Paul tried accountancy, but then switched and worked in a bank for a while, before going into the IT industry.
“When I was working for Intel, I returned to college, and studied Interior Design. My first job was in a huge engineering company. Then I jumped around practices, working as an Interior Designer and Architectural technician.
“While I was there I took a creative writing course in Naas. It changed my life! I realised that writing was what I wanted to do.”
Three years later, when the financial crash of 2008 left Paul jobless, he threw himself into writing.
“I’d written a third of a novel. I finished the first draft in six weeks. Then I started rewriting, and sending it out.”
He met agent Ger Nichol at writer, Liz Nugent’s first launch, and, after asking for a rewrite, Ger started sending it out.
“She didn’t succeed though we got very close. I shelved the book, but later, decided to self-publish.”
Paul is also a film producer and script consultant. He worked on Fair City, and, in April 2017, his debut feature film, The Gift, was released in Irish cinemas.
Who is Paul Fitzsimons?
Date of birth: 1st May 1974 in Naas.
Education: Christian Brothers in Naas. Griffith College, Interior Design.
Home: Parkwest, near Clondalkin.
Family: His father, Michael, who died in 2017, was a huge creative influence. “Mum is a retired English teacher. She proofread the book.” Sister and brother. Nephew, James, 5, and niece, Alice, 3.
The Day Job: Part-time Freelance Architectural technician.
In Another Life: “I’d be a rally driver. Dad was a rally navigator, so I grew up on cars.”
Favourite Writers: Michael Crichton; John Grisham; Liz Nugent; Jo Spain; Cormac O’Keefe; Catherine Ryan Howard.
Second Novel: A sequel, Smoke Damage.
Top Tip: Keep going. “Live by the quote, ‘No is not the opposite of yes, It’s part of the journey to yes.’”
Website: www.paulfitzsimons.com Twitter: @paulfitzsimons
The Debut: Burning Matches. Prelude: €15.00. Kindle: €5.72.
Detective Kieran Temple is woken by his ex-girlfriend, Mia. It’s 4.00 am, and she’s just killed her boyfriend. Was it in self-defence, or was Daniel not as bad as she portrays?
The Verdict: A pacey, complex tale with a large cast of credible characters. Keeps you guessing.
Published in The Irish Examiner, February 9th.
© Sue Leonard. 2019