Gerard worked in social care, on and off, for twenty years. At first he worked in residential settings, then, as a freelance actor, he dipped in and out of relief work.
“My acting career has been really diverse. I’m a writer, actor director, and have done some corporate role play. I’ve acted in three plays this year.”
He always dabbled in poetry, and he took his M Phil in order to focus on writing.
“I was working towards a collection of poetry, but I saw people writing novels, and thought maybe I could try. Since I graduated in 2007, writing has become part of my routine day.”
Date of birth: 1962, in Dublin. Spent a lot of summers with farming relations in Cavan. I feel very connected with the countryside.
Education: Oatlands CBS in Stillorgan. DIT: Diploma in Social Care. Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin: Theatre Performance Course, in mid eighties. Trinity College Dublin: M Phil Creative Writing, 2005/6.
Family: Wife Paula Greevy-Lee, a singer and actor, Molly Rose 17, Nancy 14.
The Day Job: A Freelance Actor Director and Writer.
Interests: Music and theatre.
Favourite Writers: Pat McCabe, William Gay, Daniel Woodrell, Tim Gatreaux, Cormac McCarthy, William Faulkner, and poets like Robin Robertson, Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Bishop.
Second Novel: I’m working on a second novel; another dystopian book, a contemporary revenge tragedy set in Dublin. I’ve just finished writing a play about Christopher Marlowe.
Top Writing Tip: Read loads. Write regularly, and don’t panic. It’s a slow game.
No Website or Twitter.
Forsaken. New Island: €13.99 Kindle :€8.09
JJ never had a chance in life. After his father goes missing, his future is decided by adults. He lives with his brutal Uncle Patsy, and goes on through the care system, resenting the choices made for him. So he takes his life into his own hands, and the results are devastating.
“In social care we were responsible for managing children’s behaviour, and it seemed to me we should concentrate on why the child was so justifiably angry. Isolated from his family and community, all JJ wanted was his family back. I was interested in his psychological journey.”
© Sue Leonard. 2014
Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 15th November 2014