Beginner’s Pluck


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Sara O’Donovan

Brought up in the world of horseracing, Sara has been a lifelong show-jumper.   “My father was a jump-jockey, and then a head lad,” she says. “I loved pony books – and at ten I wrote […]

Bronagh Curran.

As a child Bronagh wanted to be a poet. Then, after BBC’s watching BBC’s Pride and Prejudice, she wanted to adapt classics for film and TV. After college she landed a job writing features for the […]

Florence Gillan.

As a child, reading a book a day, Florence was terrified that she would run out of books. “It was such a relief when I first went to the library,” she says, “and realised that I […]

Fiacre Ryan

Fiacre has autism and is non-verbal, but he loved having stories read to him as a child. Favourites included Horrid Henry, Harry Potter, and history books.             “My mother, who is a teacher, read me a […]

Alex Dunne

Alex was brought up on a diet of fairy tales.             “From the minute I was born, Mum read to me. I learned the books by heart.” As a child she rewrote tales by Enid Blyton […]

Elaine Canning.

Elaine comes from a family of storytellers. “My grandmother told us imaginative stories, and my grandfather told us about his travels at sea. I believed they were true for a long time!” She started writing as […]

Lucy Kelly-Desmond

Moving from England at 4 years old, Lucy always had conflicting identities. And at primary school in Greystones, County Wicklow, she befriended twins from the travelling community who were collected from school by horse and cart. […]

Oliver Darkshire.

Oliver describes his childhood as very nerdy. He loved books. As a teenager he developed narcolepsy, but it remained undiagnosed.             “I would fall asleep anywhere,” he says, explaining that his condition affected his exam results, […]

Amanda Cassidy

One of 5 children, Amanda has always written. After college she worked for JP Morgan in Dublin, and then Australia.             “I was successful but not fulfilled,” she says. “I felt I should have studied communications.” […]

Eugene O’Brien.

A screen, stage and Radio writer, Eugene was always into stories.             “As a child I was obsessed with the cinema. I was never ever going to do anything else.” Starting out as a jobbing actor, […]

David Toms.

The youngest of six children, born with a heart defect, David spent his childhood wrapped in cotton wool.             “I loved football and couldn’t play it,” he says. “And there were certain amusement rides I wasn’t […]

Alice Ryan.

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.   […]