Friday, 8 August 2014

In conversation with... Donal Ryan

Earlier this year I spoke with Donal Ryan, the young Tipperary writer whose debut novel 'The Spinning Heart' is one of the best Irish releases of the past 18 months. The interview, which was first published in April of this year, is a great tonic for any young or frustrated writer. Donal speak openly about his constant struggle for confidence and explains how sometimes he has to "pretend to be somebody else, just to get to the end of the paragraph.  

One of the first things that strikes a readers about the work of Donal Ryan is the simple confidence of his prose. The language is direct and unforgiving, flowing easily from a page that appears to have been crafted by the character itself, and not during late night labours over a script. But Ryan, like so many of us, struggles desperately with his confidence.
If anything though, the knowledge of this battle make the Tipperary author more appealing. The details of his personal struggle somehow manage to give even more weight to the work that he produces.
“It took me 20 years to get a level of confidence in my own ability to actually send something that I had written out into the world. A breakdown in confidence assails me all the time, pretty much every day. Sometimes half way through a sentence. A sentence might start well and then I would struggle half way through to close it. It would break down on me. I think it is something that you constantly have to fight with. Everyone is the same, no one is perfectly confident. You have to work at it. Sometime I have to try and be somebody else. Sometimes I have to pretend to be somebody else just so I can get to the end of a paragraph,” said Donal.

To read this interview in full of previous interviews with Julian Gough, Colm Toibin and Kevin Barry, lick HERE

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