Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fiona Dillon

Beginner’s Pluck.
Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in the Irish Examiner on 28th December 2013

Beginner’s Pluck Fiona Dillon.

Fiona was a Dublin based workaholic, living in the corporate world, and, even after her move to the country in 1999 she devoted herself to business.
“I was working day and night,” says Fiona, “but when you have children, your priorities start to change.”

In 2007, deciding on a life change, Fiona decided to practise the good life; growing vegetables, keeping hens, and cooking. She started a food blog, and that led to some magazine and broadcasting work espousing the simple, sustainable life.
“My husband is hugely supportive,” she says. “He’s taken to beekeeping; he loves it!”

Who is Fiona Dillon?

Date of birth: 1st august 1965, in Offaly.

Education: St Raphael’s College in Co Galway. “I went straight into work after school. But in my forties, I went to IT Carlow, and studied PR and Media Studies.”

Home: County Carlow.

Family: Husband, Eamonn, children Joe, 22, Kate 19, Ellie 16, Ruth 10.

The Day Job: writer.

Interests: Ballroom dancing; Travelling,; baking.

Favourite Writers: Stieg Larsson. “And for food I admire Darina and Myrtle Allen enormously. They take things back to basics.”

Second Novel: There’s something in the pipeline.

Top Writing Tip: Stick to your deadlines. And make sure you’re not cold. It’s hard to write if you are freezing.

Web Twitter: @fionadolonhl

The Debut: Food from an Irish Garden. The Good Life at Hunter’s Lodge. Orpen Press: €17.95.

This delightful book tells of Fiona’s struggles to become self-sufficient, when she had no idea how to garden, cook, or farm. Without ever preaching, she tells of her experiences, and she gives tips on every aspect of her new life, from composting to keeping hens.

“It hadn’t occurred to me to write a book until someone approached me. It was hugely exciting. It’s the sort of book I would have loved to have had when I started out at Hunter’s Lodge. It explains the basics in a gentle way. I think that is what people want.

The Verdict: A comprehensive, user friendly guide to the good life.

© Sue Leonard. 2013

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