Then, moving to Ireland, she became a scriptwriter for RTÉ. She started with, On Home Ground, then, following some commissions in the UK, she was a scriptwriter for The Clinic. When the series was cancelled, she adapted Little Women for the Gate Theatre. “And that’s when I decided to write a novel,” she says.
“I found that incredibly liberating. With fiction, unlike with scripts, you don’t get constant notes.”
Date/place of birth: Jul 7, 1965/London.
Education: St Bernard’s convent school in Slough; Oxford University, English; Syracuse University, New York, Film and TV studies.
Home: Killiney, Co Dublin
Family: Married to the writer, Joseph O’Connor. Two sons, James, 12 and Marcus 8. “I met Joe when I wanted to option his novel, Cowboys and Indians.”
The Day Job: Writer in various genres. “I’m working on my second novel, I’m doing another play for the Gate, and I’ll write another screenplay if the right one comes along.”
Interests: “I love listening to music. I adore horse riding, and walking the dog.”
Favourite Writers: “Aside from my husband — Melissa Bank; Anne Tyler: Somerset Maugham; Graham Greene and AS Byatt.”
Second Novel: “It’s set in New York and is about a woman who leans in so hard she falls over.”
Top Writing Tip: Write 1,000 words every day.
An Englishwoman in New York; €11.50; Kindle, €8.18
When Lucy arrives in New York with her young family, she’s resentful. They’re there because her husband, in losing his job, lost everything. She thinks, at first, her marriage is over, but when she meets Julia, Christy and Robyn at the school gates, the unlikely friendships make her see things anew. Life start to sparkle.
“It was inspired by the time I lived there with Joe and the kids. But the character of Lucy isn’t me.”
The Verdict: A delicious romp about women facing midlife choices.