Tuesday 29 June 2010

Garbhan Downey

This interview first appeared on CSNI 28th April 2008

Garbhán Downey has worked as a journalist, broadcaster, newspaper editor and literary editor. He lives in Derry with his wife Una, and children Fiachra and Bronagh. His fourth novel, the comedy-thriller Yours Confidentially: Letters of a would-be MP, has just been published by Guildhall Press.

Q1. What are you writing at the minute?

Lots - a historical biography, two novels (at advanced draft stage), two plays about smuggling, and I’ve just been asked to edit a troubles-related book.

Q2. Can you give us an idea of Garbhán Downey’s typical up-to-the-armpits-in-ideas-and-time writing day?

Every weekday, I try to spend between nine and six in the study – and while it doesn’t always work out that way, I’m pretty disciplined. When I was in full-time journalism, I worked long weeks and late hours that kept me away from my wife and young children. Happily, I copped myself on and remembered that no-one ever looked back on their deathbed and wished they’d spent more time in the office.

Q3. What do you do when you’re not writing?

Ferry youngsters to soccer, Gaelic, swimming and Irish dancing. Sky Sports also features occasionally, though less and less since the weans learned how to use the remote control.

Q4. Any advice for a greenhorn trying to break into the crime fiction scene?

Stick at it and the breaks will come. Oh – and be lucky!

Q5. Which crime writer(s) have impressed you this year?

Chris Brookmyre, Carl Hiassen, Colin Bateman and Brian McGilloway.

Q6. What are you reading right now?

Nell McCafferty’s autobiography, Penance for Jerry Kennedy by Boston crime great George Higgins, Deterring Democracy by Noam Chomsky, and The Cat in the Hat (nightly) by Dr Seuss.

Q7. Plans for the future?

Carry on chopping wood and carrying water.

Q8. With regards to your writing career to date, would you do anything differently?

No. Of course, I’ve made mistakes - you have to. But the great part is learning from them - that way you never get the same slap in the mouth twice.

For more information on Downey’s books, visit http://www.garbhandowney.com/

Thank you, Garbhán Downey!

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