Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 21st December 2013
Beginner’s Pluck. Jennifer Barrett.
After university Jennifer worked in a bank. Then, deciding to get into the Arts, she worked for the National Concert Hall, and then the ARK. A spell at Clongowes Wood College followed, then she moved to the charity, Headstrong.
“I now work for the Christian Brother’s Mission on their projects in Africa.”
Jennifer has been writing for some years, taking various courses. Her debut was the runner up in the Poolbeg TV3 write a bestseller competition.
Who is Jennifer Barrett?
Date of birth: October 1971, in Croydon, Surrey; but lived in Wicklow from 1973, and then Stillorgan.
Education: Sion Hill Dominican College, Blackrock; UCD, B.A. in Economics and History; Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, Diploma in Business Studies; Boston College Irish Institute, Non-Profit Development
Family: Parents, John and Maureen; Sister Suzanne, brothers Paul and Chris; seven wonderful nieces and nephews.
The Day Job: Charity CEO
Interests: Whale watching, Travel, Photography, Singing, Hill walking, Scuba-diving, Cycling, Marine Conservation
Favourite Writers: Mitch Albom, John O’Donoghue, Paolo Coehlo, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jane Austen, Anne Enright, Emma Donoghue and lots of popular psychology and philosophy non-fiction
Second Novel: Set in London and Zambia, it explores two core themes – the concept of hindsight, and the many different ways there can be to live a life.
Top Writing Tip: Go to book festivals, and writers’ workshops. It can help to reignite a flagging spirit.
The Debut: Look into the Eye. Poolbeg: €9.99. Kindle: €5.84
Melanie McQuaid has a five-year plan. And it doesn’t include love or fun. Richard Blake seems set on self destruction. They have nothing in common, but there’s a spark between them. And then their lives are transformed. Each has an encounter with a whale.
“I came eye to eye with a killer whale, and it changed everything. Afterwards I travelled to Australia and South Africa, and volunteered in a whale conservation project. I’m now heavily involved in the Greenpeace anti-whaling campaign.”
The Verdict: An absorbing contemporary love story. Meaningful, and heartfelt.
© Sue Leonard. 2013