Write side with Susan Stairs
Susan Stairs on the attack that inspired her new novel, and her yearning since childhood to be an archaeologist.
What was the real-life event that inspired your novel One Good Reason?
On my daughter's 18th birthday, we hired a marquee and had a party in the garden. A gang came along and gate-crashed. They stole stuff, and attacked people with hurleys and sharp pieces of wood.
Where do you like to work?
I have an office in a spare bedroom, which looks out over landscape. I can see the sky. We have a café below us. So sometimes I take the laptop down and sit there. Sometimes I like being surrounded by people, but not having to engage with them.
Do you get to meet other Irish novelists?
Yes, I do. Irish writers tend to be very supportive of each other. Social media is very important, because you are not in a working environment and you are not getting to meet people every day. It is helpful to know that there are people a couple of clicks away.
Have you ever had writer's block?
I have never suffered from it to such an extent that I could not write day after day. Sometimes my brain has not caught up with where I am in the plot. I know what happens later on. So I leave that earlier part aside for a bit. Then, later, I can fill in the gaps.
Does a book stand out from your childhood?
I still have a copy of Alice of Wonderland that I have had since I was four. I read it time and time again as a child. Books were my life, and I was always going to the library.
Which book would you take to a desert island?
I hate when somebody asks me for my favourites. I like something that I can fall into, where I am almost living in the book. I loved The Secret History by Donna Tartt.
If you weren't a writer, what would you be?
I wanted to be an archaeologist as a kid, and I am still interested in that.