On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish for a day. I count myself Irish for the other 364 days too.

My Irish heritage can be traced through both my mother and father’s parents. Mama Callahan Smith, my daddy’s grandmother, and my mother’s mother Oma Johnson Ulit. Both families’ heritage can be traced to the Emerald Isle.

I still remember the first time I felt my Irish genes. I’d tagged along on my husband’s business trip not thinking about the family stories of Irish heritage.

When I looked out the airplane’s window as we descended for landing, my blood truly began to tingle, and my heart sang at the site of the green fields below. I dipped my hand in the River Shannon and knew I’d found home.

After ten trips, those roots solidified and my love of all things Irish grew deep.

It’s why you’re likely to find characters with an Irish background in my books. There’s even an entire book set in Ireland, Claiming Annie’s Heart.

Something else happened when I went to Ireland – a very native-sounding brogue surfaced. It filtered into my writing so much that my copy editors must correct syntax when proofing my books for publication.

I wore my green yesterday and celebrated Ireland’s patron saint, Patrick, who, as you may know, wasn’t even Irish but English. Still, he’s credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland … and if you believe the Irish folklore, chased all the snakes away.

I hope your St. Patrick’s Day included a wee bit of green too. After all, 38,597,428 people claimed they were Irish alone or in any combination during the 2020 Census. That’s 16.4% of the overall population.

Happy Day After St. Patrick’s Day!