Monday, October 22, 2012

Beginner's Pluck. Ciaran O'Driscoll

Beginner’s Pluck.
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.

Web/Twitter: @CiaranODriscoll

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.

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