Lisa always loved reading, but having made a mistake on her CAO form, she studied Social Research instead of English Literature, and that led to a career in the subject.
“I did qualitive studies for the voluntary sector in social disadvantage in Ireland, but after some years, I decided to change course. I loved it, but it was so engrossing that it left little room for anything else. I changed to copy-editing, for the same sector.”
By then Liza has started to write.
“I’d begin in my twenties,” she says. “I took an evening course at University College Dublin, which reverted into a writing group. I’ve since attended many workshops. I did some with Claire Keegan – she was amazing!”
For years she concentrated on poetry and short stories, gaining some success.
“I won the Dromineer Poetry Award, and was shortlisted for the Francis McManus Competition, the Sean O’Faolain prize and the Patrick Kavanagh poetry award. I was published in various magazines.”
She turned to novel writing when her idea for a story in a spooky high end ghost estate grew longer.
“The novel form suits me better,” she says.
The Estate was originally released as an Audible original.
Who is Liza Costello?
Date of birth: 10th May 1976, in Ballinasloe.
Education: The Convent of Mercy, Moate. University of Limerick, European studies with French; Trinity College Dublin, MFC in Social Research; Open University, English Literature; MA in poetry studies and is now studying for a PhD.
Home: Moate. “I live in the house I grew up in.”
Family: Husband John, Martha 5 and Brendan, 3
The Day Job: Freelance Copy Editor and writer.
In Another Life: “I’ve recently become interested in acting.”
Favourite Writers: Attica Locke; Elizabeth Bishop; Dermot Healy; Graham Greene; Jane Austen; Damon Galgut.
Second Novel: “I’ve finished the first draft. It’s set in a village in Westmeath.”
Top Tip: “Join a good writer’s group”.
Website: www.Lizacostello.com. Twitter: @as_in_leeza
The Debut: The Estate. Hachette Books Ireland. €14.99. Kindle: €5.48.
When Beth’s new boyfriend persuades her to live, rent free on a remote estate, alone, until he can join her, she agrees in order to secure their future. But strange things start to happen.
The Verdict: A twisty tale full of family secrets.
Published in the Irish Examiner on 5th June.
© Sue J Leonard. 2021.