Interviews with Irish Writers
by Niamh Boyce.
I’m delighted to welcome David Delaney, author of Reaching Eden to #TuesdaysWriter today! Living in Laois – David is multi-talented and dynamic – a writer, life coach, P.R. and podcaster.
Welcome to the blog David! Can I ask by starting how you came to writing – was there any particular inspiration?
I’ve always been interested in writing. I’ve always loved books. They were a very big part of my life growing up – I was always found with a book or in the library and writing just came naturally from that. I was always interested in creative subjects in primary school and secondary school and all the way up.
English was always on my favourite subject list too. I love language and the art of language, how its shaped, formed, played with in any dialect. I was always that kid questioning the meanings of poems in Soundings, not happy with regurgitation for the sake of exams!
I’ve always been inspired by nature – growing up in the country, nature has always been a big part of my life and I was fascinated every year by the cycle of things – like the leaves never growing back the same way twice, the grass never growing the same, all these little things that kept my brain busy!
Religion was (is) another fascination and influence. I didn’t grow up in a religious household but one where there was a very strong faith and I would have been involved musically in the church services. I grew up in what we described as ‘ecumenical neighbourhood’ and this is seen in some of my writing as well.
I actually got a lot of inspiration from the bog. I would have grown up near a bog and I was fascinated by the fact that we took this from the land and we used to heat our houses with turf and the cycle of nature that created turf and the work of generations of families. Coal mining was also an inspiration for some of the poetry in my book….
I’m always moved by that stark silence…
My grandfather, Jim Delaney, was a coal miner in Wolfhill and we actually did a creative project couple years ago where we did a residency – an artist, photographer myself and videographer and we made a documentary over a period of 12 months on the mine – talking to people about their life and people who worked there, people whose parents worked there and the influence of coal mining as an industry on the region
The Wolfhill Coalmine Project was a wonderful exhibition – I remember visiting it in the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise. When David was interviewed in Laois Today, he recalled his own memories of the mine very vividly:
“I remember standing in the mine with my grandfather when I was eight years old and being struck by its desolate beauty. Even today, over 50 years since it closed, there is still an extraordinary sense of stillness there. I am always moved by that stark silence in a place that was once full of noise and industry.”
You can find out more about The Wolfhill Coalmine Project by clicking the link below…
2. Who are your own favourite writers?
I’m a big non – fiction fan. I love biographies and autobiographies. Ryan Holiday would be one of my favourite writers at the moment (His books are “Stillness is the Key” “Ego is the enemy” “Trust me I’m lying”)
I’ve also got most of Pat Ingoldsby’s books. Pat has always inspired me over the years. I love his writing style. To me, his work is truly inspirational and he has always followed his dream. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Pat over the years and was delighted to be asked to host an event in his honour at the power of words festival (the brainchild of the wonderful Amanda Kelly)
I’m also a fan of Irish writing. Andrea Carter, Sebastian Barry, Niamh Boyce, Shane Dunphy and Sheila Forsey. They all have some wonderful books available to get lost in.
What’s for you won’t pass you…
3. Can you tell us a little about your debut collection? Have you a favourite inspirational quote or poem? Any advice for someone thinking of publishing a first collection?
My first collection of poetry is called Reaching Eden. The themes in the book contain a lot of the influences in my life like nature religion and the cycles involved in these.
I also write a lot of non- fiction for the work that I do in coaching and mentoring. one of my favourite poems was written by Pat Ingoldsby is called “For Rita with Love.” This poem shows us the beauty of human nature and how we need to take some time to just back and look at things from a different angle
(For Rita With Love can be read by clicking the link below…
I would encourage anyone who is thinking of publishing or just getting their work out there to do so. There are many platforms available both on and offline and there are supports available for pretty much every genre it’s about feeling the fear but doing it anyway. You can blog, self-publish, look for a publisher etc for example. Just follow your gut and your instinct my mother always says ‘what’s for you won’t pass you.’ You can also reach out to other writers and authors who you’ll find are very supportive too!
Thanks to David for his fascinating answers! His latest venture is a podcast series, Be Your Best You…