Bill Christy, a native Kansan, was raised on a farm and educated in Kansas. He became a Certified Public Accountant and retired as a financial administrator in higher education. Bill has 8 grown children and lives with his wife in a small college town in central New Mexico. He has published two family chronology books about his mother’s family and published one book prior to this: TOMMY DE BURGH/A SOLDIER’S LEGACY.
Welcome back to my blog. It’s so nice to see that you’ve written another book. Even though this novel is considered historical fiction, it is about your great grandfather from Ireland. The events are historic but written in story form in first person. Please tell us about The Dynasty of Laurence Burke: Legacy of an Irish Immigrant.
In my prior research I had all the material needed to follow the time line of Laurence’s life but that did not tell his story. I decided to let him tell his own story by connecting all the known events of his life. He had left Ireland just ahead of being arrested by the English for violation of the Penal Codes and started with nothing in America. He made his fortune in Kansas starting with a homestead and helped many people along the way. A fine example of what hard work and honesty can accomplish. He is the hero of my family. The stories are his even though I put the words in his mouth.
That’s wonderful. Since this story is so personal, I bet you felt real close to your ancestor. What inspired you to write this novel?
Yes, it is personal even though he died when I was about two years old. My great-grandmother survived him and brought him to life for me. I have been inspired to write about his life for years but could not find a way to put it into a story. Historic is dull and hard to capture in a story. I wanted to honor the truth but in researching history you find out that there are many different versions of truth so I followed the documents and filled in the dots to retell the family tales about him.
As you know, I teach people how to write their family’s stories at libraries. It’s so important for our children to know who their ancestors are. What kind of research did you do for this book?
I was able to find many recorded documents from County and Community records. I carefully followed a time line of his life and gathered publications of the period and gathered tons of information from extended family in America and in Ireland. I also made two trips to Ireland and England. I have about ten years of research in the books and have written and enjoyed every minute of it.
You love to write historical novels concerning your ancestors. This is the second one you’ve written. What intrigues you most about writing these stories?
I enjoy writing about things I have learned about and that inspired me.
Thank you, Bill, for this wonderful interview. I love the cover of your book. I know this will be an enjoyable read for those who like historical novels.