After reading the synopsis of Corrigans's Pool, I was instantly intrigued. This novel sounds like a fascinating and engrossing peek into an historical period with fascinating characters. When presented with the opportunity to ask author Dot Ryan, a few questions I was thrilled. Enjoy and I hope you get the opportunity to read Corrigans' Pool as well!
Tell us a bit about Corrigans’ Pool. What is the story about, who are the characters, etc.
Corrigans’ Pool is a Civil War era novel that takes place in and around Savannah, Georgia between 1861 and 1864.
If you don’t mind, I’ve taken parts of the following description from the recent ForeWord Clarion Review of Corrigans’ Pool, which gave the book five stars out five:
The eldest of two daughters, Ella Corrigan rises to the challenge when a family tragedy results in an incapacitated mother and a father consumed by guilt. Despite the pressures of essentially running the family plantation on her own, she bears the burden of responsibility stoically, with kindness, efficiency, and little resentment for her lot in life.
Somewhat resigned to the possibility of never marrying, Ella is stunned by her reaction when she meets the dashing, if seemingly ill-suited, Gentry Garland. She repeatedly resists the attraction at first, resulting in moments both touching and amusing, until she finally accepts the love between them. From there, it doesn’t take long for Ella to begin envisioning a different, more enriching future — at least until the Civil War lands on their doorstep and Gentry strangely disappears without a word.
Devastated, Ella makes the fateful decision to marry neighboring plantation owner Victor Faircloth. Victor’s increasingly contemptuous violence toward those who serve his household sickens Ella, and a gripping mystery begins to unfold involving his rapidly disappearing slaves and the beautiful pool, called Corrigans’ Pool, on Ella’s family property. As the Civil War rages on, Ella finds herself fighting a war of her own to save her home, her loved ones, and the innocent victims of her husband’s brutality.
Villains and heroes are exposed in their true light, loves are lost and found, and the strength of human spirit ultimately prevails.
Other characters in Corrigans’ Pool are Ella’s tenacious younger sister, Honor Corrigan, and their bossy but wise grandmother and matriarch of the Corrigan family, Beatrice Corrigan. Adam Corrigan, a gentle man haunted by the accident that crippled his wife, is Ella’s and Honor’s father. Then there’s the love-sick Reverend Timon Pledger, whose constant depression is born of his hopeless love for Ella. Moonbeam and Sunbeam, 12-year old identical twin slave girls, share Ella’s danger at her husband’s plantation. Meshach and old Baker Ben are slaves belonging to Ella’s family, both of whom are deeply involved in the secret of Corrigans’ Pool — the beautiful pond on Corrigan property.
How do you come up with the names of your characters? It almost seems as though, as an author, you have the continuous fun of naming children!