Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in the Irish Examiner on 13th July, 2013
Beginner’s Pluck Kevin Curran.
At 7, Kevin had a short story published. At 21, he wrote a novella based on the currency changes in Ireland. Then, at 26, he finished a novel of 80,000 words.
“It was bad, but I’d needed to write it,” he says.
In 2010, he took a novel writing course with Sean O’Reilly and The Stinging Fly. He found his voice, and wrote Beatsploitation.
“Sean O’Reilly was a great influence,” he says.
He finished the book in August 2011, and in March, 2012, won a place at the Writer’s Centre Inaugural Novel Fair.
“I had 10 manuscript requests, but most agents and publishers wanted changes. I resisted. Liberties Press ‘got it.’”
Who is Kevin Curran?
Date of birth: 30th June 1981, in Balbriggan.
Education: Balbriggan Community College. UCD. Degree, English; Masters, Anglo Irish Literature and Drama; Teaching Diploma.
Family: Wife Helena, and Sebastian 12 weeks.
The Day Job: A teacher of English and History, in Balbriggan Community College.
Interests: Football. “I love playing and watching. And jogging.”
Favourite Writers: Ernest Hemingway; John Updike; John McGahern; Sean O’Reilly.
Second Novel: “I’m 40,000 words in. I’m rereading early Jennifer Johnston to inform the plot.”
Top Writing Tip: “I write 30,000 words longhand before typing anything up. Physically writing with a pen onto a blank page is very satisfying. Then typing becomes a discreet second draft.”
The Debut: Beatsploitation. Liberties Press: Kindle:
Inspired by Kevin’s involvement with the deportation of a Nigerian student, this debut follows Rob; who hopes to leave teaching for his band. But The Terrors need a hit. And a troubled African student might hold the key. Events spiral. How far will Rob go for his ambition?
“My generation was brought up on the ideals of the Celtic Tiger. Like Rob, we were told we could do anything. In a sense we’ve all been deported from what we thought was our country.”
The Verdict: A powerful, original story showing how Ireland’s changing fortunes, and race politics affected a disillusioned generation.
© Sue Leonard. 2013.