Films have always been Kealan’s thing. As a student he wanted to work behind the camera and write for the screen, and after college, he stayed home and worked with some camera men before settling down, fitting kitchens in his family business.
At 26, wanting a change he went to San Francisco, did odd jobs and enjoyed himself. Then it was back to Ireland, to fitting kitchens.
“When I was 32, I finally copped on, and realised I didn’t want to spend my life doing something I didn’t care about so I decided to be an actor. I acted, for free, in small productions, and took an evening class at the Abbey School of Acting.”
He has been acting since, alongside writing screenplays for features and shorts. He wrote and acted in the prize-winning feature film, ‘Lift,’ has written another screenplay, and is currently finishing production of a short film.
“I started my debut at 26, wrote it on and off, and finished it in 2014.”
After many rejections, it was featured at the Irish Writer’s Centre Novel Fair in 2015. Response was good, but when he hadn’t found a publisher, he started writing a second novel.
“I’d given up on the debut but decided on one last effort. I sent it to six new places and was delighted when Mercier picked it.”
Who is Kealan Ryan?
Date of birth: 15th March 1979
Education: Portmarnock Community School; Coláiste Dhúlaigh, Diploma in Film and TV Wolverhampton University, Degree in Film and TV.
Home: Artane Dublin
Family: Wife Carol, and Bonnie, 1 ½.
The Day Job: Actor, Film Producer and Writer.
In Another Life: “I’d be an absolute Rockstar.”
Favourite Writers: Ken Kesey; Nick Hornby; Morgan Llywelyn; Tom Rob Smith: Ernest Hemingway; Roddie Doyle; Joseph O’Connor.
Second Novel: “I’m about 15,000 words in.”
Top Tip: “You need perseverance and belief.”
Web: www.kealanryan.wordpress.com Twitter: @kealanryan
The Debut: The Middle Place. Mercier Press: €18.00 Kindle: €17.77
Chris is dead. He was killed with one punch yet discovers that he can watch the lives of both his loved ones, and his killer. Stepping forwards, in increments, to two years from his death, will his perspective have changed?
The Verdict: A poignant tale, showing that there are two sides to everything.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 13th April.
© Sue J Leonard. 2019