At college, Alan studied animation, but he wrote short fiction, too.
Afterwards, he worked as a web designer for various design studios, before moving to Italy to teach English and write.
“I lived in Florence, Padua, and Bologna, then, after a short spell back in Dublin, I moved to London. I returned to Ireland in 2010. By then, I had completed two manuscripts for novels.”
This debut grew out of Alan’s time in London.
“I started re-engaging with Irish culture. I listened to old folk songs and read ancient tales. I formed a bond with Deirdre of the Sorrows, and decided to write it as a contemporary story. I was delighted when a small, independent publisher took it on.”
Who is Alan Walsh?
Date/place of birth: Apr 15, 1977/Dublin.
Education: Saint David’s secondary school in Greystones; IADT in Dun Laoghaire; design communications, specialising in animation.
Home: Ranelagh, Dublin.
Family: Fiancée, Kathy Baker.
The Day Job: I’m a web designer. I write late at night.
Interests: I draw a lot. I play tennis. I like design, too.
Favourite Writers: William Gaddis; Samuel Beckett; Mark Twain; John Fante; Kurt Vonnegut.
Second Novel: “I have two on the go. One is based on a myth, the other isn’t. I’m not sure which to run with.”
Top Writing Tip: “I like to spend a long time on the planning stage. Otherwise, I’ll have written ten chapters, then realise I’ve gone in completely the wrong direction.”
It’s the Stars Will be our Lamps. Creativia, €7.94; Kindle, €1.85
In this modern retelling of Deirdre of the Sorrows, Dee is a feisty, independent girl, who, determined to escape from her father’s clutches, runs away with two local lads. Meanwhile, Conall Donoghue sets off on a journey that threatens the town.
“People can enjoy the book, without being familiar with the myth, but I hope it stirs up interest in the original.”
The Verdict: A distinctive debut. Clever and fast-moving.
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