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Last Wednesday the talented poet, playwright, writer of novellas, and decent skin, Noel Duffy, tagged me in an on-line blogging chain called The Next Big Thing, a series of questions about writers’ next projects. The idea is to draw attention to writers and their blogs and to lead readers to writers they might not have come across before.

Thanks Noel for thinking of me – Check out Noel’s blog to read about his Next Big Thing, an intriguing new collection of philosophical poetry titled On Light & Carbon. He’s interesting on his development as a poet and the process of writing a poetry collection too.

My Next Big Thing:

I was thinking about blogging about my short story collection, but a publisher offered to read it recently and I’m a bit superstitious and don’t want to jinx it so I want to think about something new – a collection of flash fiction I’m working on.

What is the working title of your book?

Currently trying to decide between a line of dialogue from one of the stories or possibly one of the story titles: ‘The Creases in John McCormack’s Shoes’ or ‘Swedish People’s Homes’.

Where did the idea come from for the book?  

When I’m travelling around Dublin by train, bus and Luas, often the look of a fellow passenger, an overheard conversation or a small incident can be a trigger for a flash piece.

What genre does your book fall under?  

Literary fiction. With massive popular appeal!

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie  rendition?      

One of my characters is haunted by a Swedish ghost so if one of my favourite Bergman actors, Harriet Anderssoncould make a return she’d be great in the part.

harriet-andersson, listal.com

One of my male protagonists could be played by Javier Bardem. (Why not?)


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  

Each story is different so a synopsis doesn’t really apply.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  

I began writing flash roughly this time last year.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?   

My Mother Was an Upright Piano by Tania Hershman, Hard to Say by Ethel Rohan, Enough by Valerie O’Riordan.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?   

A combination of observation, imagination and osmosis – songs, music, books, films, paintings etc. I read a thought provoking  book by Rose Metal Press that further intrigued me ‘The Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction’.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  

Some of the stories have attracted the attention of writer judges e.g. ‘The Bridge’ won an award in The New Writer UK competition, ‘Swedish People’s Homes’ was shortlisted in Ink Tears UK Flash Competition. Some have been published e.g. ‘Robbed ‘, in the Irish Times & on UK National Flash Fiction Day websiteand others on ether books mobile app. Mel Ulm reviews a couple of them on his wonderful book blog, The Reading Life: ‘Great works of flash fiction’ – what more could you ask for?! (Thanks, Mel 🙂 )

When and how will it be published? 

I’ll put in my order to the Cosmos after Christmas. Will revert!

I’d like to tag three exciting and very different authors: Celeste Auge, Brian Kirk and Susan Condon, for The Next Big Thing (Weds, Jan 2). Look out for them!

Celeste Augé is an Irish-Canadian writer who has lived in Ireland since she was twelve years old. Her poetry has been short-listed for a Hennessy Literary Award and she won the 2011 Cuirt New Writing Prize for Fiction. Her most recent collection of poetry is The Essential Guide to Flight (Salmon Poetry, 2009), and her debut book of short fiction Fireproof and Other Stories was published by Doire Press in 2012. She lives in Connemara.

Susan Condon a native of Dublin, is currently editing her debut novel – a crime fiction thriller set in New York City. Recent awards include First Prize for her short story in the Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards, 2012 and Long Listed in the RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition, 2012. Publications include Original Writing from Ireland’s Own, Anthology, 2012; Five Stop Story, and South of the County: New Myths and Tales.

Brian Kirk is a poet, short story writer, playwright and novelist from Dublin, Ireland. He was shortlisted for Hennessy New Irish Writer Awards for fiction in 2008 and 2011, and won the inaugural Writing Spirit Award in 2009 with his story ‘Perpetuity’. He is currently seeking a publisher for his first novel Winter Journey and is finishing his second novel Inside Out. His work has appeared in the Sunday Tribune, Crannóg Magazine, The Stony Thursday Book, Revival, Abridged, The Burning Bush 2, Southword, Boyne Berries, Wordlegs, Can Can, Shotglass Journal, Bare Hands Poetry, The First Cut and in various anthologies. He blogs here.


Hard to Say, by Ethel Rohan

Enough, by Valerie O’Riordan

My Mother Was An Upright Piano, by Tania Hershmann