Richard’s love of reading and learning came from his mum.
“I never thought I’d be a journalist,” he says, “but as a child I was always writing stories. And aged 10, and 11, I sat around writing stuff onto a computer.”
In the last year of his law degree, needing to find something interesting, Richard wrote football reports for the college paper.
“And I realised you can write for a living.”
After his MA, it was straight into radio and TV.
“I freelanced for a while, and worked on Today FM and Newstalk, and then I joined Virgin Media News in 2018. The skill lies in trying to convey ideas in a short period of time.”
Richard started writing the book in March 2021 and submitted it in August.
“It involved hundreds of interviews and was all on top of my day job.”
Who is Richard Chambers?
Date of birth: 1989 in Belfast.
Education: St Joseph’s in Rush; University College, Dublin, Law. “But I didn’t take to it.” Dublin City University, MA in Journalism.
Family: Partner Louise O’Neill; mother, Liz and brother, Geoffrey. “And Cooper, 2, a dog we rescued at 8 months.”
The Day Job: News Correspondent for Virgin Media News.
In Another Life: “I’d love to work in sports – perhaps as a football commentator. That would be amazing!”
Favourite Writers: Lawrence Rice; Louise O’Neill; Marian Keyes; Liz Nugent; John Le Carré.
Second Book: “I’d love to write fiction and I have an idea of what I might do. But I think a journalistic book might come first.”
Top Tip: “Get up early when there are no distractions. I got up at 5.00am to write the book.”
The Debut: A State of Emergency. Gill: €15.99. Kindle: €9.13.
This highly researched account of Ireland’s Covid years gives us a clear view of the decisions and disagreements between the politicians and the health experts who guided Ireland through. But it’s the way that insight is balanced with the stories of those responsible for patient care, the patients themselves, and their bereaved relatives that makes the narrative such essential reading.
The Verdict: A wonderful, emotive and empathetic account of the Covid years which reads like a thriller, (and made me cry.)
Published in the Irish Examiner, 5th February.
Photo Credit, mark Sullivan
© Sue J Leonard. 2022.
Photo Credit, Mark Sullivan