Friday 20 April 2018

Lively discussion with author Donal Ryan

Donal Ryan made a welcome visit to Enniscorthy Library last Thursday evening. His engaging personality and superb communication skills made for a most pleasant literary evening.

He is the author of three number one bestselling novels and a short story collection. He read from a selection of these books: The Spinning Heart (2012); The Thing about December (2013); All We Shall Know (Sept 2016); A Slanting of the Sun: Short Stories (2015)

He has won three Irish Book Awards, the EU Prize for Literature and the Guardian First Book Award. His debut novel, The Spinning Heart, was shortlisted for the Impac Dublin Literary Award and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2013 and was recently voted Irish Book of the Decade.

In a lively question and answer session he touched on a number of points.

His inspiration comes from his own background where he grew up close to Nenagh and the ordinary and everyday characters and events he has encountered.

He discussed the challenges of writing, writers block and being rejected by publishers and the courage to keep on writing. Writing needs patience and perseverance. Bad reviews can be devastating and good reviews can be very supportive to an emerging writer.

Writing is a very private experience, then you go public on publication and if you are a best-selling author you have to cope with being a well known personality, dealing with the media and all that entails.

He also touched on the difficulty of earning a living from writing. He had to go back to his full time job as a public servant to make ends meet.

Writing is hard work but it is also so rewarding when it works out well.

His advice to any hopeful authors. Write and keep on writing. It takes time to master your craft.

Enniscorthy Guardian