Irish Identity

Interview with January Magazine

So she tells you that she’s a writer and you ask what she writes and she says “short stories” and you say: “Are you working on a novel?”

I was delighted to be interviewed by January Magazine for their July issue. We had a great chat about the merits and challenges of the short story form, and I tried to answer the question 'why write short stories instead of a novel?' Stories can be harder than novels; with a novel, you create a world and then sustain it for a few hundred pages, but with each new short story you have to build a new world from scratch. But stories can also be incredibly liberating... 

Podcast - Wild Quiet on RTÉ Arena - 31st May 2016

"As a writer, you're often playing a game of 'what if?'" 

I had a great chat with Séan Rocks about my debut collection Wild Quiet. We talked about the inspiration behind some of the stories, the dangers of drawing on real life, and how I used religious iconography to add to the strangeness of the title story. We also chatted about Derry, and Séan asked about some of the autobiographical elements in 'Ebenezer's Memories.'

Listen to an extract from WILD QUIET

"It was as I sat swinging my legs that I first heard it: a low moan with the sadness of whale song, drawn out and muffled as if reaching me from across oceans, yet close enough to make the windowpanes shiver.."

May 16th has come around at last! Today is the official publication day of my first short story collection WILD QUIET. To celebrate, I've recorded an extract from the first short story in the collection - Ebenezer's Memories. Here, I chat a little bit about my family roots and about the origins of the story. Happy listening... 

My Mental Knuckle-fight with Irishness

"Looking back, I see our house as an Irish space station which had drifted off orbit." 

I've been overwhelmed by the response to my article in the Irish Times this week. This morning I woke up to emails from New Zealand, Italy and the USA, from people sharing their experiences of growing up Irish abroad, or of growing up in Ireland with parents from elsewhere. I hope this will open up lots of meaningful conversations on Irish identity, and that we can really start to create a more inclusive definition of what it means to be Irish in 2016.