A lifelong reader, Barbara has always enjoyed travel.
“I always wanted to be an air hostess,” she says. “Aer Lingus was impossibly glamorous – the hostesses were like ambassadors for the country.”
She grew too tall, so she applied for Aer Lingus’s ground operations, but she failed the aptitude tests.
“That was the darkest day of my life,” she says.
Instead, she worked, happily, for a tour operator, loving the trips abroad, and relishing writing the reports afterwards. But she left the business when she’d become a single parent and found the hours too difficult.
Living at home, she joined her mother in teaching word-processing, but hated it. When the Alzheimer’s Society offered her a placement, and then a job as their first ever PRO and Fund Manager, she jumped at it.
“It changed my life,” she says. “I met my English husband through it, and loved writing press releases, leaflets and brochures.”
She left to look after her next two children, and spent 10 happy years at home, but then recession hit. Starting a blog, Barbara wrote newspaper opinion pieces and began to contribute to radio and TV. She wrote her debut during lockdown, then took an extra year to ready it for publication.
Who is Barbara Scully?
Date of birth: 1962 in Blackrock, County Dublin.
Education: Rockford Manor, Blackrock.
Home: Cabinteely, County Dublin.
Family: Husband. Paul Sherlock, daughters Carla, Roisin, and Mia, grandchildren Emmie, 5, and Max, 2; A dog, 4 cats, and a resident fox and squirrel.
The Day Job: Writer, with weekly Radio slots on the Moncrief Show.
In Another Life: “I’m living the life of freedom that I dreamt about 10 or 20 years ago.”
Favourite Writers: Anne Tyler; Maggie O’Farrell; Sarah Winman; Sinead Moriarty; Caroline Grace Cassidy; Martina Devlin; Salley Vickers.
Second Novel: “I have a few ideas.”
Top Tip: “If you really want to write a book, keep going.”
Website: www.barbarascully.com. Twitter: @barbarascully.
The Debut: Wise Up. Power, Wisdom and the Older Woman. Zsa Zsa Publishing: €15.06. Kindle: €6.31.
This memoir, with elements of self-help, takes us through the decades, emphasising the joys, power and wisdom an older woman possesses.
The Verdict: Essential reading for anyone who thought that life ended with the menopause.
Published in the Irish Examiner on 2nd July.
© Sue J Leonard. 2022.