What follows is an interview with Molly O’Sullivan. I figured it best to let her speak to you directly. Who better to tell her story?
Tell us where you are from?
I come from a small village in County Galway called Belclare. It’s close to Knockma Hill where I used to go when I was a wee girl. I left Ireland for America when I was 18. When I got there, I had some misfortunes and some adventures. But I reckon you can read about that in the book.
Are you a real person?
What kinda question is that? Of course I’m real. I got an author to write a book about me, didn’t I? He’s an okay sort. He ain’t a gombeen man or nothing. It sure don’t feel like I only live inside his head. Mr. Hutch, that’s the author fellow what wrote about me, he weren’t born in Ireland like me, but that’s where his family is from. So we understand each other.
How did you learn to sing?
When I was a wee girl, I’d sit in me da’s lap after supper. We lived in a mud wall cabin. The whole family. Me ma, me two grandparents, and me brothers. Da and me grandparents would sing to us. Da would sing in English and me grandfather would sing in Irish. Then the Hunger came and, well, things weren’t the same after that. But I’m able to remember a song after only hearing it once. It’s a gift, like. That’s why I can learn songs quick.
What is your favorite song?
I like lots of them. Some ain’t fit for mixed company though. But I really like one called ‘Annie Laurie’ that I heard a Scottish sailor sing when I was on my way to America. Mr. Hutch, he’s the fella that wrote about me, he likes music too. He listens to songs when he writes.
Can you tell us one you like that isn’t fit for mixed company?
Aye, I can. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. There’s one about a sailor lad what visits a working gal. Called Maid of Amsterdam, it is. It’ll make you laugh when you hear it. But it is a bit…well…you know, lewd.
What do you think of America?
It’s a strange country. I like it well enough though. And there’s plenty of adventures to be had if you’re of a mind to. The cities can be kinda crowded and the weather ain’t very nice sometimes, but it isn’t too bad it place. Still, it ain’t Ireland. That’s for sure.
Do you ever wish you had stayed in Ireland?
Sure, I thought about it from time to time when I had my misfortunes in America. Truth is, there weren’t nothing for me back in Galway. At least here I have a chance to make a life for meself and wee Ellen.
You’ve mentioned your misfortunes in America. Care to elaborate?
If I told you about it, then you wouldn’t read the book. If you don’t read the book, Mr. Hutch might not write another one about me and there’s still plenty of places I want to see. I aim to make it all the way to California or my name ain’t Molly O’Sullivan.
Do you have a favorite food?
Though I was a wee girl, I’m old enough to remember the years of hunger in Ireland. And being hungry in America later too. I’m just happy to have anything on my plate. If you cook it up and put it in front of me, I’ll eat it. If you don’t cook it, I’d still probably eat it.
Can you tell us a little about how you look?
I’m Irish, so I’m sure you can guess. My skin is as pale as the snow. I tend to burn in the sun. I got curly red hair and brown eyes. I’m kinda slender too, which is funny considering I like to eat. Father Byrne, he’s the priest back in my village in Ireland, he always told me that there weren’t never any saints with the red hair. I don’t think that’s true.
I hear that you may have a bit of a temper. Care to comment on that?
Ask me another fool question like that and you’ll find out. I got plenty of cheek too. Gets me in trouble a lot, it does.
Do you have a favorite color?
Green. Like the fields in Galway.
What is your biggest dream in life?
One day, I might like to go back to Ireland to visit. But this time, I’d be a famous singer with lots of money and a fine dress. And I could tell Lord Sanderson that he can take his estate and shove it up his hole. After that, I’d find his son, Lord Henry with the roaming hands, and give him a swift kick in in his engine, if you know what I mean. Doubt it’ll ever happen though.
I’ve heard a rumor that you support the Fenian Brotherhood. Care to comment?
I don’t know all that much about them, to be honest. But I do know that they are dedicated to freeing Ireland from the hands of the English what stole it from us. How can I not support that? Don’t all people want to be free? Unless they are peelers or informers what work for the Crown, of course. Give me a torch and I’ll lead the boys into battle myself, I will.
Alas, our time has come to an end. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Aye. Be sure to buy the book once it is available for pre-order or on sale. Don’t know for certain when it’ll be, so check back. I promise my story will stick with you.