Hey, Author!

Hey, Author! is my very own place to find out things about my favourite authors that other blogs just don’t ask. The nitty-gritty. The dirt. The skinny.

Not stuff about their forthcoming books, or their writing process, none of that high-brow shenanigans thank you – no – Hey, Author! is about getting to know the person behind the bestseller.

So let’s get to it.

It’s the turn of the wonderful Irish novelist Kathleen MacMahon whose second novel The Long, Hot Summer has just been published in the US of A.

Kathleen’s first novel, This Is How It Ends won her fans all over the planet, and was short-listed for Kerry Group Irish Novel of 2013 amongst other prestigious accolades.

KMacM

 

So, Kathleen. We like the look of your book. We might even buy ourselves a copy. But first you need to tell us, what is your:

Favourite night out in your hometown?

There’s nothing like live music. My local pub is The Vintage Inn in Irishtown, and they do a parlour night on the first Thursday of every month. They get a great assortment of performers, from singer-songwriters to covers, and you can enjoy it all in a comfortable seat, with a pint in front of you. It doesn’t get much better than that. (AND it looks like they have their own Book Club! I’m sold – Ed.)

 

Favourite skincare/haircare product?

Shiseido tinted moisturiser, which has been discontinued. They keep telling me BB cream is the same, but it’s not. My perfume has been discontinued as well, so I’m developing a wartime mentality and stockpiling the products I like.

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Favourite book of all time? (Just one!)

Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry. The first time I read it was on a five day trek in Colombia, when a fellow trekker tore his copy in half so I could start it before he finished. A great American epic, it’s the most wonderful read.
Lonesome Dove

Favourite clothes shop?

I’m getting to an age where clothes shopping is a chore, so the internet has increasing appeal. My twenty year old self wouldn’t believe it.

Favourite restaurant anywhere in the world?

Has to be my brother’s restaurant, The Wild Goose Grill in Ranelagh. I always have the best time there, and the best food and wine. Plus, it feels very mafioso to have a restaurant in the family. (I have to interject, I’ve been there. It’s fantastic – Ed.)

Favourite bar anywhere in the world?

Sweeney’s Bar, overlooking Omey island in Claddaghduff. Sweeney’s makes an appearance in my first novel, This Is How It Ends, when Addie choses it for her Death Row meal of Guinness and Tayto crisps.

Favourite movie?

The Big Blue, by Luc Besson. Beautiful, whimsical, sad. It has everything in it that I like.

 

Favourite band/musician?

Leonard Cohen – in another life, I would be one of Leonard’s  famously sublime backing singers.

Leonard Cohen

 Favourite meal?

Fresh fish, preferable eaten outdoors on a warm evening.
fish dinner

Favourite tipple?

Wine of any colour. I have managed to avoid acquiring an appreciation of fine wines, which means I can enjoy even the cheapest plonk.

 

 

Cheers to that, Kathleen. I think some things are about the quantity, and not the quality. Developing expensive tastes is a dangerous habit for sure.

If you haven’t already bought Kathleen’s new book, well, what are you waiting for? It’s the perfect summer’s evening, post-prandial accompaniment to a glass of whatever you’re serving yourself.

You can also stay in touch and follow Kathleen’s literary success here on Twitter.

LongHotSummerFINAL

 

Until next time on Hey, Author!

Sheena x

Hey, Author!

Hey, Author! is my new place to find out things about my favourite authors that other blogs just don’t ask. The nitty-gritty. The dirt. The skinny.

Not stuff about their forthcoming books, or their writing process, none of that high-brow shenanigans thank you – no – Hey, Author! is about getting to know the person behind the bestseller.

So let’s get to it.

This latest installment is dedicated to Hazel Gaynor, author of some of the prettiest books on the planet, award-winning novels of historical fiction that bring long-gone era to life for the reader.

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Before Hazel celebrated the launch of her newest novel, The Girl from the Savoy, at a 1920s themed party at The Liquor Rooms at U2’s Clarence hotel in Dublin city, I managed to track her down, and got her to answer my Hey, Author! questions – the important stuff that you need to know. There may have been gin involved, but it was drunk from china cups, so that’s ok.

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So, Hazel Gaynor. We like the look of your book. We might even buy ourselves a copy. But first you need to tell us, what is your:

Favourite night out in your hometown?

What is this ‘night out’ you speak of? It sounds wonderful. If I was to enjoy such a thing it would probably be chicken wings and a pint of Guinness in Bardon’s in Kilcullen. Best chicken wings in Ireland. Possibly, the world. (That sounds like a challenge to me – Ed.)

Favourite skincare/haircare product?

I love Liz Earle skincare. The hot cloth cleanser is fabulous. Pestle & Mortar serum is also lovely and promises to make me look eternally youthful – so that’s good! I don’t possess any posh haircare products at home. Aussie does me just fine. My hairdresser uses Redken products which always smell amazing.

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Favourite book of all time? (Just one!)

Jane Eyre. Weep.

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Favourite clothes shop?

Boden – everything is amazing and the shoes are divine. I also love Warehouse at the moment. I follow both on Instagram. Dangerous.

Favourite restaurant anywhere in the world?

For special occasions you can’t beat Chapter One in Dublin. We’ve always had a fantastic meal there. I’m also very fond of Doyle’s Seafood Restaurant in Watson’s Bay, Sydney. I spent many lazy Sunday afternoons there when I lived in Sydney during ‘97/’98, and (although I didn’t know him at the time) so did my husband! We went back there on our honeymoon. Ahh.

Favourite bar anywhere in the world?

So many bars. So little time. I have great memories of a little bar called The Four in Hand on Elizabeth Street in Sydney. A schooner of New never tasted better. Closer to home, I’d have to say Doheny & Nesbitts. We drank pints there after getting married in the registry office.

Favourite movie?

Really? Just one? Okay then: Cinema Paradiso.

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Favourite band/musician?

Florence and the Machine, or Foo Fighters, depending on what mood I’m in. Both are amazing live. London Grammar are really good to chill out to, and I’m loving James Bay at the moment. I like his hat.

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Favourite meal?

Fish and chips, eaten straight from the wrappings while sitting on a harbour wall.

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Favourite tipple?

Now you’re talking! This is an easy answer. Very good gin and very good tonic. Preferably Hendricks, served with a slice of cucumber (of course). I’d like to think I played some part in the current gin revolution. I’ve been talking/writing about it since 2009 and that’s a LOT of gin, let me tell you.

 

I think the proof was in the launch of The Girl from the Savoy…gin tea for all!

Thank you for sharing your innermost secrets, Hazel Gaynor. Anyone who loved Downton Abbey will love The Girl from the Savoy – indeed if you don’t read it, just buy it to hang on the wall….sooo pretty.

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Until next time on Hey, Author!

Bottoms up!

Sheena x