Liadán has always wanted to write – English was her best subject, but being shy, she hated it when her work was read out in front of the class. She wanted to be a journalist, but after graduation worked in a boutique.
“One of our best clients was Anne Harris, who was then Deputy Editor of the Sunday Independent. She knew I’d studied English and was interested in fashion. And when the paper’s fashion editor took a sabbatical, she asked me to write for them. I was so shy, I almost said ‘No!’
She did shifts, wrote features and fashion pieces, and worked on the then new Sunday Independent Magazine.
“Then they created a staff job for me. I worked as staff until 2014, but when my daughter was born, I decided to go freelance.”
She continued writing much of her staff work as a freelance.
“And I branched out, writing for Image, Irish Tatler and the Irish Independent Health and Living.”
She now also works on Rogue Collective, and has a Podcast, ‘How to Fall Apart.’ And that, led to the book.
“Ciara Doorley from Hachette Ireland approached me. I started the book in June 2019 and finished in December.”
Who is Liadán Hynes?
Date of birth: 1979 in Dublin.
Education: Mount Temple. Trinity College Dublin, English and History.
Home: “At present, in my parent’s house in Clontarf, for Lockdown.”
Family: Daughter Sarah, 6. “She’s the most fun person I know”.
The Day Job: Freelance Journalism.
In Another Life: “I’d love to be a really excellent horse rider.”
Favourite Writers: Agatha Christie; Deborah Levy; Anne Tyler; India Knight; Isabel Allende; Curtis Sittenfeld.
Second Novel: “There’s an idea in the ether.”
Top Tip: “Just do it. Set yourself a word count every day.”
The Debut: How to Fall Apart. Hachette Books Ireland. € 15.38. Kindle: €7.48.
When Liadán’s marriage failed she felt lost. But through drawing on the support of professionals and friends, she gradually mapped out her new future, ending up stronger and more resilient.
“I hope the book speaks to anyone who is going through a massive change in their lives. I hope it makes them feel better.”
The Verdict: A beautifully written book, which is humorous and heartfelt, but avoids self-pity.
Published in The Irish Examiner on July 4th.
©Sue J Leonard. 2020.