Beginner’s Pluck - Maeve Higgins

Even when she became a comedienne, Maeve Higgins didn’t write.

“I’d work things out live on stage, and then transcribe it,” she says. “That’s how I do my TV shows.”

Two years ago, when she started writing for newspapers, she found it tough. “The 800 words would take me three long days. With stand-up words disappear into the air; you have to own your writing. I’d wonder, ‘Do I really think this?’

The book took shape when Higgins realised she could ape David Sedaris, and write short comic pieces.

“I wrote a 10,000 word sample last Christmas, and my agent found a publisher.”

Then months of procrastination set in. Her deadline was extended, and, finally, she shut herself away and wrote for three months. “I saw nobody. But I was happy. I miss writing now.”

Who is Maeve Higgins?

Date of birth: Mar 24, 1981.

Education: St Aloysius College, Carrigtwohill. Coláiste Dhúlaigh in Coolock — Photography.

Home: Dublin.

Family: I’ve got a big, close family.

The Day Job: Comedienne.

Hobbies: I read a lot. Listening to radio documentaries. This American Life is my favourite.

Favourite Writers: James Thurber; Kurt Vonnegut; Anne Enright; Kevin Barry.

Second Novel: I’m thinking of writing a screenplay.

Top Writing Tip: The motivation is in doing it. There’s no magic trick. I went for 1,000 words a day, and wouldn’t let myself stand up until I had done 500. And going to the gym and eating well helped my brain to focus.

Web: www.maevehiggins.com

Twitter: @maevehiggins

THE DEBUT

We Have a Good Time ... Don’t We? Hachette Books Ireland, €14.99; Kindle, €11.38

Whatever Higgins writes about, from family and flat-sharing, to hen nights and Michael Fassbender, she celebrates the absurdity of life.

The Verdict: Higgins has stamped her own style onto this genre. These personal essays are both sharp and funny.

— Interviewed by Sue Leonard

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

Book review: The Longevity Book

Book review: Lost In Transition - Ireland, Small Open Economies and European Integration

Book review: The Path - A New Way To Think About Everything

Book review: Lab Girl — a story of trees, science and love


You might also like

Breaking Stories

'God above is in charge of the weather and we can't do anything about it'

No winner of Lotto jackpot

Gardaí look for help to find missing girl Chloe Elderfield

Government takes in €475m more than expected in year's first quarter

Lifestyle

Love, tears and laughter is the story of Rita Coolidge's life

Women are in the focus on film

A question of taste with Cian Ó Cíobháin

It's not all over at 40 - somethings are just beginning

More From The Irish Examiner