Roisin Meaney worked as a teacher in Ireland and an advertising copywriter in London before becoming a fulltime writer of books. To date she is the author of eleven bestselling adult novels and two children’s books, and her works have been translated into many languages. On the first Saturday of every month she tells stories to small children in her home city of Limerick’s main library, passing on her love of books and reading to the next generation.
Roisin, from teaching to copywriting to eleven bestsellers – within that career arc, when did the novel-writing begin?
I worked in London as an advertising copywriter in the early nineties, but I started my first book in San Francisco in 2001. It was published in 2004. Then I won a two-book publishing deal! The publishers were new, and running the competition to launch themselves.
Do you write every day?
I’d write most days. Generally I start after breakfast and keep at it until I feel I’ve had enough. Length of time can vary enormously, but I usually manage to meet my deadlines.
And how long does it take you to complete a book?
About six months for a first draft, and another 2-3 on subsequent ones.
Do you have an agent – do you think it necessary?
Yes and yes. I tried doing without one for a few years, when my first agent and I parted company, but despite the fact that I wasn’t looking for a change of publisher I felt I’d be happier with someone in my corner.
Do you contribute to the marketing / PR of your work?
Yes, I’m always on the lookout for ways to spread the word about the books, whether it’s on social media, radio, press or TV.
Is there a book by another writer that you wish you had written?
So many. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. (Virtually) anything by Ann Tyler. The Love Song of Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce. I could go on.
Six people, living or not, that you would like to share your favourite beverage with?!
Ann Enright, Michael Harding, Seamus Heaney, Gerry Stembridge, Pope Frances and Tommy Cooper.
And in closing, what you are working on now?
The third book in a series set on a fictitious island off the west coast of Ireland. It’s due out at the end of this year, and it’s got a Christmas theme.
You can find out more about Roisin’s writing here: www.roisinmeaney.com
And on TWITTER @roisinmeaney