Kilkenny, Ireland, May 1, 2014 - - On the heals of her first literary success, author Angela Byrne has written her second novel, Miss Fitzgerald. In a remarkably bold statement of international affection, Byrne chose to launch Miss Fitzgerald in San Diego, California, not in Kilkenny, Ireland where it was written. While conceived in a Kilkenny B&B, Ms. Fitzgerald was born in San Diego's own House of Ireland on a sunny Sunday afternoon before St. Patrick's.
San Diego, California, is the Byrne's adopted city. For eight consecutive years, John and Angela have left their beloved island to act as honored guests and honorary members of the Irish Congress of Southern California participating in San Diego's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival. San Diegans have embraced the Byrnes - literally. As they drive down the parade route sitting atop a convertible Corvette, folks who have stayed at their bed and breakfast run out to welcome them. Angela and John were made Honorary San Diego Citizens by (former) Mayor Jerry Sanders and act as Ireland's citizen ambassadors to San Diego by carrying diplomatic letters saluting San Diego's St. Patrick's Day celebrants from both Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Michael Ring T.D., Minister of State for Tourism and Sport.
Sitting in a room filled with her fans in the small House of Ireland cottage in Balboa Park, Byrne described modern and medieval Kilkenny and spoke about the families who travel to Kilkenny to find their roots. So curious and knowledgeable, Byrne told how she loved connecting guests staying at her Celtic House B&B with the local residents in hopes of discovering long forgotten relatives. More than once, she was successful and in doing so, she become inspired to write her very first novel, Not Forgotten.
Yet, the day was for Miss Fitzgerald, a 231-page golden paperback about "a child growing up in post-famine Ireland, has always wanted more - more freedom, more success and more independence. Move of all, she wants to know more about the mysterious circumstances that surround the death of her mother. But does Trudy really want all of the answers?"
Then, Byrne took a few moments to read from her book. When asked by a fan why both her novels were about women, she responded, "yes, my passion is to see women improve, my passion is see women make it in this world, and my passion is the make women feel wanted."
And that's what Miss Fitzgerald seeks to do - to tell a story about a woman who had to make it in a "man's world" without excuses or disclaimers.
Representing the Irish Congress of Southern California, John and Angela were interviewed by both KUSI-TV news and CBS8 News as part of the publicity build-up of the 2014 St. Patrick's Day Parade and Celebration.
Byrne, an Irish author from Kilkenny, has written two novels, Not Forgotten and Miss Fitzgerald. In addition to being an author, Ms. Byrne is a business owner, operating Celtic House Bed and Breakfast in Kilkenny, Ireland with her husband, John, a painter, a mother and a wife. Byrne and her husband, John, are Honorary Citizens of San Diego and Honorary Members of the Irish Congress of Southern California.