RTÉ’s Sinéad Crowley: ‘My new book is very different to anything I’ve written before’
Liz Nugent, Sinéad Moriatry and Claudia Carroll among the top authors who turn out to show their support at book launch tonight in Dublin
RTÉ journalist Sinéad Crowley said the key to being able to juggle writing novels while also covering arts and entertainment for the national broadcaster is to “really love it”.
The writer launched her latest book The Belladonna Maze in Dubray Books on Dublin’s Grafton Street this evening, and she was joined in conversation with best-selling author Liz Nugent.
The suspenseful read has a dual timeline, telling the story of a spooky old house in the West of Ireland from famine times to the present day.
The author said it’s very different to her previous books, but there’s still a mystery element to it.
“It is essentially a ghost story, it’s about a spooky old house in the West of Ireland and very different to anything I’ve written before,” she told Independent.ie.
“It’s still a mystery and there is a missing person, so there’s a girl that went missing in the house, but it’s not like the books I wrote before which were police procedure where you had a guard and investigations.
“There’s a bit of romance in this too.”
The journalist, who has two children, said she managed to write it by writing either very late at night or early in the morning.
“I work in bursts of an hour, and I think when you are a journalist you get quite good at compartmentalising,” Ms Crowley said.
“The simple answer is you have to love it, you have to really want to do it, it’s not easy and that’s the honest truth.
“You have to really just want to do it, it’s that kind of compulsion it’s not easy.”
Also among those attending the launch this evening were best selling authors Claudia Carroll and Sinéad Moriarty.
Among those sending their congratulations was best selling author Marian Keyes, who wished Ms Crowley a “happy publication day”. She added on social media that the book looked gorgeous.
Liz Nugent said The Belladonna Maze is “Maeve Binchy-esque with ghosts and a bit of historical fiction.”
She added: “There’s a bit of everything in it. There’s something in the book that will appeal to people who like all genres, there’s something to please everyone.”
Meanwhile, the ‘Skin Deep’ author said she has just finished her fifth novel, but it’s not going to be out until 2023.
Ms Nugent said the pandemic unknowingly inspired her newest novel, as isolation is one of the main themes.
“You need to be in the world to write about the world, but I wasn’t in it,” the author said.
“But there are bits in my books where I write observations of human nature but there was none of that because I wasn’t observing it.
“It was only after writing it that I realised one of the central themes in the book is isolation.
“There’s a likeable protagonist [in this book] for the first time, at least I hope you like them! Which is a new thing for me because usually they are people you love to hate. Even though she does something horrific in the opening chapter you still learn to love her.”