AS a lawyer, Steve has conducted several high profile cases. In 2010, representing a factory worker, he won the largest award for damages in race discrimination in Northern Ireland’s legal history.
In his 20s, he wrote screenplays, but stopped when he couldn’t sell any. He didn’t write fiction for the next 15 years. He began after his mother died, quite suddenly.
“She was the one who got me into reading and encouraged me to write. I thought I’d have a go. I began writing when I wasn’t sleeping too well,” he says.
Writing a legal thriller, the voice came easily.
“The first person helps,” he says. “You are in that character, taking the reader by the hand.”
Steve writes at night; stopping at about 11pm; and he gets up at 6am to write before work. Completing the book in about a year, Steve sent the book out, and got 30 or 40 rejections from agents, before being taken on by Euan Thorneycroft of AM Heath.
“We had four offers. He got me a three-book deal, and the book then sold around the world.”
Who is Steve Cavanagh
Date/place of birth: October 19, 1976 / Belfast.
Education: St Colman’s, Ballynahinch. Portobello College; Law. University of Wales: Postgrad in Law. Queens Belfast: Another postgrad.
Home: Lisburn, Northern Ireland.
Family: Wife Tracy, daughter, eight, son, 4, and a rescue dog, Lolly.
The Day Job: A solicitor advocate.
Interests: “I spend all my spare time with the kids.”
Favourite Writers: Michael Connolly; John Connolly; Lee Child; John Grisham. Raymond Chandler; Jeffery Deaver.
Second Novel: “I’ve written the second in the series, and I’m writing a novella. The third in the series has to be delivered in January.”
Top Writing Tip: Don’t give up.
Web: www.stevecavanagh.com Twitter:@sscav
The Debut The Defence; Orion Books, €16.99/Kindle, €6.45.
Con-artist turned lawyer, Eddie Flynn, decided he would never darken the doors of a courtroom again. However, when the head of the Russian mafia, Olek Volchef, straps a bomb to his back, and kidnaps his daughter, he has just 48 hours to defend Volchef, and win a murder trial. Can he convince the jury of the impossible?
The Verdict: Brilliantly written. Eddie Flynn is a fabulous hero; flawed, funny, and vulnerable
Published in The Irish Examiner, 18th April, 2015
© Sue Leonard 2015