I’ve always known I want to be a writer. Always. Though I never could quite put my finger on which area I wanted to write in and also whether it would be possible to make a career out of it. I presumed journalism would be the way. Obviously.
After some experience in the field with the big guns I quickly decided that I was very wrong. Journalism felt too intrusive for me, too raw, and I realised I definitely didn’t want to be a journalist.
I then decided to try and get my university dissertation published. It was a creative non-fiction piece discussing the truth in writing. I took the biographies and autobiographies of members of the ’27 club’ such as Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain. I fictionalised their biographies in order to discuss what truth is and how much truth can ever full be expressed when writing about lives.
While I had an exciting amount of interest, this never blossomed. The waiting time, as always within this industry, was lengthy and so I pondered – what next?
As always with life timings seemed to play out to shape my path unbeknown to me. My boss needed surgery so I committed myself to that job until he had fully recovered (I’m still there). In the meantime I began to write my first novel.
Dear Brannagh came out of a trip on an open top bus in Dublin city. My mind always goes off on a wild tangent whenever it is given the space to do so – of course it does, I am a writer! – and I spotted numerous things that formed the beginning of my novel.
There was a lady sat on a set of steps and I just couldn’t make her out. Her facial expression was nothingness so much so that she could have just been told that she had been granted a position at her dream firm or she could have discovered that a close family member had just died. The city was plastered with abortion campaign posters from both sides. I was in a city that I’d never visited in a country full of new culture. As you can imagine my thoughts were on overload and I just NEEDED to get it down.