Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in The Irish Examiner on April 6th, 2013
Beginner’s Pluck. Mary Grehan.
An artist, Mary always wrote. But she didn’t start writing in earnest until 2008.
“I was painting at the time,” she says, “but my life was at a crossroads. I went to a life coach, and she set my homework. I wrote, ‘I always thought I would write a book.’ And that’s when I started.”
After college, Mary worked in Cork, Kilkenny, and Mullingar, then she went to Japan. After that she had arts jobs in Holles Street, then in Tallaght Community Arts Centre. She travelled, and spent time in England before settling in Waterford in 2002.
Who is Mary Grehan?
Date of birth: 1966 in Dublin
Education: Our Lady of the Assumption Secondary School for Girls, Walkinstown. National College of Art and Design. UCD. Post grad, Arts Management. Manchester University, Masters.
Family: Brother, two sister, nieces and nephews.
The Day Job: Arts Director of the Waterford Healing Arts Trust.
Interests: Visual arts, dance, theatre, travel. “And I’m passionate about dogs. I help out in an animal rescue centre.”
Favourite Writers: Kazuo Ishiguro; Haruki Murakami; Alice Munroe; Lorrie Moore.
Second Novel: “It starts in Manchester, and moves to Japan.”
Top Writing Tip: “Read everything aloud when you’re rewriting. It tells you where you are going wrong.”
Web: www.marygrehan.com . Twitter: @marybgrehan
The Debut: Love is the Easy Bit. Penguin Ireland: €14.99. Kindle: €9.34
Sylvia Larkin has never been able to bond with her daughter. She’s an outsider in her family, and, on a visit to her mother, the clash with her own childhood brings things to a head. Can she choose the right path, and secure herself, and her family a happier future?
“I don’t have children, and I always thought I’d have a little girl. What if you had your girl, and motherhood wasn’t everything you thought it would be? I hope readers will get moments of recognition. My book names some of the things we’re not really meant to say.”
The Verdict: What a talent! In Sylvia, Mary has created an unforgettable heroine.
© Sue Leonard. 2013