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Friday, November 16, 2012

Check out today's character interview from Author Rosemary McCracken's book 'Safe Harbor'

Interview with Pat Tierney from Safe Harbor         

How do you feel about being the main character of a book?
When Rosemary decided to make me the central character of Safe Harbor, I was puzzled. I'm just an ordinary, fortysomething woman. Widow, mother of two girls, business woman. Nothing special. But Rosemary thought people would be interested in my story.
It all started that afternoon in late December. I was finishing up some paperwork in my Toronto office when a woman barged in and asked me to look after her son. I was gobsmacked. “I'm a financial advisor,” I told her, “not a daycare worker.”
“I didn't think you'd turn Tommy down.”
“Whatever made you think that?” I asked.
And then she told me that Tommy was my late husband's son.

Who is the most interesting side character in Safe Harbor and why?
I met Jude Seaton only once, on the day before her death. The day she barged into my office and turned my world upside-down. When I refused to take her kid, she simply walked out of my office. Left me with a seven-year-old boy and a backpack filled with his clothes.
The next day, Jude was found murdered in her home, and the police said little Tommy might be the next target. They said the killer might want him out of the way too. Tommy had nowhere else to go. He was in danger. I couldn't let anything bad happen to him, could I?
How do I feel about Jude now that some time has passed? Well, it's pretty difficult to hold a grudge against somebody who's dead. And somebody who died so horribly…and long before her time.
The more I've learned about Jude, the more I've come to like her. She was a strong, independent woman, passionate about what she cared for. We had a lot in common. And at some point it hit me that she had been terrified that her son was in danger or else she never would have approached me. She had no one else to turn to, so she came to me.
I'm a mother, too. I know how it feels to be willing to give up your own life in a heartbeat to save a precious little life. And when I started seeing Jude as another mother, a mother who was trying to save her child, well I couldn't hate her anymore.

Do you think anyone in your world is crazy? How do you deal with this?
I sometimes think my housekeeper Farah Alwan is crazy - or at least seriously off-kilter. She's a romantic young woman, filled with thoughts of finding a rich husband, having a beautiful home and lovely clothes. The kind of woman I am trying to raise my daughters not to be.
But I have to remind myself that Farah comes from a different world. She arrived in Canada a few years as a refugee from Iraq. If her family hadn't had flee their country, they would have arranged a good marriage for her. She was brought up with the expectation of being a wife and mother, and running a fine home. And that's not going to happen now that she is in Canada. The Iraqis her family knows in Toronto work in factories and as shop clerks. I've tried to talk to Farah about going to school, finding a career. But, so far, she's not listening.

Why did you choose your current profession?
I taught high school English for a few years until my older daughter was born. My late husband, Michael, was a financial advisor with a large investment firm, and his enthusiasm for his work was contagious. After Tracy was born, I took courses, got my accreditation and then joined Michael at the branch he ran.
And I've never regretted changing my career. I love my work. I enjoy helping my clients get their financial houses in order. It's important work that I do and I take it very seriously.

If you could change one thing that the author wrote about your life, what would it be?
I don't know why Rosemary had to put all that stuff in about Devon, the new guy in my life. I was pretty embarrassed to read it. Those sex scenes…not that they were graphic, but she could have left them out. After all, it's not like Devon is Mr. Right. He's just Mr. Right Now.

What's one thing you're glad that you had the guts, courage or strength to follow through with?
I had my capacity for love and acceptance tested in Safe Harbor, and I think I passed the test. I didn't turn my back on Tommy, and that may have saved his life. And now he's a big part of my life.

What's your greatest strength?
I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. That's something I learned from the events of Safe Harbor. I wasn't going to take Tommy because I didn't believe Jude when she told me that he was in danger. And he was.
My daughter Laura calls me “the world's biggest pushover,” and she's probably right. But I think you have to err on the side of generosity.

What's your greatest failing?
I'm a worrier. I worry about everything, which makes bad situations twice as bad. I worry about them beforehand, and then I have to live through them.

Can we look forward to reading about you again anytime soon?
Rosemary has just completed the first draft of Safe Harbor's sequel, and she's now doing a rewrite of it. She's sent me off to rural Ontario where I supervise the opening of a new branch of my investment firm. Another murder takes place up there, there's an outlaw biker gang and couple of women who run a grow-up. I hope Rosemary keeps her nose to the grindstone and gets the book out sometime in 2013. But she hasn't even come up with a title yet.


Where can readers find your book?
Safe Harbor is available as an ebook and a paperback on; also as a paperback on and Barnes & Noble.

About the Author~

 * * *
Rosemary McCracken is a freelance journalist and fiction writer who lives in Toronto, Canada. Safe Harbor, her first mystery novel, was shortlisted for Britain's Debut Dagger in 2010 and was published by Imajin Books this spring.
Check out Safe Harbor's trailer at
And visit Rosemary on her website and her blog.


  1. Michael, thank you for your interview with Pat. She didn' realize she was being so frank in some of her answers, but on the whole she's pretty pleased by how it turned out!

    1. It was my pleasure, Rosemary. Pat was quite the character to interview. Perhaps I can get another interview when she returns in the next book as well. :-)