BEGINNER’S PLUCK: John Butler

JOHN BUTLER’S main work has been in film and TV. In 2006 he moved to Los Angeles, and started writing a blog.

That led to a column in the Irish Times, lasting for two years. Meanwhile John secured an agent, and a publisher. He wrote a memoir about his time, in the ’90s in San Francisco, and was advised to turn this into a novel.

“The character is not me, and 90% of what happens to him is not my story, but it’s definitely my view of the city, and a lot is drawn from my memory. Once I was given permission to lie, to push my characters in different directions and see what happened, the writing flowed.”

Date of birth: 4th July 1972. Place: Dublin.

Education: Blackrock College then UCD. Degree in English Greek and Roman; MA in Film Studies.

Home: London, NW18.

Family: Parents, two sisters and a brother.

The Day Job: Full-time writer of novels, short stories and film scripts.

Hobbies: Football and film.

Favourite Writers: Richard Yates, John Updike, Sam Lypsyte and Jonathan Dee.

Second Novel: “It’s going to be different, but definitely funny. I’m also writing a film script.”

Top Writing Tip: Turn off the internet.

Web: www.johnnybutler.co.uk Twitter: @oneofmanyjbs

The Debut

The Tenderloin by John Butler. Picador. €13.99. Kindle €8.74.

Evan and Milo, innocents from Dublin arrive in San Francisco in the mid 1990’s, when the city is on the cusp of a revolution. The internet is booming, and the rave scene is in full flow. “It’s a comic coming-of-age story. In the course of a year Evan tries to figure out who he is as everything changes.”

The Verdict

Bold and feisty. A modern version of JP Donleavy’s The Ginger Man.

— Sue Leonard



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