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Welcome to the DBF Lounge!

Sit down and relax in the DBF Lounge- where we at the towers have a chat with some of this year’s authors. We find out everything from who influenced them most to what they would most like to steal from another author if they could!

DBF Interviews: Danielle McLaughlin

by Admin on November 8, 2015

Danielle McLaughlin PhotoAuthor Danielle McLaughlin talks to us about short stories, the importance of literary journals for reaching readers, and her debut collection, Dinosaurs On Other Planets (The Stinging Fly). Danielle will be taking part in RTÉ Radio 1’s Arena Live Show.

 

Q: Your debut collection of short stories, Dinosaurs On Other Planets (The Stinging Fly), was published earlier this year. How long have you been working on the stories within it? Was it your aim for them to form a collection?

The earliest of the stories is ‘All About Alice’. That was written back in 2011. Most of the collection is comprised of more recent work. When I began writing, I wasn’t writing with a book in mind, I was just writing stories and sending them out. Even when I did begin working towards a collection, I wasn’t writing to a particular theme, although looking back over the stories I can see certain preoccupations emerging.

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DBF Interviews: Donal Ryan

by Admin on November 3, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 21.12.15Author Donal Ryan tells us about his experiences in moving between novels and short stories. Donal will be one of several panellists at our Writing Long & Short event.

 

Q: After the huge success of your first two novels, The Spinning Heart and The Thing About December (The Lilliput Press), you return with your first collection of short stories, A Slanting of the Sun (The Lilliput Press): what were the factors that prompted this change of form?

I had written some short stories as a break from the slog of editing the novels. They were just there, waiting for something to be done with them, so I decided to use them as a basis for a collection. Doubleday had offered me a new three-book deal and the only tangible thing I had was some stories and two very sketchily outlined novels. My first two novels are short and intense anyway, so it wasn’t a huge departure. When I read Stephen King’s brilliant On Writing years ago I was struck by his assertion that ‘once you get to the 60,000 word mark in a short story you’re heading into novella territory’. That’s a fine size of a full-length novel for me! Anyway, who’s to say what’s what, really? None of these ideas and delineations and divisions matter, a story is a story no matter how long you take to tell it. You have to just make it worth hearing.  

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DBF Interviews: Turtle Bunbury

by Admin on November 3, 2015

Turtle BunburyWe talked to historian and author Turtle Bunbury about some of the remarkable personalities behind the 1916 Rising. Turtle will be one of the panellists for The People of the 1916 Rising event.

 

Q: Your new book, Easter Dawn: The 1916 Rising (Mercier Press), examines many of the extraordinary characters who played some part in the Rising. Did any of the stories surprise you in any way? Were there people who we should know more about but have been lost to history somewhat?

I think the part that most surprised me was how creative the prime players on the Irish side were, as in nearly all of them had a penchant for poetry, music, acting or the arts. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised; revolutions are often spear-headed by intellects, but I think that aspect of the Rising nonetheless made a strong impression. As for neglected players, I reckon most people have received due credit one way or another by now although I think there should be more made of the surgeons and nurses from Sir Thomas Myles and John Lumsden to Ella Webb, John Francis Holman and the people on the ground.

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DBF Interviews: Pamela Newenham

by Admin on November 3, 2015

Pamela NewenhamPamela Newenham, award-winning business journalist with The Irish Times and editor of Silicon Docks: The Rise of Dublin as a Global Tech Hub (Liberties Press), talks to us ahead of her appearance at The Business Clinic.

 

Q: As an award-winning business journalist with The Irish Times and editor of Silicon Docks: The Rise of Dublin as a Global Tech Hub (Liberties Press) you are very much at the forefront of the current state of Irish Business – what’s your assessment of where the industry is right now?

Ireland has come a long way in terms of business, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship and technology.

It’s good to see so many technology and born-on-the internet companies in Ireland, such as Google, Facebook, Intel, LinkedIn, PayPal and Microsoft. They employ vast numbers here too.

There are thousands of start-ups in Ireland, especially in Dublin, which is great. However, many people think Dublin is a major start-up hub globally, and that Ireland is leading the way when it comes to start-ups. Dublin didn’t make it into this year’s Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking, a list of the best cities for start-ups.

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DBF Interviews: Dave Kenny

by Admin on November 1, 2015

Dave Kenny 2013We asked Dave Kenny, editor of The Press Gang, about why he wanted to share the stories from “newspapers’ gilded age”.

 

Q: When did the idea for The Press Gang (New Island) first come about? Tell us a little bit about why you wanted to share the various stories.

