Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in the Irish Examiner on 14th September
Beginner’s Pluck Michèle Forbes.
Acting was Michèle’s first love. Her grandfather managed two theatres in Belfast, and her parents were involved with amateur dramatics. Whilst at university, Michèle joined the Brendan Smith Academy where she met her husband. She had a hugely successful career, working with the Abbey Theatre.
“I worked a lot with Patrick Mason. We took Dancing at Lughnasa on tour in Australia.”
Michèle turned to writing after the birth of her children. She is an award winning short-story writer. Ghost Moth took three years to complete.
Who is Michèle Forbes?
Date of birth: 1960 in Belfast
Education: Sacred Heart in Hollywood; Trinity College Dublin, English and psychology.
Home: Killiney, County Dublin.
Family: Husband, the actor Owen Roe. Megan 19, and Ethan 15.
The Day Job: Writer and Actor.
Interests: Gardening; cooking and walking.
Favourite Writers: Alice Munroe; Edith Pearlman; Colm Tóibín; Anne Enright; Jhumpa Lahiri; Marilynne Robinson
Second Novel: “I’ve co-written a play Postscript, opening in the Dublin Fringe. I’ve started a second novel, and have found characters I can work with.”
Top Writing Tip: To relax with the pen. “I tend to overwrite and pack it all in. It’s better when I pull back a bit.”
Web: www.micheleforbesauthor.com Twitter: @mforbesauthor
The Debut: Ghost moth. Weidenfeld & Nicolson:€14.99 Kindle:€7.69.
It’s 1949 Belfast, and Katherine becomes involved with two young men. There’s steady George, her fiancé, and the romantic, probably unreliable, Tom. Twenty years later, these events come back to haunt Katherine. A mother of four on the cusp of the troubles, will her marriage to George survive?
“I left Belfast in 1978; a dark time, and I wanted to reconnect with the city. I had lived on the edges, witnessing the troubles but escaping the worst of it. It made me quiet, and unwilling to proclaim my identity. I was interested in Katherine too. What was it like to give up you career on marriage? How could you retain your identity?”
The Verdict: A quite beautifully written debut. Confident and lyrical. Michele Forbes is a name to watch.
© Sue Leonard. 2013.