I write from necessity. If I’m not writing, I’m miserable. I’ve written lots of non-fiction over the years but I reached a turning point in 2009 when I was short listed for the Virginia [Woolf] prize for my novel, Bone and Blood, published in 2014. Now every day is a writing day wherever I am.
Donegal gives me space to find my own rhythm. I live on the Wild Atlantic Way, overlooking Donegal Bay with a view of Ben Bulben echoing Yeats or Sebastian Barry in one direction and Slieve League sea cliffs in the other. You can see the peninsula of St. John’s Point, where it is possible to spot dolphins and the occasional whale. That’s on a good day. On the days when the rain and mist come down you can barely see the sheep huddling into the stone ditch. BUT the unpolluted light, day and night, is always illuminating.
My novel, Bone and Blood, was inspired by a visit to Ravensbrück concentration camp near Berlin where I found out some Irish women had been imprisoned during the Second World War. Subsequent research has been built into the main character, Brigitte who moved from Leitrim to Berlin in 1937 at 19 years old. The novel is set in Berlin in 2005 when Aisling arrives from Dublin and unpicks her great-aunt Brigitte’s story as they wait for the funeral of Brigitte’s daughter. Their initial dutiful and distant relationship becomes something more and Aisling learns as much about herself as about the past.
Copies of Bone and Blood available from www.books.ie.
Contact Margo Gorman on firstname.lastname@example.org.