Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Story Behind Flaherty's Crossing by Kaylin McFarren



Today's guest blogger is Kaylin McFarren, author of the women’s contemporary novel, Flaherty's Crossing.

From Pacific Northwest’s award-winning author Kaylin McFarren comes a powerful novel about love, loss, and the power of forgiveness…

Successful yet emotionally stifled artist Kate Flaherty stands at the deathbed of her estranged father, conflicted by his morphine-induced confession exposing his part in her mother’s death. While racing home, Kate’s car mishap leads her to a soul-searching discussion with a lone diner employee, prompting Kate to confront the true reasons her marriage hangs in the balance. When her night takes an unexpected turn, however, she flees for her life, a life desperate for faith that can only be found through her ability to forgive.

Read an excerpt from Flaherty's Crossing at the book's website.

"The Story Behind Flaherty's Crossing" by Kaylin McFarren

I'm often asked about the story behind Flaherty's Crossing and to be honest, it's not an easy one to tell. My father was a hard-working Irishman who aside from expecting dinner on the table promptly at 5pm never had much to share or complain about. There were disappointments, of course, since money was often tight. But my dad was content working his blue-collar job, reading the nightly newspaper, watching sports, and visiting occasionally with neighbors. My only interaction with him came from camping and skiing trips where he spent most of his time working on outboard motors and insisting that my family had a good time. I never had a serious or lengthy conversation with my dad as he preferred to keep his emotions hidden away. But sixteen years ago that all changed when he was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Over the course of his two and a half year battle, I was given small glimpses into his past. I discovered that my father's inability to communicate had little to do with the affection he kept buried inside. But this cruel disease was aggressive and soon took its toll. Before long, it was time for me to bid him a final farewell. I was not only heartbroken over losing a parent but also for never knowing who this man truly was. As a result, I was angry at him, at God, at the world in general. I needed an outlet to release all my pent up emotions and found it in front of my computer, punching away on keys. This therapeutic exercise gradually evolved into a related fictional story about a woman’s personal journey to find faith and forgiveness.

In the process of writing Flaherty’s Crossing and exploring my main character’s growth, I found myself learning and growing as well. I discovered I wasn't alone. There were thousands of daughters and sons like myself who had similar stories to tell – who had strained, complicated relationships, but loved their parents none the less. I've learned that through my writing, I can inspire and touch lives and can urge others to mend fences and relationships before it's too late. This novel truly has a purpose. Not only did Flaherty's Crossing heal my heart, but I believe the message it carries can make a difference for other families as well. I've chosen to donate 100% of my proceeds to the cancer research center at Portland's Providence Medical Center with the hope of finding a cure in our lifetime. This story has opened my eyes to possibilities and given me a voice that I plan to use in future stories with the intention of inspiring and uplifting lives.


Linda Yoshida, aka Kaylin McFarren, is a rare bird indeed. Not a migratory sort, she prefers to hug the West Coast and keep family within visiting range. Although she has virtually been around the world, she was born in California, relocated with her family to Washington, and nested with her husband in Oregon. In addition to playing an active role in his business endeavors, she has been involved in all aspects of their three daughters’ lives – taxi duties, cheerleading coaching, script rehearsals, and relationship counseling, to name but a few. Now she enjoys spending undisciplined time with her two young grandsons and hopes to have many more.

Although Kaylin wasn’t born with a pen in hand like so many of her talented fellow authors, she has been actively involved in both business and personal writing projects for many years. As the director of a fine art gallery, she assisted in furthering the careers of numerous visual artists who under her guidance gained recognition through promotional opportunities and in national publications. Eager to spread her own creative wings, she has since steered her energy toward writing novels. As a result, she has earned more than a dozen literary awards and was a 2008 finalist in the prestigious RWA® Golden Heart contest.

Kaylin is a member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers. She received her AA in Literature at Highline Community College, which originally sparked her passion for writing. In her free time, she also enjoys giving back to the community through participation and support of various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

You can visit Kaylin online at www.kaylinmcfarren.com or visit her book’s website at www.flahertyscrossing.com.


16 comments:

Amy S. said...

Great post! Thanks for all you are doing to help colon cancer research!

Dorothy said...

In Kaylin's behalf, I want to thank you for hosting her today, Cheryl! She left yesterday for a trip but might be able to stop in at some point but I did want to thank you!

Kaylin McFarren said...

Kaylin here. Just wanted to thank Cheryl for having me today. Will be dropping by and looking forward to your awesome comments! :)

Cheryl said...

Nice of you to drop in Kaylin. I didn't know you had a trailer for this book on your website. It's amazing! I really want to read this book after viewing the trailer.

What has it been like writing such a powerful book and trying to gain some exposure for it? Is there anything you wish you had done differently?

Thanks.

Cheryl

Kaylin McFarren said...

Cheryl, thanks for viewing my trailer and your wonderful compliment. Writing this book was perhaps one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. I'm truly proud of this unique story and don't believe I would have done anything differently. Although it was a challenge to market this genre-blending novel, the positive feedback I've received to date makes me incredibly glad I stayed focused and committed. I look forward to your reaction after you've had a chance to read it as well. :D

Susan Lute said...

Awesome post, Kaylin. It's never easy to lose a loved one. You've done a wonderful job of sharing your story with the rest of the world :)

Rebecca Camarena said...

Nice post! It is so very nice that you are donating proceeds to cancer research.

Rebecca Camarena said...

Cheryl,
The background and colors on the site are really nice.

Kris said...

Great post and such a touching background. I wanted to say I think it's great that proceeds will go to charity; that's an awesome thing to do!

Kaylin McFarren said...

Thanks Sue, Rebecca and Kris! Everyone is faced with loss and the possibility of cancer in their lifetime and if this book makes a difference for even one person, then my purpose for writing it is accomplished. :)

Angelica Hart and Zi said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Kaylin. It touches the heart, and gives Flaherty's Crossing a reality that must show through the prose.

Kim Smith said...

Great post! I can identify with the "not knowing" a parent thing. Looking for this book!

Kaylin McFarren said...

Thanks Ang, Zi and Kim: We can only strive to be better parents, while learning small lessons from our mistakes. :)

Tribute Books said...

This one is definitely going on my to-read list!

Carolyn Zane said...

Recently, two members of my family have been battling cancer. It's fantastic to see what you are doing to help the fight. You're awesome, Kaylin!!
Carolyn Zane

Kaylin McFarren said...

Thank you, Tribute Books. I truly hope you find the time to read this book. And Carolyn, it's great to find amazing cheerleaders like you supporting authors with causes. :D