The Dallas Woman's Forum is pleased to present a discussion, book signing and champagne reception with best-selling author Patricia Falvey. She will share her experiences and discuss her books, The Yellow House and The Linen Queen, on Saturday, January 25 at 3 pm at the Alexander Mansion on Ross Avenue.
Falvey, a warm and engaging redhead, was born in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland, where she lived until the age of eight with her sister and grandmother, when her mother came and took her to England. “I felt like I was torn away," she says. It is those feelings that underpin her deep love for Ireland which is reflected in her writing.
At the age of 20, Falvey left England and struck out for the United States because “it was a tradition for so many of the Irish to come here.” Armed with her visa that allowed her to go anywhere but the East Coast, she opened a map, landed on Nebraska, and off she went, learning about culture shock along the way. “I didn’t know what anything was. I didn’t know what a hamburger was. I didn’t know how to order a coffee," she laughs. "I called it a white coffee, because I took cream and sugar, and no one knew what I was talking about."
From her initial culture shock Falvey went on to develop a career in financial consulting that eventually brought her to Dallas where she lives in the Turtle Creek area. Until recently, she served as a Managing Director at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLC, where she led a national tax consulting practice. She earned national recognition as a tax expert for the insurance industry and was a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She is a CPA with a Master’s Degree in Taxation. But she always had a love of writing and over the years attended numerous writing seminars and conferences, kept a journal and wrote short stories.
Falvey will discuss her books and share the inspiring story of how she left the accounting world at the pinnacle of her career to devote herself full-time to writing. Her first novel, The Yellow House, is set in her native Northern Ireland, and is based on tales told by her grandmother of life in Ulster when she was coming of age from 1900 to 1925.
The Yellow House is the first book in a trilogy that will span 20th century Ulster, all told from the point of view of strong female characters. Her second novel, The Linen Queen, is set in Ulster during World War II. She is currently at work on the third book, Easter Lilies, set in Belfast in the 70’s at the height of “The Troubles," as the Irish call the turmoil between the Protestants and Catholics.
Downton Abbey lovers, take note. Falvey will also share some details of her next book, Connemara Manor, which she says is an “Irish Downton Abbey.” It will be set in the real-life Ennisco House and estates which are across the road from her family’s farm in County Mayo. “My grandfather was called ‘Gentleman Mike’ when he was not tending the cattle as chief herdsman, and my cousins worked in the ‘Big House,’ as it was known, in the summers. What better place, I thought, in which to set my tale of an Irish country house than the mysterious ‘Big House’ of my childhood.”
Falvey’s books have been called love letters to Ireland. They share a message of the courage and passion of the people of Northern Ireland. Her personal story is a reminder that it’s never too late to pursue your dream. “Always listen to that little voice in your head, she says. You never know what will happen.”
Come hear Patricia Falvey on Saturday, January 25 at 3 pm at the Alexander Mansion, home of The Dallas Woman’s Forum, at 4607 Ross Avenue. Tickets for the discussion, book signing and champagne reception are $30 and can be purchased online at www.dallaswomansforum.org, or by calling 214-823-4533.