Beginners Pluck: Jennifer Burke

Jennifer has been writing for years.

After university, she travelled, but then studied law. But it wasn’t until she qualified as a solicitor that she wrote that novel. “I thought, ‘if I don’t do it now, I never will’.”

Completing it in 18 months, she sent the manuscript to the TV3 ‘write a bestseller’ competition, and won. Jennifer has also had two short stories published; one in the anthology, If I was a Child Again (Poolbeg Press).

Who is Jennifer Burke?

Date/place of birth: Jan 25, 1983/Dublin.

Education: Mount Anville: Trinity College Dublin; politics and philosophy. DIT Aungier Street; legal studies.

Home: Dublin.

Family: Parents, Nick and Denise, and my brother, Richard.

The Day Job: Solicitor.

Interests: I sing in the Lassus Scholars choir. I love travelling, and hiking up mountains. Recently, I took up tag rugby.

Favourite Writers: Alex Hailey; Emma Donoghue; George Orwell; Jodi Picoult; Jane Austen and JK Rowling.

Second Novel: I’ve just finished the first draft. It’s about the past being confronted. The backdrop is a seminary, nestled in the Italian hills.

Top Writing Tip: Join a writing group. They keep you motivated.

Web: www.jenniferburke.ie.

Twitter: @JenniferRyBurke.

The Debut

The Secret Son: Poolbeg Press, €8.99; Kindle, €5.60

When Seán Murtagh attends his father’s funeral, he learns he has been disinherited in favour of a half-brother he’s never heard of. When that half-brother, Andrew, moves to Wicklow to stake his claim, hostility breaks out. But Andrew needs something more from his new family: a kidney. “When I was studying wills and probate law, I was amazed how many cases there were of people falling out with their brothers and sisters over a will. Then I thought, suppose a will revealed a secret? The story developed from there.”

The Verdict: A heartfelt debut.


Lifestyle

Tis the season for sequins and excess, but minimalists can stick to their style guns in the season’s next level neutrals. From low-key glitz that’s perfect for party wear to the wardrobe heroes with trans-seasonal appeal, slide into neutral for maximum style with minimal effort. Carolyn Moore reports.Low-key glitz for minimalists with this season's neutrals

How to plump, hydrate and get rid of spots fast before your Christmas party.Getting your quick fix for the festive party season

Irish photographer Seamus Murphy brought music star PJ Harvey to Afghanistan to film part of their documentary, writes Esther McCarthy.Headlong into the war zone in new documentary

Kya deLongchamps shows us how to champion our environmentWinter greens: How to champion our environment this season

More From The Irish Examiner