was born in Nigeria to Irish
missionary parents. She now lives in Galway, Ireland. Published works
include Somewhere in Minnesota (2011), Red Riding Hood's
Dilemma, a poetry collection (2010), Belios, a novel
(2005), and Revenge, an anthology of poetry and short fiction
with Òrfhlaith Foyle
How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?
Òrfhlaith Foyle: Well, I wrote a few of
them a few years ago and they were published in Revenge (Arlen
House), an anthology of my poetry and short fiction. The rest I wrote
within the past year and a half.
have a collection in mind when you were writing them?
No, not really. I just
wanted to write them. Then Alan Hayes from Arlen House asked me if by
any chance I had some stories. It was just an ordinary conversation
and by the end of it, I had a collection to finish!
you choose which stories to include and in what order?
I didn't have to choose really. They more or less all have similar
questions and feelings in their stories. I was slightly perturbed as to
how violent and dark they are....but the characters also long for
love...and they were the only stories I could write. As to why – well,
I suppose I have answered that one in the previous sentence but I
remember having a conversation with a man who admired my work. I joked
and said that my mother would like me to write more like Jane Austen
and he said, "Ah well – don't worry...there's still time." I'm not Jane
does the word "story"
mean to you?
It means a way of
making sense of things or at least finding some way to understand how
the world works and how people make the choices they make in order to
live their lives. That's why I read stories growing up. Reading a
story is never an escape from life. It just brings you in further.
Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?
No, I just have the
story in mind...the character that is telling the story, and if I am
not "seeing" that character or in some way experiencing his/her life
through the story....then the story doesn't work for me.
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection, anything at all?
OF: Would you prefer Jane
Austen? Joke, sorry. I gave a reading recently to very few people
and one of them told me "I hate your story" – The Secret Life of
Madame Defarge - . I didn't ask her why. People aren't afraid to tell
you if they hate or love your work. It's harder for me to ask so I
never do....but if I had to, absolutely had to...I'd ask "What do you
feel after you read a story of mine?"
TSR: How does
it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
OF: SSometimes surprised but
What are you working on now?
A couple of stories and
the three most recent short story collections you've read?
I'm actually still
reading them. Essential Stories, V.S.Pritchett.
A Good Man Is Hard To Find, Flannery O'
This Isn't The
Sort of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You,