Derry the Irish chick lit capital?

Claire Allan's book Jumping in Puddles has been released in paperback this week.Back in September last year when the book was first released I documented her tweets... selling chick lit author Claire Allan, from Derry, whose third book ‘Jumping in Puddles’ has just been released. On Claire’s twitter page we find out a little about her. A day she won’t forget was the 14th September when she tweeted…
9.37am Taking bets on whether or not the books shall arrive today… anyone care to
1.31pm IT’S HERE, IT’S HERE, IT’S HERE Oh pretty, pretty book. Perhaps the prettiest of all the books in the world. And my name is on it! In big letters. And the word Bestselling
1.39pm I love the smell of new books - esp those which have my name on them. Oh Happy Day!
9.43pm Well, that was emotional. Gave my book to my granny and made her cry.
9.51pm @Keris LOL! She cried because it’s dedicated to her - it was all a big surprise. *sobby sobby sob*
10.59pm Right. Am off to my bed. With a copy of my NEW BOOK. Did I mention I got it today?

As BooksNI.Biz is backing the Derry City Of Culture bid and as Claire is from Derry I thought I'd ask her a few questions...

Are your novels set in Derry and the surrounding area just because you're familiar with the city or do you believe it is because it adds to the story line?
A bit of both. As a proud Derry wan I'm very familiar with the city and very proud of it so it was nice to set something locally. I do believe it adds to the book - Derry is a brilliant city with a thriving cafe/ restaurant/ pub/ arts scene. It also has stunning tourist attractions and setting books so close to the border with Donegal also allows me to visit the glorious Donegal shoreline.

What would it mean to you and other Derry authors if Derry became UK City of Culture 2013 ?
It would be a huge coup. Of course, I think that us authors should ask why literature has not featured more strongly in the bid. Derry has produced some amazing writers in a variety of genres - the opportunities the title of City of Culture would offer us would be unprecedented. The very wonderful Garbhan Downey has touted the idea of a Guys N Dolls literary festival - pitting chick lit in all it's glory against crime/ satire etc. Bring it on, I say!

There's a book/TV programme called "Profiles of Eight Remarkable Men from Derry", are there eight remarkable woman from Derry you'd like to share about, women who've inspired you either to write or to write about?
There are eight remarkable women in my family - never mind the wider city. Derry is a city of remarkably strong, courageous, funny, smart women who guided their families through the worst of times and who offer a comaraderie second to none. There is long standing joke in Derry "How many Derry women does it take a change a lightbulb? Twenty five - one to do it and 24 to form a support group". It's tongue in cheek but Derry women are the most remarkably supportive in the world.

I've heard the "Maiden City" used as one of the many names for Londonderry, what's that all about, has it anything to do with "chick lit"?
I'm shamefacefly ignorant of the source of that title but sure, why not adopt it and make Derry the Irish chick lit capital? I'm all for giving the Dublin set a run for their money!

On the back cover of your latest novel Jumping in puddles are the characters Niamh Quigly, Ruth Byrne, Liam Dougherty and Ciara Boyle loosley based on Derry people?
Not at all. Of course everyone wants to find someone they *think* I'm writing about. But they are complete figments of my imagination. It's always brilliant craic when people try to identify themselves in books.

If Derry wins the City Of Culture how would you celebrate?
I imagine me and Mr Downey and perhaps Brian McGilloway would get together for that long awaited drink. And then we would plan that festival.

What's life like for you over the next few days with the book now coming out in paperback?
Busy! Busy! Busy! It has been bonkers and it will be - but it is always a buzz. This is the best bit!

No comments: