Well, time is flying on, and the reality of publication is gathering speed. Respected names in the world of Irish writing have heard about my debut collection of short stories, The Accidental Wife , which will be published in a few weeks’ time, by Hidden River Arts in Philadelphia. To my delight and astonishment, some of the kindest acts of generosity are coming from writers I barely know.
Take Anthony J Quinn, author of the fabulous Celcius Daly detective series, set on the dark banks of Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland. I met him once, last year, for five minutes, at Kildare Readers Festival. We discovered we had attended St Patrick’s Academy in Dungannon at roughly the same time (an invisible, uncrossable line beside the music room separated the boys’ school from the girls’ school, so we never met. Welcome to Northern Ireland education, circa 1986!)
Anthony learned a few months ago that my first book was coming out. He contacted me, insisted on reading the manuscript, gave me a few tips, and then out of blue, wrote the following review and allowed me to use it on the back cover:
“…remarkably mature … lyrical and intelligent… an accomplished collection of stories resonating with universal truths on family bonds and misplaced loyalties.”
Stunned doesn’t begin to cover my reaction but I was to discover that this act of generosity isn’t unusual in the world of Irish books. I’ll tell you more over the next few weeks.