A voracious reader, Donal always thought of himself as a writer. Encouraged at school, he wrote stories and novels constantly, but never finished anything.
“I finished a rough draft of a novel in my twenties, but I didn’t follow through.”
In 2008 he was writing a novel which was going well. But he got stuck. And his wife insisted that he finish it. “She had a great affection for the character. I needed that push.!”
He submitted that book, along with The Spinning Heart, and the publishers accepted them both.
Who is Donal Ryan?
Date/place of birth: Feb 27, 1976 / Nenagh, Co Tipperary
Education: School in Nenagh. Limerick Institute of Technology — an unfinished Engineering degree, then law in University of Limerick
Home: Just outside Limerick City
Family: Wife, Anne Marie, Thomas 4, and Lucy, 2.
The Day Job: A labour Inspector for the Department of Enterprise.
Hobbies: I do a lot of running. I’m aiming for a half-marathon next year.
Favourite Writers: John Steinbeck, David Mitchell; Mike McCormack; Kevin Barry; John Boyne.
Second Novel: It’s set in 2001 when the economy was starting to inflate, and is set in the same village as A Spinning Heart. It’s coming out next year.
Top Writing Tip: Stick at it. Finish what you write. For years I failed to do that.
The Spinning Heart. Doubleday Ireland/Lilliput Press, €11.99; Kindle, €9.45
The inhabitants of a small Irish town are coming to terms with Ireland’s financial collapse. From the victims of failed property developers, to those living in ghost estates, tensions are running high. The stories, told by each character, link to give the reader a richly authentic tale.
“I didn’t set out to write a ‘recession’ book; I just wanted to tell the story of the kind of people I know. Some of the characters just wrote themselves.”
The Verdict: Hugely impressive. The most perceptive novel to have emerged from Ireland’s Recession.
Tipperary 0-20 Clare 4-15 A comprehensive win for All-Ireland champions Clare in this Allianz Hurling League round three game at chilly Semple Stadium yesterday, a far more decisive result than the final seven-point margin would suggest.
Ties between Fine Gael and its long-serving strategist, Frank Flannery, have been cut amid concerns that the controversy over his involvement with the Rehab Group threatened to damage Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his party.
In his first public comments about the 2012 Connecticut school massacre, the father of gunman Adam Lanza said what his son did couldn't "get any more evil" and he now wishes his son had never been born.
The youngest Briton to fight in the First World War was just 12 years old — but Sidney Lewis' identity remained a secret for almost a century until the chance discovery of faded documents revealed his extraordinary story.
In 2008 economist Nouriel Roubini earned widespread ridicule for claiming that the embryonic problems in the US subprime sector would mutate into an existential financial crisis that would cost the banking system over $1 trillion (€721bn).
One of the most senior doctors in the Department of Health has warned the Department of the Environment that people at risk of the controversial wind turbine syndrome should be treated "appropriately and sensitively as these symptoms can be debilitating".