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Sheila Turner Johnston

Daughter of a Methodist minister from Cork, Sheila kept moving as a child, from Cork to Birr, in County Offaly, then to Donegal, before arriving in Belfast, where her mother was from. Sheila was a librarian […]

Stephen Sexton

Stephen wrote his first poem, aged 8. “It was a strange rhyming poem about a mayfly. I didn’t write any more, after that, until the difficult teen years, when I wrote a few poems.” He was […]

Sophie White

An only child brought up in Sandymount, Sophie always read. But she chose art, because writing was a family business. “I loved NCAD and got a first-class degree, but I loved drugs as well, and they […]

Caroline Grace Cassidy and Lisa C Carey

When a friend of Lisa Carey’s called off his wedding at the last minute it got her thinking. His bride to be was in her late thirties and had given her fiancée the best years of […]

Debut Roundup. September 2019. For Books Ireland

Saltwater by Jessica Andrews. Sceptre. When a debut novel is described as ground-breaking – and words like reinvention are used, my heart sinks. Because all too often this is just another way of saying that the […]

Vivienne Kearns

Vivienne wrote gothic short stories at college, and a science fiction screenplay. After her degree she trained as an English teacher but moved to LA for a year. Returning, she worked as a project manager in […]

Catherine Kirwan

Brought up on a farm in Tipperary, Catherine was a bookish child. She studied law in Cork; took a traineeship in Dublin, before heading for Munich where she taught English. “I thought about being a writer […]

Andrew Mulligan

For years, Andrew wanted to work in the theatre. But he never really made it. “I was banging my head on the door, doing a lot of poorly paid and unpaid work. So at thirty, I […]

Oisin Fagan

Beginner’s Pluck. A writer since childhood, Oisín published his first short story at 18. “I dropped out of college for a year and wrote fulltime working nights. Then I went back to complete my course.” As […]

Damian Barr

Last year, Damian Barr lived in terror, worried that he would die. He wasn’t sick; he didn’t face danger; but he couldn’t bear the thought that his debut novel might not see the light of day. […]

Homan Potterton

In 2002, when the former Director of the National Gallery, Homan Potterton, brought out his childhood memoir, he didn’t expect that many people would read it. So, when it received positive reviews, and sold extremely well, […]

Jing-Jing Lee

Brought up in a house without books, speaking Mandarin, Jing-Jing was never read to. She discovered books aged 7, at school. “I loved Roald Dahl. I remember listening to audio tapes, as I read.”  During her […]