Well, it’s the 20th anniversary of the paper’s closure and I wanted to mark it. I was one of the people who occupied the building for five days in May 1995.
My original intention was to do a documentary, but after mulling it over I realised that you couldn’t tell the story of the golden age of newspapers in 55 minutes.

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DBF Interviews: Nessa O’Mahony

by Admin on November 1, 2015

nessa o'mahonyAhead of her appearance at The Inspiration of Life, Love and Loss event, poet Nessa O’Mahony tells us what inspires her to write.

 

Q: Writers and poets are fuelled by their lives, loves and losses. How difficult is it to address the issues that are closest to us and turn them into something for public scrutiny? How important is it to get a balance between the personal and the universal?

The need to respond to love and loss is a common characteristic of writers, to be sure. We write for all sorts of reasons, some personal, some aesthetic, some political, but as human beings we all experience moments in our lives of great joy and great despair and, as writers, we learn that the act of translating those experiences into words with shape, pattern and imagery can provide distance and objectivity that helps us get through the worst of it.

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DBF Interviews: Paula McGrath

by Admin on November 1, 2015

Paula McgrathWe talked to Paula McGrath about her journey towards becoming a published author. Paula will take part in our Mastering the Deal: Life after the Creative Writing MA event.

 

Q: Earlier this year you published your debut novel, Generation, with John Murray Originals: can you give us a brief overview of your journey to becoming a published author?

I wrote for years in fits and starts while doing other things with my life. It took me a long time to get serious, and when I did I took classes and studied books on the craft. And I read: I read the kinds of books I wanted to write, paying attention to how they did what they did; I read my contemporaries; and I read as an act of support for ‘the literary project’ I hoped to participate in. The many lessons learned along the way are instantiated in Generation, and, thanks to my agent, Ger Nichol, it fell onto the right desk at the right time.

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DBF Interviews: Darren Kelly

by Admin on November 1, 2015

1916 Walking Tour – The Battles of the Easter Rising with Darren Kelly and Derek Molyneux. Here, Darren tells us what people can expect.

 

Q: When the Clock Struck in 1916 – Close-Quarter Combat in the Easter Rising, the book co-authored by yourself and Derek Molyneux, is the background upon which you base the walking tour you’ll be giving at #DBF2015, but did you always have it in mind to bring to life for people the events of the Rising?

There had been an idea to do walking tours which began when a lot of interest was shown in our Facebook page ‘Dublin 1916 then & now’. But this was put on hold when we decided to write ‘When the Clock Stuck in 1916’. We now have had a great opportunity to work and are still working with Marcus Howard of Easter Rising Stories producing video documentary’s for the different areas where fighting occurred during the rising. Also I think there are already some great tours out there, Lorcan Collins and the 1916 Rebellion walking tour to name but one. We have started work on the second book and are doing various other pieces about the rising outside of Dublin. But saying that it is not out of the question for walking tours in the future.

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DBF Interviews: Sarah Davis-Goff (Tramp Press)

by Admin on October 30, 2015

DBF-Events-100x150-8Ahead of the launch of the second title in their Recovered Voices series, we talked to Sarah Davis-Goff from Tramp Press about how the series came about.

 

Q: The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle is the second title in Tramp Press’ Recovered Voices series. Can you give us a brief description of how the series came about and what it aims to achieve?

The Recovered Voices series is a bit like a Search & Rescue mission for literature. We spend all year looking for and reading wonderful works that people haven’t heard of to bring fresh to readers. It’s really fun, actually: lots of people email us to suggest titles that they’d love to see back in print, and it’s like a treasure hunt.

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DBF Interviews: Kate Dempsey

by Admin on October 29, 2015

Kate DempseyHennessy shortlistFebruary 2006Pic: Mark CondrenKate Dempsey tells us all about her debut poetry collection, The Space Between (Doire Press), and being one of the Poetry Divas. Kate will appear as part of our RTÉ Radio 1 Arena Live Show.

 

Q: How long have you been writing and was it always poetry towards which you were drawn?

I started writing as a New Year’s resolution for 1999 and haven’t stopped. After struggling on my own for a while with stories, I joined an evening class in Lucan where the writer Stuart Lane, led us, not always gently, into the unchartered territory of character creation, plays and poetry.

So I have had some fiction and non-fiction published and broadcast on RTE Radio. I also had a short play performed by Red Kettle theatre at the Waterford Royal Theatre. A couple of years ago I had a piece of satire included in the “New Planet Cabaret” Anthology that started on RTE Arena but in the last few years, 95% of my writing has been poetry.

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