Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 13th April, 2013
Beginner’s Pluck Jean Grainger.
Jean began writing in her twenties. As a young mother, she’d write and direct plays for young people. She worked as a tour guide, before going to College in her late twenties.
“After my degree, I started a PhD, and lectured in History for the Distance Learning programme. Three years into the PhD, I decided academic writing wasn’t for me. So I scrapped it, and did a teacher training course. I’ve been teaching ever since.”
Who is Jean Grainger?
Date of birth: 4th August 1971 in Cork
Education: South Presentation Convent, Cork; UCC English and History.
Home: Near Macroom, Cork
Family: Husband Diarmuid, Conor 21, Sórcha17, Éadaoin 4, and Siobhán 2.
The Day Job: Teaching English De La Salle College for boys in Macroom.
Interests: Theatre: directing producing and writing plays. “And I love to Cook. And I try to visit my siblings in Australia as often as possible.”
Favourite Writers: Sebastian Faulks; Maeve Binchy. “She’s my main influence.”
Second Novel: “It’s half written. Set between West Cork and France, it’s a family novel spanning the two world wars.”
Top Writing Tip: “If you self publish, you have to have professional editors. It’s a huge mistake to do it all yourself.”
Web: www.jeangrainger.com Twitter: @jeanniegrainger
The Debut: The Tour: Print Irish: €12.46. Kindle: €2.33.
Conor O’Shea is a tour guide, taking Americans round high end Ireland. This debut follows him on one of his trickiest tours yet. Everyone, it seems, has an agenda. Whilst marriages and friendships fracture, Conor’s own emotional life is in a state of flux. When an old flame reappears, will they rekindle the embers, or should he look closer to home?
“I spent twenty years taking groups of Americans round Ireland. A lot of sad and poignant things happened. I’d regale my friends with some of the stories. I started writing the stories down when I was pregnant with my youngest child. I couldn’t sleep, so I wrote all night.”
The Verdict: Entertaining. There’s a huge cast of disparate characters.
© Sue Leonard. 2013