Breda has always had a good imagination, and she’s been writing for most of her life.
“I’ve been tinkering with poems, plays and short stories. And I tried my hand at two novels which are now upstairs in storage.”
After college she taught in Blarney, county Cork for two years, before diverting to journalism.
“I freelanced for a while in Kerry and Macroom and worked for the Corkman paper before joining the Kerryman. I’ve covered everything from Puck Fair to conferences with European ministers.”
In 1988 Breda went travelling – ending in Melbourne where she worked for The Leader, and on a banana farm in North Queensland.
“I came home in 2010. I worked with the Kerryman and took my MA in Creative writing. By that time, I had written some short stories; one made the final of the Francis McManus Award in 2011. I took that story and based my debut novel on it.”
Who is Breda Joy.
Date of birth: 1959 in Killarney
Education: St Brigid’s Secondary school in Killarney. Mater Dei College, theology and English. Dublin City University, Graduate Diploma in Journalism; Trinity College Dublin, MA in Creative Writing.
Family: A son, Brendan, 26.
The Day Job: “I work part time for the West Kerry Eye Newspaper.”
In Another Life: “I’d love to have been a gardener.”
Favourite Writers: John Steinbeck; Joyce Carol Oates; Alice Munro; Russell Banks; Frank O’Connor.
Second Novel: “I’ve a good bit done on it.”
Top Tip: “Find a space to write, like your local library, which is free from distractions. And join a small writer’s group.”
The Debut: Eat the Moon. Poolbeg: €14.99 Kindle: €4.46.
It’s the summer of the Apollo moon landings, and life on a rural Cork farm seems set to change. Kieran, a young hurling star is restless, and his sister, Sally, resents the appearance of their young cousin, Tamara. She’s arrived from London but is mute following a traumatic incident. Then fate deals the family a devastating hand.
“I wanted to show that people in crisis need not always be strong. Even if they falter in challenge, they can come out the other side.”
The Verdict: An intimate portrait of a lost, rural Ireland which is full of heart.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 6th October.
© Sue Leonard. 2018.