Patricia’s first ambition was to be a journalist, but after school, she went into the civil service.
“I started in the postal section of children’s allowance during Ireland’s longest postal strike in 1979. After three months I moved to the North Eastern Health Board, then after a year, to Westmeath County Council.”
Nine years ago, after the death of her husband, at 49, Patricia, in grief, felt unable to work anymore.
“To get out of my depression, I painted, and self-published a children’s book that I’d illustrated, then, about five years ago, I started writing. At first it was for myself, to offload, but it turned into a crime book.”
Patricia secured agent Ger Nichol, and The Missing Ones was picked up by the digital publishers, Bookouture, and published last year.
“They signed me for four books, then asked for another three. And then, I was taken on by a mainstream publisher. 7 countries have picked it up.”
Who is Patricia Gibney
Date of birth: 13th June 1961 in Mullingar
Education: Loreto in Mullingar.
Family: Aisling, 26, Orla, 24, and Cathal, 22. Grandchildren Jason and Daisy.
The Day Job: Fulltime writer.
In Another Life: “I’d like to be a best-selling author. It’s always been my dream.”
Favourite Writers: Stephen King; Jeffrey Deaver; Ian Rankin; Lee Child; Tess Gerritsen; Louise Philips; Arlene Hunt and Declan Burke.
Second Novel: The Stolen Girls, second in the series, is due out in hard copy in May. “I’m currently editing my fourth book which is coming out digitally in March.”
Top Tip: Don’t be afraid of the blank page. Finish it. Keep going until the end.
Web: www.patriciagibney.com Twitter: @trisha460
The Debut: The Missing Ones. Sphere: €12.99 Kindle: €1.11
A woman’s body is found in a cathedral, and then a young man is found hanging. What is the connection, and what has it to do with St Angela’s, a former children’s home? When a third body is found, Detective Lottie Parker’s boss demands answers.
But Lottie has problems of her own. Grieving for her husband, battling to overcome an addiction to alcohol, her teenage children are left, largely, to fend for themselves.
The Verdict: An atmospheric page-turner focusing on a history of clerical sexual abuse. Lots of twists.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 24th February, 2018.
© Sue Leonard. 2018.