Alan McMonagleMy agent said, ‘Not only do they want your first book, they want your second book’. I can’t remember what he said after that. I was on the ground.”

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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If you’re looking to join Ireland’s long list of noted writers, having Patrick McCabe as your primary school teacher is not a bad place to start. For Galway-based author Alan McMonagle, that’s exactly how his love of writing was nurtured. As he told Ryan Tubridy this morning, “One of my abiding memories is not spending so much time on Mathematics …

Gordon Snell remembers Maeve Binchy‘I’m very proud that all the books are dedicated to me and indeed mine to her’

As heard on The Marian Finucane Show

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It’s the stuff of dreams – Costa Del Sol, the waves gently lapping against the shore, shades and cream on, wifi off and a Maeve Binchy novel in your hands.  If that’s your idea of ultimate relaxation, you’re not alone.  The queen of Irish popular fiction sold over 40 million books in her lifetime, appeared on Oprah, had lunch with …

Winnie Li on surviving rape‘It was like, is this actually happening to me? You end up doing whatever you can to survive.’

As heard on Today with Sean O'Rourke

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“Nobody is born a rapist,” said Winnie Li. “Everybody is innocent when they are born.” These are remarkable words, from somebody who has herself been the victim of an extremely violent act of rape. And for Winnie Li, understanding what motivated her attacker to become a violent rapist at the young age of 15 became a driving force in life. …

Sally Rooney‘Salinger for the Snapchat generation.’

As heard on arena

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It’s what all first-time novelists dream of: a bidding war between publishers for your début novel. Sally Rooney, from Castlebar in Co Mayo, didn’t have to dream the dream because she lived the dream. Her book, Conversations with Friends, tells the story of two students, Frances and Bobbi, whose lives intertwine with those of a married couple, Melissa and Nick. …

Cold Feet Novel ‘They came up with the idea of writing a stand-alone novel to bridge the gap between 2003 and 2016’

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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If you’re a fan of Cold Feet, chances are you’ll have wondered what the characters were up to between 2003 and their return to our screens in 2016. While the series reboot alluded to the lost years, it was largely left up to the viewer’s imagination. Well, you’ll soon know. Irish author Carmel Harrington has been commissioned by the creator …

Shane Connaughton’s Married Quarters‘It’s fiction, but it’s more friction that anything else.’

As heard on arena

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Set on the Cavan-Fermanagh border in the late 1950s, Married Quarters tells the stories of a group of individual gardaí stationed in a fictional town – Butler’s Hill – as seen through the eyes of Danny, the son of the local sergeant. The book is the latest novel from acclaimed writer Shane Connaughton, the Oscar-nominated co-author of the film My …

Dr Henry Marsh ‘Brain surgery is bomb disposal work for cowards’

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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Not many of us like to talk about death. Fewer still will actually prepare for it in any meaningful way. Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh has taken the unusual steps of preparing for his own with a home “suicide kit”, complete with a few lethal drugs he has acquired over the years. As Dr Marsh told Ryan Tubridy on Tuesday, a lifetime …

Living with Anxiety‘It felt like, what’s wrong with me? I have everything going for me so why can’t I just get it together?’

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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When Caroline Foran started suffering from stomach problems a few years ago, she blamed it on everything from having a “dicky tummy” to the tap water in her new home. What she didn’t realise was that her physical health was suffering because of anxiety and her body was sending her early warning signs. “It was trying to tell me you …