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.


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.


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