Mark and Shane met on the first day of college and have been good friends since. In 1998, when Shane was in Dublin, and Mark in Limerick, they would email back and forth and they invented two aristocratic characters, Windy and Chatty.
“It made us laugh.”
The emails got longer, and the content funnier, and eventually, Shane suggested that they invent a back story and write a book.
In 2012, the duo produced an edition of the debut, sent it to Good Reads around the world, and got feedback. This helped them make changes to improve it.
The second edition was 2015.
“This 2018 edition is ‘it’” says Shane.
Who is Nick Richards?
Date of birth: Both authors were born in England in 1975.
Education: University College Cork. (Mark studied English and psychology, MA in music technology, then did Law Conversion Exams. Shane studied Law.)
Home: Mark lives in Limerick, Shane, in Cork.
Family: Mark’s wife is Rachael. Max, 8, Bobby, 6, and Zoe, 3 months. Shane’s is Olga. Amelie, 10, Scott, 6, Ethan, 3.
The Day Job: Both are solicitors.
In Another Life: Mark would be a composer; “I compose in my spare time.” Shane a soccer player. “I still play.”
Favourite Writers: Both love the original Red Dwarf Book by Grant Naylor. “It’s been a huge influence.” Mark loves Tom Wolfe, and J.P. Donleavy. “The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B is amazing.” Shane likes. Louis De Bernierie’s Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
Second Novel: For Gin and Country.
Top Tip: “Keep at it. When we work in tandem, we redraft and redraft each other’s work.”
Website: www.windyandchatty.com Twitter: @windyandchatty
The Debut: Over the Top. Raindrop Publishing: €12.50 Kindle: €3.97
Aristocrats Windy and Chatty meet at school, and immediately hit it off. Windy likes nothing more than getting drunk – Chatty is a hypochondriac. At the front, in the First World War, they survive, then become involved in a plot to undermine German morale by thrashing them at football. This backfires.
“We based that on the Christmas Truce of 1914. There are truths in the book, but overall, it’s not based on real events. We’re out to entertain. If you laugh, our job is done.”
The Verdict: Farcical and fun.
Published in the Irish Examiner on 10th November
© Sue Leonard. 2018