Short Stories, Memoir and Articles
I love writing short stories, which I find much harder than novels! Most of my short stories are set in the past, and their success helped give me the confidence to write historical novels. I love to immerse the reader – and myself – in a completely unfamiliar time and place.
I’ve had lots of stories published, mostly as a result of winning competitions. Here is a link to my most recent winner, ‘The Beachcomber and the Mermaid’, which won the 2022 Write by the Sea competition: https://writebythesea.ie/sep-2022-and-the-winners-are/
Recently I’ve started to experiment with writing personal essays, with a view to publishing a full-length memoir. So many people have been interested in my story of being single and celibate for twenty years and then falling in love with an old friend after his wife died. There’s no doubt that my life has inspired a lot of my fiction, but delving into my own experiences has been a great deal more challenging than making things up. My essay ‘Saddo’ won second prize in the Fish Short Memoir Prize, 2022.
Here's an article on my experience of memoir writing.
I’ve always loved being asked to write articles, usually connected with one of my novels.
Here’s one for the Irish Times, about how Northern Ireland has informed my work:
This is the article, also for the Irish Times, which started me writing quite confessional memoir pieces. It’s about being assaulted on a bus when I was a teenager:
And, by way of a contrast, and much less personal, an essay on Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, for the Dublin Review of Books: