Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 16th March.
Beginner’s Pluck Kevin Maher.
Always good at essay writing, Kevin found it easy to express himself on the page. He became a journalist after University, but novel writing has always appealed.
“In 2001, I got fed up of journalism. I was film editor of Face magazine. I’d seen 2,000 films, and myself and my wife left London and moved to a fishing village in the North East of Scotland. We stayed there for a year and a half, and I wrote 50 pages of The Fields.
“I got an agent, and moved back to London, and journalism. I wrote two, overly pretentious novels, then came back to the first one. Realising story was interesting, I decided to tell a very simple story set in Dublin. I wrote it, very quickly, after our third child was born.”
Who is Kevin Maher?
Date of birth: 20th January, 1972, in Dublin.
Education: Oatlands College, Stillorgan, University College Dublin, BA, and MA in Film Studies.
Family: Wife, Rose, and three children. Two boys and a girl.
The Day Job: Fulltime Journalist with the London Times. “Too full time. I’d prefer more time for novel writing.”
Interests: Playing tennis. And motorbikes. “I have recently become a biker. I love it. It’s great for headspace.”
Favourite Writers: James Joyce; John Banville; David Mitchell.
Second Novel: “I’m about a tenth of the way through.”
Top Writing Tip: “Be violently honest. And don’t be afraid to tell a good story. If you think you’re better than story, that’s the death of a novel.”
Web: No. Twitter: @kevintmaher
The Debut: The Fields. Little Brown: €18.75. Kindle: €8.22.
It’s Dublin in 1984, and Jim Finnegan is developing an interest in girls. Miraculously, the beautiful Saidhbh returns his affections. Meanwhile, Fr O’Culigeen is trying to get Jim in his clutches, and at home, life gets disrupted for Jim and his five sisters, when their father becomes ill
“Everything is emotionally true, even where the events aren’t.”
The Verdict: An original coming of age story, told with great humour and panache.
© Sue Leonard