Anne worked in Waterstones for 8 years, as a buyer of non-fiction.
“I loved it. I worked in Convent Garden, opened Dublin’s Jervis Street branch, and manged Dawson Street.”
Wanting a new challenge, she went back to college, then spent 5 years working with marginalised groups, travellers and young unaccompanied asylum groups, moving to Mayo, and then Mullingar.
“I loved the work but felt I would burn out, so I studied as an account technician and worked in financial management in the charity sector for 15 years.”
In 2013, Anne started writing.
“I wrote a 70,000-word novel to see if I could go the distance. Then I wrote a short story which was shortlisted for the Hennessy Award.”
Encouraged, she took an MA, and wrote her debut, which is at the commercial end of literary fiction. After some rejections, she found her agent, and sold the book at auction.
“It’s sold into the states, and has sold 7 foreign rights.”
Until recently, she’s been working part-time as a school bursar.
Who is Anne Griffin?
Date of birth: 9th January 1969 in Dublin.
Education: Rockford Manor, Blackrock; University College Dublin, History. University College Maynooth, Higher Diploma in Community and Youth Work; UCD; MA in Creative writing.
Family: Husband James, and son, Adam,13.
The Day Job: Just starting out as a fulltime writer.
In Another Life: “I’d be an actor.”
Favourite Writers: Jonathan Coe; Richard Russo; Mary Lawson; EM Reapy; Sarah Waters; Anne Tyler; Donal Ryan; William Trevor; Anne Enright.
Second Novel: “My second contracted, novel is about family relationships from the point of view of a young woman.”
Top Tip: Writing is rewriting. Listen to criticism. Play around with it. Be prepared to change things.
Website: www.annegriffinwriter.com Twitter: @annegriffin_
The Debut: When All is Said: Sceptre: €14.99 Kindle: €7.33.
Taking place over the course of one evening, this debut shows an old man, Maurice Hannigan, reminiscing on a rural life that he could have lived better. But will he carry out his plan for the night?
“I was in a bar in County Mayo, chatting to an elderly man. He said, ‘I’m not going to make the morning.’ That stayed with me.”
The Verdict: A superbly structured family novel from an exciting new voice.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 19th January.
© Sue Leonard. 2019