independent

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Author Eddie follows his heart and releases his second book

'HAUNTED BRAY' IS A CATALOGUE OF TALES PASSED DOWN THROUGH TIME

Bray author Eddie Tynan with his latest book 'Haunted Bray' which is being launched at Bray Library on Thursday, November 11.
Bray author Eddie Tynan with his latest book 'Haunted Bray' which is being launched at Bray Library on Thursday, November 11.

'WRITING IS a reflection of yourself,' mused Bray author Eddie Tynan whose second book 'Haunted Bray' will be launched next week in Bray library.

'Writing is an expression of your own soul to yourself, and always reflects the writer in the end. It's told me the type of person I am.'

Raised on the breadline in Bray, Eddie can't remember a time that he did not enjoy the craft of writing. His sisters tell him that he used to make up stories for them as a very young child, and he hasn't stopped since.

It wasn't until his wife Ann encouraged him to do what he was born to do that he really got serious about the business of writing. 'She was definitely the catalyst,' he said, remembering that his parents were none too keen on a profession that would not, in their eyes, earn a solid living.

'I suppressed it for a long time, this urge. My wife was the one who said "this thing keeps coming up, it's time to get your ass on the chair and do what you were meant to!"'

In Eddie's youth it did not 'do' to be different or stand out from the crowd. However, with a little encouragement from Ann, he broke the mould in that respect.

'I was brought up in poverty, left school at 13 and discovered books at the age of 16,' he recalled. 'I have no doubt in my mind that this is what I was born to do.'

Now a full time author, his first offering 'In the Shadow of Bray Head,' is still in demand and his current publishers History Press are considering a second run of the 2007 novel.

'In the Shadow of Bray Head' was a memoir - an account of growing up in Bray combined with stories collected from older people, including the author's father and as far back as when his grandparents came to the town in 1913.

'People stopped me in the street when that book came out,' said Eddie.' These were guys in pubs. It was so accessible to all sections of society.'

While it was the tale of a young working class boy in Ireland of the 1940s, in Bray's Wolfe Tone Square and with little or no schooling, it was by no means as bleak as 'Angela's Ashes,' but rather, as Eddie put it 'a kaleidoscope into the past.'

'I've been writing for the last 35 years really,' said the Oldcourt Avenue resident, who has worked on radio, and in theatre, in a career that has spanned more than three decades.

At first, being a butcher's porter by trade, the work went alongside his day job. Although later on he began to carve out a precarious living, Eddie didn't earn a fortune from the written word - nor did he want to.

'I've never gone out to write a blockbuster - that's not my forte,' he said with some humility. ' The work is important. I take pride in doing it and having it published. I've written on the labour, while working and not working. So financial gain, whether it comes or it doesn't, is irrelevant. I will write no matter what.'

He never succumbed to what he called the ' bulls**t' of theatre work.' It was so easy to buy in to it, but I never did. I remember being brought somewhere in a chauffeur driven limousine one time,' he said. 'I never even got paid for that play!'

A more simple life attracted the Wicklow boy, who would rather 'go home and wash the delf ' than be wined and dined at any soiree.

Dad to two grown daughters, Laura and Claire, he said that while neither of them has taken it up as a career, they both inherited his love for literature.

His latest offering, 'Haunted Bray' comes as third in a series of books on the paranormal in Belfast and Dublin respectively.

Eddie's editor and friend Richard Ryan knew that the Bray man had a catalogue of stories primed for the telling and asked him to compile a book.

Some of the 13 tales are loosely built around legend, some passed down by his own father, and others collected from people in the area.

'Some of them have been investigated by the highest authorities, including Herbert Thurston (renowned paranormal expert) and the Society for Psychical Research in London.'

One chilling encounter of the 1930s tells of the night Mr. and Mrs. Healy fled in fear from Rockbrae House in Bray after a residency of just 28 days, which was haunted by a poltergeist. Even though Mr. Healy had just landed a dream job of gardener at the estate with free rent, the young married couple were scared witless by the nightly noises in the cottage and took off in the night with whatever they could carry.

Tynan takes a deep look at the ghostly and paranormal world that lies beneath Bray in the remaining 12 stories.

'Some people were adamant that their names not be used,' he said. 'I don't know why. But ghost stories have been documented for a period of 1,000 years in every country in the world.'

It could never be an exact science, he said, it is too open ended. ' That these stories come from a thousand years of lies and deception is outside the scope of probability,' he said of his eerie subject matter, which he reported carefully and with gravity, rather than tongue-incheek.

' They are case stories rather than legend, and left open to engage the reader,' he explained.

Meanwhile, Eddie is a contented guy these days. He would encourage his own children to go wherever their hearts take them. 'If you want to be a road-sweeper, go ahead. Just be the best road-sweeper you can be!'

If he had his time over, it seems nothing would change. 'If I were to drop dead in front of you now - I know have fulfiled my destiny.'

'Haunted Bray' retails at €15 and will be launched at 6.45 p.m. in Bray Library on Thursday November 11.

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