Born in County Limerick Ireland in 1974. Began writing for poetry for local newspaper when I was 14. There were very few jobs in Ireland when I was leaving school so against my better judgement I studied business in University and ended up becoming a Headhunter In the City of London. I still kept my hand in by writing financial articles for magazines such as Investment week, Financial Advisor and the FT. I finally worked up the courage to return to Ireland and write novels full time. “Im Happy Now.Com” is my first novel. I have also written a historical fiction novel “When Leaves are Falling” due out in September 2013 and am working on a book about World War I. I am Chairman and Founder of the Doneraile Literary & Arts Festival, the only free literary festival in Ireland.
What inspires you to write?
I was writing another very book at the time (very different actually as it is a historical fiction book) but I could not get the idea of this one out of my head. I did the unforgivable and stopped writing that one and started “Im Happy Now.Com”. It was just write for me to write it at that time. IT took a lot out of me as a writer though as I had to question the way I myself was living and whether I was happy in my own life so it was a cleansing process. I could identify with the characters because I had lived their life and knew what they were going through.
Tell us about your writing process.
I generally have a broad outline to the general story and somehow the characters seem to arrive of their own free will and join the dots. But for me the whole story can just start with sentence I have heard or something small that I see. Though I write on the laptop I always have a notebook beside me that I jot ideas/incidents etc that need to go in the book. After a book is finished I like to keep the accompanying notes for that particular book as you will never relive those thoughts. I tend to write a minimum of five pages a day and will not leave the room until they are done. Also for me I need total isolation so no friends or girlfriend are allowed to visit when I’m writing a book, no phones, no tv, no radio just me and my dog Seamus who is my best non judgmental utterly biased critic !!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I talk to my characters all the time. It is as if I live amongst them or are them all individually at one point or another. I tend to even take on their characters, as I am writing their parts thus the reason why I insist on being alone when I’m writing!!
What advice would you give other writers?
My advice would be not to listen to other peoples opinions about your book until you are finished writing. At the point of writing, you are like a sponge soaking in emotions and feelings and you do not want to be sent off on tangents. Let your characters direct you. The story is within you, no one else. Also I would advise against reading other books whilst writing as you inadvertently may pick up the other writers style or pace but this is just my opinion. Overall I would just say keep going no matter what happens.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to self publish “Im Happy Now.Com” even though I was offered a publishing deal. I wanted more control over the book and also I know from experience that authors these days do most of their own marketing thus I feel they should be remunerated more for it. I may go with a publishers for my other books but I felt this was the best way to go for me with this one.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that we are in a very unusual place at the moment when it comes to publishing. The rise of self publishing is as a direct response to the way that mainstream publishers have become “flavor of the month” publishing rather than judging books on standalone merit. Either they change or the market will change things for them. As regards eBooks versus print then I think somewhere in the future they may balance out but for the foreseeable future it will go the way of the eBook. We are probably the last generation of print readers. The next generation is growing up with eBooks so print will be a novelty for them. I myself prefer print books, I love the feel and smell of them.
What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
young adult fiction, general fiction, historical fiction, literary fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print