Alice Ryan.

Posted by Sue Leonard on Friday 28th October 2022

Granddaughter of Mary Lavin, and daughter of the writer James Ryan, and the late Caroline Walsh, (Books editor of the Irish Times,) Alice had an idyllic childhood.

“But I wasn’t interested in books,” she says.  

After studying economics, Alice worked for a charity.

“Then a friends asked me to run the Dublin Web Summit. That suited me. But Mum’s death changed everything. I wanted to be in the Arts, so I moved to London and worked for the Bookseller Magazine as content manager.”

Through this, Alice was offered a job at the BBC as head of insight and planning.

            “I worked there for four years and would never have left, but by then we wanted to move home.”

By that time, Alice had completed a novel. She sent it out to complete silence, until agent Sheila Crowley contacted her, complimenting her writing, but not the book.

            “She gave me guidelines saying I needed to get serous about plot.”

Back in Ireland, working as Head of Development for a small production company, Alice started again. This one was accepted by the agent, and after months of work, was sent out.

            “We had 10 rejections. At the time, January 2021, I’d been made redundant and was back living with Dad. I concentrated on getting a new job, and the day after I’d got one, Head of Zeus made an offer.”

Who is Alice Ryan?

Date of birth:  1986, in Dublin.

Education: Muckross Park College; Trinity College Dublin, Business and French. London School of Economics, MA, in Economic History.

Home: Ranelagh, Dublin. 

Family: Husband, Brian, and daughter, Kate Caroline, 3.  

The Day Job: Head of Insight at the Arts Council.

In Another Life: “I’d love to be in a writer’s room, collaborating on films and TV shows.”

Favourite Writers: Alice Munro; Anne Patchett; Anne Tyler; Curtis Sittenfeld; Maria Semple; Nora Ephron; Elizabeth Strout.

Second Novel: “I’m working on some ideas.”

Top Tip: Perseverance.

Twitter: @alice_ryan.

The Debut: There’s Been a Little Incident. Head of Zeus: €16.15.   

When Molly disappears, her extended family gather, debating what to do. In her twenties, Molly has been adrift since her parents died and says she’s gone for good. Can the collective family love save her?

The Verdict: A funny, warm and heartfelt study of grief.  

Published in the Irish Examiner on 17th September.

© Sue J Leonard. 2022.


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