Wednesday, March 6, 2013

On Being Irish by CD Brennan

Today's guest blogger has written a delightful novel called Watershed. I will be reviewing it on Friday. In today's post, she touches on something I wondered about while reading the book: what prompted her to write about an Irish woman hooking up with an Australian man? Is she from either place? The answer surprised me! -- Mary Ann
The very wee island of Ireland has had a mighty impact on the development and population of our world today. Physically, it is about the same size as the state of Michigan, yet Irish culture, music, literature, language and even drink and cuisine (Guinness anyone?) is infused into not only Western society, but all over the world. Infused, like a good cuppa tea.
I have traveled all over, and have yet to step into a country that hasn’t an Irish person on board, in one way or the other. Whether it is a great-grandparent or a cousin three times removed, everyone is keen to show their Irish colors. Over 36 million Americans and over 2 million Australians, including Aboriginal Australians, claim Irish ancestry.
Am I Irish?? Nope. Mostly Dutch with a dash of German and a pinch of English. Do I have Irish heritage that I can trace back to the O’Mahoney’s of County Laios, or the Kelly’s of Galway? Not a blood ounce.
So why did I have my heroine in WATERSHED be Irish? I wrote the book when living in Australia, having married an Australian man (with Irish heritage) and we had just moved to Queensland to start our own flock of Aussie ochers. I had met my Aussie husband when we were living in Ireland. I still felt Irish, as I has assimilated and braced that country as if it was my own. Just over seven years, Dublin was my home. I worked and commuted along the Dart. I found friends and lost others, I fell in love so many times with, yes, lovely Irish lads, but also places and ideas. I celebrated birthdays, I went to weddings. I sailed boats and rode horses. I cried over silly things. I got drunk at the pubs and belted out the Fields of Athenry, as if I too, recalled the pain and suffering of years past.
So ask me again. Am I Irish? Hell, yes - in heart and soul. I’ll be there rooting for them come rugby or soccer world cup time. I celebrate their victories, and am saddened by their setbacks. I wear my Irish jerseys proudly and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an enthusiasm greater than the Dubs themselves. Even today I can put on an Irish lilt that comes back to me with the first phone call from a mate back there. The heroine, Maggie, is a combination of many of my Irish girlfriends, who are still dear to my heart, who I still think about daily.
Being Irish, I believe, is not so much about bloodline, but so much more about heart. It’s about embracing the spirit of an Irishman or woman: courage, integrity, fun, music, and yes, a good pint. And as they say, “a bit of craic”.
I hope you enjoy WATERSHED, a romance of the Irish spirit set against the stunning backdrop of Queensland, Australia. Sl?inte!
About the author:
Having traveled and lived all over the world, Cd Brennan now talks with a strange accent, a mix of distant terminology, a blend of culturally cute but confusing euphemisms that leaves everyone looking at her with a blank stare. Luckily, her Australian husband (who she met in Ireland) and her two Aussie/Yankee sons have no problem understanding her – well, except for the word “NO”.
Now settled back “home” in Michigan, she enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. She considers the last fifteen years abroad the perfect research for her Love Where You Roam series; matchmaking women and men from different cultures, even different hemispheres, helping them find their true one across oceans of difference.
As destiny plays a hand in all the stories, Cd Brennan truly believes that what is for you, won’t pass you by. She hopes to inspire others to get out there: “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain] And of course, fall in love.
Get in touch with her at


  1. I'm still jealous of all your travels, but especially Ireland. Being part Irish, my mother and I had dreams of traveling to Ireland together one day. Sadly, I lost her in 1094, but I would love to go to Ireland still and take her with me in spirit. Am I Irish? I claim to be, though I've never been. Maybe when I win the lottery! :) Good luck with Watershed, CD.

  2. Lovely post, Cd. And so well said. You definitely have Irish in your soul! It's wonderful how you chose to channel that into your heroine with Watershed!