During university holidays Giles worked for an adventure company. He taught in Kenya, before setting up a division in Peru. He returned often, leading mountaineering expeditions. And after graduation, he worked in Ghana, then Fiji, as project director.
“It was enjoyable, but superficial, and I wanted more. I kept seeing the importance of medicine, and the need for good health in life.”
Arriving home, and by chance meeting some young doctors, he began to research medical school.
“I’d done English, Latin and Greek at A ‘Level, but discovered that if I did a premed course I could apply. I did, and was accepted.”
Completing his initial training, he moved to Hereford, but after a while, he suffered a small stroke, brought on by stress. He now works part time.
“I did the twelve-week Creative Writing course from The Artist’s Way, and doing the morning pages I wrote 1,000 words on a boy running away from his father. I fleshed it out, and within four months I had the first draft of a novel. The climbing scenes in Peru are drawn from my mountaineering experience.”
Giles also writes poetry, articles and reflections.
Who is Giles Dawnay?
Date of birth: July 1981, in London.
Education: Downside; Newcastle, English Literature; Bristol University, Medicine.
Home: A village near Hereford.
Family: Wife, Amy, twins, Xavier, and Savannah, 5 months.
The Day Job: Trainee GP.
In Another Life: “I’d live by a beach, surfing, writing and playing chess.”
Favourite Writers: Sebastian Faulks; Ian McEwan; and poets, Rumi and Hafiz.
Second Novel: “I will write one, but not yet. Novel writing is all consuming, and the twins have taken over my life!”
Top Tip: “From Julia Cameron. She says that it’s your job to create, but not to judge what you write. That’s for others to do.”
Website: www.GilesDawnay.com Twitter: @gilesdawnay
The Debut: The Rising of the Son. Arkbound:€€8.82. Kindle: €4.40.
Father and son James and Jonno, yearning for adventure, decide to climb an Andean mountain, but when disaster strikes, they have to dig deep, and examine their relationship, their actions and motivation.
“I love it when the novel sparks a conversation.”
The Verdict: A spirited debut with a good sense of place. The author clearly knows his subject.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 27th June.
© Sue J Leonard. 2020.