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.

This time around, I am super-dooper excited to have Irish author Liz Nugent under the Hey, Author! spotlight. Liz wrote one of my favourite books of all time Unravelling Oliver, and her new thriller, Lying in Wait has hit the shelves and is blazing a literary trail through the summer of 2016. The only reason I haven’t read it yet is that I don’t want to have read it. I’m enjoying the prospect of reading it too much. Go figure.

Liz Nugent

So, Liz Nugent. We like the sound of your book. We might even (okay, definitely) go and get ourselves a copy. But first you need to tell us, what is your:

Favourite night out in your hometown?

Dinner at the Trocadero restaurant. I’ve been going there for about 25 years and Robert Doggett who owns it has become a friend. Anyone who knows the restaurant might recognise it as the basis for L’Etoile Bleu in Unravelling Oliver.

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Favourite skincare/haircare product?

Liz Earle cleanser because you get the muslin cloths with the product. It removes face and eye make-up and doesn’t sting. It has a subtle fragrance but is pricey enough for a cleanser. I’ve used bog standard Nivea moisturiser my entire life. My German Aunt Sybille used it and she always had beautiful skin. (I wish I had a pic of Tante Sybille here – Ed.)

Favourite book of all time? (Just one!)

Oh my God, just one? That’s impossible. Arrrrghhhhhhh. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.

a fine balance

Favourite clothes shop?

I’m not exactly a fashionista and I don’t enjoy shopping but the wonderful Sharon Beatty has a small shop called Maven upstairs on Wicklow Street. She doesn’t carry a huge range but she will text me when she has something in that she thinks I might like. They are special occasion items though. Apart from that, I can usually find something I like in Zara or Massimo Dutti.

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Favourite restaurant anywhere in the world?

You mean besides the Trocadero? The Miramar in Monaco Ville beside the harbour. I can’t remember exactly what I ate, but I know it was delicious. The ambience was very relaxed and the views were spectacular. I have promised myself I’ll go back.

Favourite bar anywhere in the world?

O’Dowds in Roundstone, Connemara on a winter night when there’s no one around and the turf fire is lit. (Agreed. Best chowder ever – Ed.)

Favourite movie?

Perfume starring Ben Wishaw. It was a favourite book and the film did so much justice to it. It is visually stunning, every single frame could be a painting. Everything communicated by the sense of smell in the book is told in pictures. Before the film was made, the book was deemed unfilmable – and it’s about a most unusual serial killer. If you have never seen it, I envy you, because you have it to look forward to. I watch it every six months or so. 

perfume

Favourite band/musician?

Right now, Adele. Last year, Hozier. Of all time, David Bowie. Very populist I know, but I also love Skunk Anansie, Bob Dylan, Ludovico Einaudi, William Butt, Ray La Montagne, Bach, The Divine Comedy, Kate Bush, Bill Whelan, Ailie Blunnie, June Tabor, Elvis Costello, Queen, Mozart, Zoe Conway, Tom Waits, Loyko, Dario Marianelli etc. etc.

Favourite meal?

Fillet steak cooked by my husband. We share the cooking but he’s better than me. Don’t tell him I said that.

(For the record, this below is not (as far as we know) Liz Nugent’s husband. We just like this pic at Hey, Author! and we try to use it whenever possible -Ed)

 chef

Favourite tipple?

Jameson and Coke. I know it’s a terrible insult to pollute the poor Jameson with coke, but what can I say? I like it. Also, when you have a cold, add a dash of Jameson to your Lemsip. Hey presto, Jemsip.

jameson

You could be on to something there, Liz. Why have a hot whiskey, when you could have a Jemsip (c)Liz Nugent – patent pending.

So there you have it readers. When she’s not conjuring murderous villains, she’s hanging out with the theatre set in Dublin and Monaco, sipping medicinals. The life of a writer.

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If you haven’t read Unravelling Oliver, I’m just plain jealous. And if you haven’t got your copy of Lying in Wait, then off with you to your nearest bookshop. I’m going to TRY put it off…just…a…little….longer…. oh, what’s the use.

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