Where do you call home?
Dublin, Ireland. I love to travel, but I love to come home again.
What is your book about?
Time Standing Still is a collection of short stories. Some have been published before, or have been placed in competitions, so I gathered them into this small collection. With the exception of the final story, The Birthday Gift, which is a gothic tale of the supernatural, each story explores the nature of humanity, universal themes of ordinary people dealing with the darker and sometimes brutal side of life
Do you have plans for a new book?
Working on a novel as we speak! Lady Beth, the story of a mother and her quest for revenge following the drug-related death of her son, is based on a feature length script I have written. An extract has appeared in the latest edition of the Irish Literary Journal, RECITAL, which I am extremely pleased about.
What inspired you to write your book?
Not just for this book, but for everything I write, I am constantly moved, inspired, and fascinated by the lives we live and how we live them. Themes that come up time and time again for me tend to be built around ordinary people facing extraordinary situations, and clichéd as that may sound, life’s experiences inspire me to write. To paraphrase a quote by the Mexican Film director, Alejandro González Iñárritu… if you scratch the skin of pain, you may find beauty in a much more profound way. You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you? Yes, for the most part, my writing does veer to the darker side of human nature…though not always!
How did you come up with the title and cover design?
Time Standing Still is the title of the first story in the collection. The cover was designed by my brother, a graphic designer [details on request!] who somehow managed to decipher my vague concept and came up with an image that I truly feel best represents the status quo of all of the characters in the stories.
What books have most influenced your writing most and why?
From the classics, the gothic novels of Wuthering Heights, Dracula and the stories of Poe and Lovecraft and Irish mythology. I am also greatly influenced by contemporary authors…see question below!
Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
Apart from the dead ones, which rules out Oscar Wilde, Emily Bronte and Bram Stoker, I would like to meet Anne Rice, Alice Hoffman and Alice Sebold; simply wonderful women creating wonderful stories. On the male side, John Connolly and Joseph O’Connor are two of my favourites, both of whom I have been lucky enough to meet.
Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcovers?
Being a professional Librarian, I could never end my love affair with the printed page. However, I also love the idea of ebooks, and see the demand for them growing. When you consider the unique and varied ability of the human being, ebook technology breaks down a lot of social and physical barriers that perhaps traditional bookstores and library buildings, however clued-in, may never manage to do.
Have you ever read a book more than once?
Yes. Wuthering Heights, Dracula and I am currently reading Ghost Light by Joseph O’Connor for the second time; it is a masterpiece of language that must be savoured slowly.
What book are you currently reading?
I usually have two or three on the go! Along with Ghostlight, I have just finished John the Revelator by Irish author, Peter Murphy and Alice Hoffman’s The Story Sisters.
What book do you know that you will never read?
War and Peace…probably.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep doing what you’re doing. Practice your craft and don’t be afraid to take criticism. And for goodness sake, edit, edit and edit some more!