Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Niamh Boyce - The Herbalist - Blog Tour Stop 4th July!!

I'm delighted to have Niamh Boyce, author of an utterly amazing debut novel, THE HERBALIST, visit the blog today. It has been receiving rave reviews, and deservedly so!!!

You can read my little old review of The Herbalist HERE

Having gone through the debut publishing experience myself, I was keen to find out from Niamh how the last twelve months has been for her, and what wise gems she might share.

So put on the kettle and settle back!!!

Can you give an overview of where you were at with your writing this time last year?

Thanks for having me over Louise! As for last year - one highlight was winning the Hennessy XO New Irish Writer of the Year for my poem Kitty. The other highlight, of course, was when my first novel, The Herbalist, became one of the winners of the Irish Writers Centre's Novel Fair competition. It was there that I met Ger Nichol from The Book Bureau and Patricia Deevy from Penguin, both of whom loved the book from day one. 

So the 'New Irish Writing Page' edited by Ciaran Carty and The Irish Writers Centre both played an important role in my writing life last year. It was a busy and happy time for me.

What is the most important thing you have learnt about your writing during the last twelve months?

What have I learnt about my writing? That's a hard one. I've suppose I've realised there was something very special about the fire and energy with which I wrote The Herbalist, and that each novel I write will bring its own energy, its own method. What works for one book doesn't necessarily work for the next. For instance I wrote The Herbalist by hand, early in the morning. I felt it was the only way to access the voices of the book. But I'm typing most of my current novel as I feel it suits the story, and the voices. For some scenes, however, I find myself switching back to pen and notebook again. I write by hand when I want to go deeper, when I feel a character resisting, when I want to know a secret! 

Rhythm is important to me too, and writing by hand can help access the rhythm of a book in a way typing doesn't. These notions that I have are true for me now, today, but of course by next month I may have changed my mind and be dictating the book by voice recognition... I'm very open to changing my mind, to being wrong. I think that's important for a writer.

What causes the greatest challenge/frustration with your writing?

The greatest challenge is getting the time to write. Like most writers I don't write full time - I have a day job, I have a family, so I am constantly finding ways to juggle them all. But then again there are worse things to juggle than something you absolutely love doing :-)


And if you want to read a book like no other out this year - Go pick up a copy!!!

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