I am really glad you’ve accepted my interview. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
Can you tell us a bit more about how you became a writer?
My late Father was an English teacher and, growing up, our house was full of books. I developed a love of books, early, and for years I wondered if I could ever write the type of thriller I liked-international, fast-moving, high-concept etc.
The first book I wrote was an autobiographical, business book called „Small Steps“ which was a bestseller in Ireland.
I wrote the first part of „Resistent“ in the year 2000! But when 9-11 happened, I reckoned the timing was wrong for a book about another attack on New York, so I switched to „Small Steps“.
I really only focused on „Resistent“ about four years ago and eventually finished the first draft. Alongside that, I also write a weekly opinion column for The Irish Independent newspaper-so I’m always busy writing!
Was it difficult for the first book to find a publisher?
Yes, it was difficult to find a publisher for my first thriller-I have many rejections from agents and publishers around the world!
The earlier rejections were correct-the book wasn’t good enough. It was only after I attended serious thriller writing workshops, and got the book edited, that I got it to a new, higher, commercial level. Suddenly, lots of publishers wanted it!
Could you describe literature in three words?
Literature for me is Inspiring, entertaining and essential.
Is there a book you would never read? Why?
It has really become clear to me, how people’s tastes in books differ so much. Looking at the top ten bestsellers, any time, there are probably half of them that I would never read-it’s all a question of what types of books you like. That said, you can become tired of reading in a specific genre all the time, so I do experiment-for example by reading some classics and older books.
What’s your favorite book?
My favourite book is „Three Men in a Boat“ by Jerome K Jerome-I read it almost every year, and it always makes me laugh.
My favourite quotation is from the cover of „Small Steps“-Everything is Possible.
EBooks or paper print?
I far prefer a printed/hard-copy book. We’re running out of room in the house!
That said, I use a kindle to buy books that I use for research purposes-where I know I may only need part of the book, and probably will never read it again.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by trying to reach my full potential in all aspects of my life. Life goes by very quickly, and I am convinced that many of us really appreciate and exploit all the potential and brilliance we have. WEe can influence our lives, more than we think.
In writing, the inspiration for „Resistent“ was my own experiences in fighting infections that have become resistant to antibiotics, after losing my legs in an accident. Antibiotic resistance is actually a bigger threat to the world than climate change.
Imagine you were given the opportunity to meet a book character in real life. Who would that be?
Leopold Bloom. Hopefully he could make it easier to understand his famous day out in Dublin, than James Joyce did in Ulysses! Twice, I have abandoned reading it. My bad!
What’s your worst nightmare?
My worst nightmare would be if any of my family were affected by serious illness.
The best decision of your life was?
In the context of writing, I made a big decision ten years ago to retire from my 28 career in real-estate and to become a motivational speaker and writer. It was risky, but has worked-out well so far.
I can’t wait to read your next book. Are you currently working on a project? Is there any release date to reveal?
I have just finished the follow-up to „Resistent.“ It’s called „No Defence“ and should be published in 2020. I’ve also started a very different book-a quirky crime thriller set in London-and the danger is spreading myself too thinly between the two. Out of interest, „Resistent“ is published as „The Manhattan Project“ in most parts of the world, but in Germany, the publisher Rowohlt Verlag decided to re-name it „Resistent.“ They also designed a cool new cover.