BEGINNER’S PLUCK: Eithne Shortall

Eithne has always wanted to achieve things young. She was first published aged 11, receiving £20 for a poem. At 21, she joined The Sunday Times, but took a break after a year to live in Paris and write.

“I worked in a primary school, drank wine, and hung out with other people who wanted to write. But nobody was writing.”

She has worked as a Sunday Times Journalist since.

“I love my job. I love interviewing people, but there are other things I want to do too. I wanted to write a book, but I don’t have tunnel vision. I’d like to make a documentary, and I’ve an idea for a TV series too.”

Nearing 30, Eithne took three months unpaid leave, lived in London and wrote her debut.

“Cora’s flat is the flat I lived in. The flatmates are versions of the girls I lived with. I wrote in the library, and loads of people I saw there ended up in the book.”

The debut has sold to several countries and has been optioned for a TV series. Eithne has a two-book deal.

Who is Eithne Shortall?

Date/place of birth: January 1986, in Dublin.

Education: Corpus Christi; MaryField College, both in Drumcondra, Dublin City University; Journalism.

Home: Cabra, Dublin.

Family: Mum and Dad, and grandmother, who is my favourite person in the world, boyfriend, Colm.

The Day Job: Arts correspondent for The Sunday Times.

In Another Life: “I’d live in France, speaking French, but would like to take my friends and family with me.”

Favourite Writers: Samuel Beckett: John Banville; Marian Keyes; Donna Tartt.

Second Novel: “It’s about the end of love.”

Top Tip: “Get up early, before the fear sets in.”


Twitter: @eithneshortall

The Debut

Love in Row 27A; Corvus, €7.49/Kindle, €3.22.

Cora Hendricks loves match-making. A check-in girl for Aer Lingus, she chooses singletons to sit in Row 27, and a stewardess friend charts the results. But should Cora be concentrating on her own love life?

“I’ve always been a committed matchmaker. Once, on a flight back from Paris, I thought, imagine if you met the love of your life, and what if someone had put you there on purpose?”

The Verdict: Bubbly and fun, with a touch of class.


Don’t just bung this festive favourite in a boring pot and wait for it to wilt, says Hannah Stephenson.How to style your Christmas poinsettia

More From The Irish Examiner