Sandra Harris.

Posted by Sue Leonard on Saturday 19th September 2020
Sandra

 

An introverted child, Sandra spent a lot of time reading.

“It was a great escape,” she says.

She moved to Dublin in 1991, and from 2005, has Cared for her second child, who is autistic and has ADHD.

“I was home-schooling Reuben. There were difficult years leading to his diagnosis in 2016. After that, things became clearer.”

In 2009, after joining a creative writing group, Sandra wrote and performed comic poems at open mic sessions.

“They were about bad sex and failed relationships,” she says. This led to a self-published volume. “And I was shortlisted for the Strokestown International Poetry Festival. I’d written a poem about Ryan Tubridy.”

In 2014, Sandra felt the urge to write fiction.  She self-published a few books in various genres. Then, in 2018, when Reuben started attending school, and Sandra, taking him there, found herself on the LUAS Green line four times a day, she was inspired to write her debut. Thirteen Stops is a novel told as 13 connected short stories.

“It was easy to write,” she says. “It felt different from my other writing straight away. I had it finished in two months. Then came the hard part; finding an agent and a publisher.”

 

Who is Sandra Harris? 

Date of birth:  1969 in Cork. “But I was bought up in County Westmeath.”

Education:  Our Lady’s Bough, Athlone. University of Ulster, Coleraine, Arts. (unfinished.)

Home: Dublin, 2.

Family: Lisa, 29 and Reuben, 15.

The Day Job: Reuben’s fulltime Carer.

In Another Life: “I’d still be writing, but my hair would be naturally straight.”

Favourite Writers: Marian Keyes; Stephen King; The Brontës; Bram Stoker; EL James. “I admire her for having three books out at once.”

Second Novel: “I’ve written two follow up books, showing the characters one year later, then two years earlier.”

Top Tip: “Just write, already. You’re not getting any younger. If you wait for permission, or until your life is serene, it won’t happen.”

Website:  www.sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.worpress.com   Twitter: @sandraAuthor

 

The Debut: Thirteen Stops. Poolbeg: Kindle: €4.41. 

These thirteen, skilfully linked stories about a diverse group of characters covers a whole range of issues, from autism to institutional abuse, taking in a raft of, mostly bad, relationships into the mix.

 

The Verdict: A clever idea, well carried out.  

Published in The Irish Examiner on 29th August.

© Sue J Leonard. 2020.

 

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