Monday, 15 September 2014

Unleashing the novel within - first try SALT

They say every Irish person has a novel, maybe a whole series of novels, within.  Not every person, thankfully, needs to get them out. For those who do, and who do it well, we are eternally grateful.  

Some of us write regardless of whether we are ‘any good’. It's like breathing.  We simply must.  But should we share those scribbles?  How do we discover if they are any good?  Could it be that there is an audience out there for mine? Should I try to publish?   And if so - how do I go about it?

There is a bewildering array of advice out there.  It seems, however, that the following is important:

Fellow scribbler Triona Walsh has ticked all of the boxes above. She is a performance poet, has published a range of short stories, and is almost finished a gripping novel.  It’s about a Taoiseach’s daughter who – well – I will resist telling you more just now - having become aware of a phenomenon called the spoiler.
I can tell you, however, about Triona’s most recent short story SALT which was shortlisted in the RTE Guide Penguin Short Story Competition 2014. Reading it provides the clues to its success. It has pace, pathos, grey itchy old man cardigans, chipped formica, barren land, sarcoptic mange mite, poignancy and humour.

It begins: The curtains were a poor defence against the morning. Julia wasn't ready. Tiredness wore her still. It would stalk her throughout the day. 


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