Ask the Author: Antoinette Tyrrell
What would you like readers to know about you?
I come from Ireland and am proud that my writing has been discovered by the publishing house responsible for discovering some of Ireland’s greatest female writers. Poolbeg Press discovered some amazing talent including Maeve Binchy and Marian Keyes and so I’m very proud to be part of that club.
I have always been a writer. I hold a degree in English and History and have worked in journalism and public relations for all of my working life. Reading and writing are my first loves! I signed a 3-book deal with Poolbeg last July and Home to Cavendish was published in February.
What is Home to Cavendish about for those who haven’t read it?
Home to Cavendish is set in rural Ireland and moves between the turmoil of the Irish Civil War in 1922 and the corruption of the Celtic Tiger years. It is a story of survival and regeneration for two women faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges presented by the times in which they live. At the heart of the book is a story of female friendship and how it has the ability to transcend generations.
What has been your inspiration for writing Home to Cavendish?
I have always been fascinated by Ireland’s Anglo-Irish houses. These colonial mansions were built across Ireland when the country was under English rule and they hold a unique place in our history. I watched with interest over the Celtic Tiger years, when Ireland’s economy was booming, how those houses that had survived became symbols of the opulence of that time. That was where my inspiration started but, as is always the way with Ireland’s ‘Big Houses’, it is their occupants that bring them to life and I began to imagine two women who had lived in the same stately home, eighty years apart and how their lives where shaped by where they had come from.
What was your favorite scene or part of Home to Cavendish to write?
My favorite part was when one of the characters takes a trip to the East Coast of the US and travels to East Hampton. The character has been through a turbulent time and leaves Ireland to escape. Writing those scenes I felt like I was going on vacation with her!
What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?
My favorite author of all time is Rosamund Pilcher and I was saddened by her recent death. Books such as September, Coming Home and The Shell Seekers were what inspired me to become a writer. These family sagas deal with big issues like love and loss but also draw readers in by capturing the magic in the mundane aspects of the lives of her characters.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?
I would advise aspiring writers to read and write. An excuse can always be found not to but if you’re serious about it then do it! I work a very stressful, full-time job, have a crazy commute to work and all the normal things in life to attend to but I just make myself find the time. I couldn’t not.
Follow me on Twitter @AntoinetteTyrr