Helen Walsh Folsom of Kansas City, Kansas, seen here at a library authors’ event in 2016, has written a new book, “Color Me Green: Ways the Irish Influenced America.” (File photo by Mary Rupert)
New book released by KCK author
by Mary Rupert
Kansas City, Kansas, author Helen Walsh Folsom has published her seventh book, “Color Me Green: Ways the Irish Influenced America.”
The 84-year-old writer says that her latest book is a nonfiction work containing factual stories about what the Irish brought to America and about Irish-Americans who invented popular items in American culture.
“The first book I wrote, I was 70 years old,” Folsom said. She tells others that it’s never too late. “Don’t say you’re too old to do anything. Anybody can do it if they like it enough.”
Folsom said she enjoyed writing “Color Me Green.” She said she drew inspiration from her lifelong research of the Irish and Irish-Americans, from her library of hundreds of books about Ireland, as well as from her trip to Ireland. Most of her library survived the May 4, 2003, tornado that destroyed her home – some of the books were found scattered around outdoors.
“It’s a good book with a lot of good items in it, all of them are true, some of them are funny, some are serious, a lot are fun, and a lot are short items,” she said about “Color Me Green.”
Author Helen Walsh Folsom’s new book, “Color Me Green: Ways the Irish Influenced America,” is available on amazon.com.
The book, a little over 150 pages, has some interesting information, for example, about how corned beef and cabbage is not really an Irish dish, but it became popular among Irish-Americans, she said. In America, immigrants from Ireland adopted corned beef and cabbage, changing it from the Irish bacon and cabbage, because of its lower cost.
Another item in the book concerns a man originally from Ireland who came to America in the 1800s and invented a modern-style submarine.
The reader also may find some information in the book about the Irish woman who was the first person to step off the boat on Ellis Island; McGuffey’s readers; the origin of the expression “Mickey Finn” and some of the history of the Fighting Irish 69th Regiment during the Civil War.
Folsom grew up in the Armourdale area of Kansas City, Kansas, in the home of her great-grandmother Lizzie Walsh, who was born in Ireland.
The new book, according to Folsom, would be a “very good” Christmas present. Last year at this time, her book, “An Irish Christmas and the Storyteller” was published, an Irish Christmas story from 1894 centered around holiday traditions.
Folsom’s earlier works include historical romances, “Fianna,” 2012; “Brandeen: In the Shadow of Captain Moonlight,” 2014; and “Kells: The Risin’ of the Rebellion,” 2015. In addition, her nonfiction books include “St. Patrick’s Secrets,” 2001; and “Ah, Those Irish Colleens: Heroic Women of Ireland,” 2003.
Helen’s daughter, Elizabeth Folsom, designed the cover of the new book and served as business manager for the project. Elizabeth is a former writer for the Wyandotte West.
The future holds more book projects for Helen Folsom. She may next revise a draft of a book she wrote previously, or work on a different book project.
“I just love what I’m doing,” Folsom said.
The new book is available in paperback and on Kindle at amazon.com; more information is at helenwalshfolsom.com.