move you with their desperate plight to survive. A gripping story of love, loss, betrayal and bonds of kinship.

New York Orphan
Available NOW!

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RosJK said...

Thank you for having me on the blog today. It's a pleasure to be here.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!