Beginner’s Pluck

Caroline Grace-Cassidy

Caroline always wanted to be a journalist. She did a course, but when she got work experience in RTÉ, she became a TV presenter for a while.

“Then I trained to be an actor.” Caroline acted for 10 years, in film and on TV; but during that time she wrote short stories and films.

Last year, finding herself without work, and pregnant, she sat down to write a novel. She entered it for a competition; was a runner up, and was offered a three-book contract.

Caroline Grace-Cassidy

Date of birth: December 25, 1976.

Education: Ballyfermot College; broadcasting and journalism. Gaiety School of Acting. A top up year in Inchicore.

Home: Dublin.

Family: Husband Kevin. Children, Grace four, and Maggie five months.

The Day Job: Writing and auditioning. “I have a part in a film this summer, called Bere Island.”

Hobbies: Going to the theatre. “I see everything I can. My favourite theatre is the Project.”

Favourite Writers: “I love Ciara Geraghty. Marian Keyes is an influence too. And I’ll read any autobiography.

Second Novel: “It’s very different. It’s set in a boutique hotel in the recession. Both women are forced back in the workplace when their husbands lose their jobs. It’s how they cope with the role reversal.”

Top Writing Tip: Discipline. “I can only write when the house is empty. I’ll write from 10am until 4pm.”

Web: Carolinegracecassidy.com

Twitter: @cgracecassidy

THE DEBUT

When Love Takes Over. Poolbeg, €13.99; Kindle, not yet available.

A successful estate agent, Mia Doyle has her independence, but her friendships and her love life prove more complicated that her work. Then that, too, takes a turn for the worse. There’s an underlying theme about the pressures on women to wear spanx and have cosmetic surgery.

“I wanted to write about a real girl. I have a lot of friends in their late thirties who think, if I was thin, and if I had a boyfriend life would be better.”

The Verdict: A fresh and funny debut that tells it like it is.

Interviewed by Sue Leonard


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