Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in the Irish Examiner, on 20th October, 2012.
Beginner’s Pluck Ciaran O’Driscoll.
After school, Ciaran joined the civil service; then he joined a religious order, leaving after ten years. He went to London where he worked as a secondary school teacher, before studying philosophy. Before retirement, he worked as a lecturer in Limerick School of Art and Design.
All that time he was writing poetry. He has published six collections; and has written a childhood memoir, some radio plays, and some essays on poetry. He has won the James Joyce Literary Millennium Prize, the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in poetry, and he is a member of Aosdána.
Who is Ciaran O’Driscoll?
Date of birth: 2nd October, 1943 in Kilkenny.
Education: Rochestown College, Cork. University College Cork, BA, University of London, MA.
Home: Limerick City.
Family: Wife, and a son, aged 23.
The Day Job: Full time writer.
Hobbies: Listening to traditional Irish music and opera. Walking, travelling, watching rugby.
Favourite Writers: Mikhail Bulgakov, Flann O’Brian, Stieg Llarsson
Second Novel: I’m planning to travel somewhere and live there for a while. I hope this will give me a setting, and some characters.
Top Writing Tip: I believe immersing yourself into an unusual setting can give you inspiration for a novel.
The Debut: A Year’s Midnight. Pighog Press: €13.20 Kindle: €4.69.
George and his partner, Barbara move to Italy. George is recovering from a breakdown, and hopes to find peace. But the rural scenery, and in particular, a field, starts to bother him. He falls apart, as memory of childhood abuse starts to surface. He turns to drink, develops obsessions, and has hallucinations about a child poltergeist.
“We went to live in Umbria, when our son was about four. I went with the intention of writing a novel, and I did complete a first draft. I finished a version, but then the idea of a memoir took over. Recently I rewrote the novel, but in a darker form.”
The Verdict: An atmospheric tale toying with dark subjects, and told with a lot of black humour.
© Sue Leonard. 2012.