Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in the Irish Examiner on 2nd February 2013
Beginner’s Pluck Liam Murray Bell.
Liam always wrote in a haphazard kind of way. He was first published at 19.
“A creative writing teacher came to my secondary school. She was editing New Writing, Scotland, and she took my story.”
He has published several stories since then, in various anthologies, and has written a couple of unpublished novels. 2012 was a big year for Liam. He completed his PhD, got married, and published his novel.
“All the research for the novel was done as part of the PhD.”
Who is Liam Murray Bell?
Date of birth: 17th April, 1985, in Orkney
Education: Hyndland Secondary School, Glasgow. Queen’s Belfast, English lit and creative writing. University of Glasgow; Masters in creative writing, and PhD in creative writing.
Home: Bexhill, Sussex.
Family: Married Orla this year. She’s an engineer.
The Day Job: Full time writer, with an Arts Council grant.
“And I teach creative writing at a local college.”
Interests: Playing football, and running.
“I’m training for a half marathon.”
Favourite Writers: William Boyd for plot; Haruki Murakami for imagination; David Hare for poetic writing and dialogue; Belfast writer Robert McLiam Wilson.
Second Novel: It’s about the music industry, and the Occupy movement.
“It’s deliberately different. I didn’t want to be known as a Northern Irish writer, when I’m from Scotland. And I’ve always been interested in contemporary politics.”
Top Writing Tip: To write first thing in the morning, before the day kicks in. And don’t check emails, or social media.
Web: www.liammurraybell.com Twitter: @liammurraybell
The Debut: So It is. Myriad Editions: €11.35. Kindle: €8.11
It’s Belfast in the 1980’s, and all around, families are swept into the troubles. Teenage Aoife struggles to cope, whilst her parents succumb to depression and drink. Then there’s Cassie; a young Republican paramilitary who seduces her victims, before damaging them in a horrific way.
“I was interested in the role of women in the troubles. I felt this had been unexplored.”
The Verdict: An original take on the troubles. It’s a disturbing read, but is beautifully written .
© Sue Leonard 2013