A prolific reader, Mia was always writing. As a child, she wrote sequels to the books she loved.
After Art college, Mia moved to Berlin where she made some art, and taught English as a Foreign Language, (TEFL). She continued to teach after her return to Ireland in 2012.
“And I studied journalism, but later, I went back to college to concentrate on psychotherapy. I’d always been interested in it,” she says. “I’d had therapy, and have worked for Woman’s Aid on the help desk. I’m now a psychotherapist specialising in sexual trauma.”
Mia wrote the first version of a memoir, anonymously, in 2012.
“I found a publisher, but it didn’t feel right.”
She wrote another version in 2015.
“But it was too journalistic. I ditched it and wrote a novel on the same theme. I had good feedback, but paused it, and started Any Girl. I let go of the idea of an audience. It was important to me to tell the truth.”
Who is Mia Döring?
Date of birth: 1983 in Dublin.
Education: St Joseph of Clooney, Co Dublin; University College Dublin, (but dropped out.) National College of Art and Design; Institute of Art Design and Technology, MA in Journalism; 2013 Institute of Counselling and Therapy, Diploma and Degree.
Home: Monkstown, Co Dublin.
Family: Parents, brother and 4 sisters. “And a Jack Russell called Missy.”
The Day Job: Mia set up Daring Greatly Counselling and Psychotherapy in 2017.
In Another Life: “I’d be an actor.”
Favourite Writers: Sara Baume; Niamh Campbell; Donal Ryan; Naomi Alderman; Elaine Feeney; Edna O’Brien; Emilie Pine; Paul Auster.
Second Novel: “I’m rewarding myself with a new novel”.
Top Tip: “You have to accept that self-doubt is your companion on the way”.
The Debut: Any Girl. Hachette Books Ireland. €17.99 Kindle: €7.68.
Aged 16, having been raped, Mia was sexually exploited by an older man. This led her into the sex trade – meeting men occasionally, while in her other life, she lived as a carefree student. This went on until she was 24.
In Any Girl she excavates her difficult history and her recovery, showing how men exert power on traumatised women.
The Verdict: Intensely brave, honest, tender and enlightening, this memoir is thought-provoking and timely.
Published in the Irish Examiner on 19th February.
Photo Credit. Ste Murray.
© Sue J Leonard. 2022