Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in the Irish Examiner on 24th November.
Beginner’s Pluck. Annemarie Neary.
After studying English, then law, Annemarie worked in London as an oil exploration lawyer. She stopped for a while when she had her third child, and did some writing, then a Masters in Venetian Art.
“I then went back to law, but I’d lost my interest. If you’re a lawyer, it’s very difficult to write creatively at the same time. So I stopped again, and wrote seriously. The first three stories I sent out all won prizes. After that I started writing every day. I wrote a lot of short stories as well as the novel.”
Who is Annemarie Neary?
Date of birth: 27the November, 1960, in County Down.
Education: Sacred Heart, Newry, County Down. Trinity College Dublin. King’s Inn. The Courtauld Institute of Art.
Family: Married to Michael Meads; sons, Patrick, 20, Conor, 18, Rory, 16.
The Day Job: Full Time Writer.
Interests: Theatre; anything to do with Venice; art, and particularly portraits.
Favourite Writers: William Trevor is my very favourite. I also love Lorrie Moore; Alice Munroe and Kevin Barry
Second Novel: I’ve finished a second, but haven’t sent it out yet. Its working title is Siren.
Top Writing Tip: Read your work aloud before you send it out. You can tell where the wrong notes are.
Web: www.annemarieneary.co.uk Twitter: @AnnemarieNeary1
The Debut: A Parachute in the Lime Tree. The History Press Ireland:18.75 euro. Kindle: 5.78 euro.
This novel, set in the Emergency, opens with a German parachuting into a lime tree. A
member of the Luftwaffe, Oskar is anxious to find Elsa, a Jewish refuge whom he loves. But Kitty, who finds and harbours him, has other plans. This wonderful debut follows Oskar, Kitty and the pianist Elsa, who, in Dublin, meets a medical student. Will true love win out?
“My aunt was at a music school in Dublin during the emergency. There was a girl there who was refugee from Berlin. I’ve always wondered what became of her.”
The Verdict: A beautifully written romantic page turner, which throws new light onto Ireland’s Emergency.
© Sue Leonard. 2012.