Derek loved reading and writing as a kid – but it wasn’t until 1997, when he gave up his factory job in Waterford, and moved to New York with his wife, that he started writing in earnest.
“We went there to concentrate on our music. We played gigs, five nights a week, in all the bars, playing cover songs.”
He wrote non-fiction pieces for the Irish Times, but also got an idea for a novel which he started researching.
“Then nine eleven happened, and the gigs dried up. We stayed on for six months, but things were no better so we returned to Ireland and got into playing music here.”
After a few years Derek started teaching the guitar in a music club in Tramore, and he’s still doing it. Meanwhile he did the MPhil in Creative Writing and completed his first novel. Now writing his second, he’s looking for a publisher.
Who is Derek Flynn
Date of birth: March 9th 1972.
Education: De La Salle College Waterford; DCU; Literature and Philosophy through Distance learning. Trinity College Dublin, MPhil, Creative Writing.
Home: Tramore, outside Waterford.
Family: Wife Ruth, a visual artist, and son Dean, who is taking a Masters in Music Therapy.
The Day Job: Teaching Guitar. Playing Gigs.
Interests: Music. “I love movies too, and I’m a comic nerd. I love graphic novels and comics. I also enjoy long walks on the beach.”
Favourite Writers: Neil Gaiman; his novels are a big influence; Stephen King, and Douglas Copeland. “I got to meet him in Newfoundland.”
Second Book: Derek has completed a thriller set in Wyoming. “A stranger arrives in town, with deep secrets from the past.”
Top Writing Tip: Really listen to advice, but in the end you have to go with your gut.
Web: www.derekflynn.wordpress.com Twitter: @derekf03
The Debut: Surge. New Writing from Ireland: Brandon: €11.99. Kindle: €7.66.
Surge includes stories from five Irish University Creative writing programmes, from the students, and the established writers who have tutored them. These include Frank McGuiness Eilis Ni Dhuibhne, and Mary Morrissey. A startlingly good collection, it introduces some original new voices.
The Verdict: Derek Flynn’s engaging story, The Healer, is a powerful look at the effect a stranger has on a small seaside Irish town.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 24th January 2015.
© Sue Leonard. 2015