“I was born in Manchester, England, and I’m of Irish descent. I have always loved reading; my first book was ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’. I started writing poems in my teens, then stories that grew and grew. My older brother encouraged me and would howl at some of my tales, especially one I wrote about a spider called Ma Pinky who needed an outfit for the faery queen’s ball. There was another about space beings who were balls of light that changed colour and came to rescue earthlings after a nuclear war. And many more – from faeries to life in a hotel, to donkeys. Yes, I have a vivid imagination! I was often told I’d lost my way and should’ve been a writer instead of a secretary but life goes on.
In 2005 I had been living in Eire for a couple of years when I read about two children caught up in the Irish Famine. It was a true story in a book of many others and all I could do was cry at the thought of their heartbreaking and devastating experience. I was haunted by the story and found myself telling a film producer friend in 2014 as we prepared to go to the Cannes Film Festival. She encouraged me to write a single page about it and take it with me. That’s how Mo Cuishle was born. I am currently writing the second draft of a screenplay for the book and have had interest from a producer I met in Cannes in 2016. The pandemic got in the way, however, I’m back in the saddle now with creating the script.
Around 2014, I heard about the ghosts of the tsunami in Japan. There was an actual news report on Japanese TV about it that I found online. This fired up my imagination as to what it would be like to be a ghost surviving the deluge and how people in Japan coped with the loss of their loved ones. Perhaps a husband or wife had just gone out that day to buy a newspaper and never came home. That’s how I began writing The Ghosts of the Tsunami and I’m writing the book and the script concurrently. I very much enjoy the research side of writing and strongly concur that fact is stranger than fiction by far!
Some books on my love list are The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, any book by Louise Erdrich and too many others to name here; currently, I’m reading Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.”