Sunday, May 12, 2013

Margaret Hawkins

Beginner’s Pluck.
Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in the Irish Examiner, on 11th May

Beginner’s Pluck. Margaret Hawkins

Margaret has always loved books; and always enjoyed writing stories. She had her first poem published aged 11.

After her children were born, she started writing articles for newspapers and magazines. She wrote plays too: and was twice shortlisted for the PJ O’Connor Awards. .
“I’ve also written a one woman show. It’s been performed, twice, in the Wexford Arts Centre.”

In 2006, Margaret wrote , Restless Spirit: The Story of Rose Quinn.
“I came across her story when I was working as a radio researcher. It was a mixture of journalism and fiction based on thorough research.”

Who is Margaret Hawkins?

Date of birth: 1st March 1960 in Tinahely, County Wicklow.

Education: Carnew Vocational School. University College Dublin: English and History.

Home: A small working farm in South County Wexford.

Family: Married 33 years to Sam, 3 grown children, David, Jason and Samantha.

The Day Job: Journalist. Health Columnist with the Farmer’s Journal.

Interests: Books, people, music, cats. “We own four. And two dogs, and two miniature donkeys. And my son has two horses.”

Favourite Writers: “Julian Barnes; Colm Tóibín; Sebastian Barry; and I’ve just read Mary Grehan’s debut. She’s someone to watch.”

Second Novel: “I’ve started it. It’s about the relationship fall out after a sudden farm death. Landscape is like a character in it, because of its impact on our lives.”

Top Writing Tip: Shelve the critic and face the blank page. You have to get the first draft down.

Web: Twitter: @MargaretHawki10

The Debut: Deny me Not. Bushel Press: €15.34. Kindle: €7.90

Set in 2004, in rural Ireland, this is an authentic look at a farm community’s struggles with daily life. The story features Hannah, who, brought up in a children’s home, knew her mother, but not her father. Her mother divulges his name on her deathbed, and, determined to get recognition, Hannah pursues him. But the married farmer is determined not to be exposed.

The Verdict: An intelligent page turner. Towards the end, I couldn’t put it down.

© Sue Leonard. 2013.

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