"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Friday, November 11, 2011

Author Interview: Dr. Niamh Clune

Born in Dublin and now living on a boat on the River Thames, author Niamh Clune earned a PhD in 2002 from Surrey University, UK, in "Acquiring Wisdom through the Imagination." She is a writer, teacher, spiritual psychologist, award-winning social entrepreneur, environmental campaigner and award-winning writer of songs. She is the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ. Her latest publication, Orange Petals in a Storm, is the first in the Skyla McFee series.

To learn more about this talented individual, please read the interview below or visit: Orange Petals in a Storm in Paperback: http://on.fb.me/rE1B8g or http://www.amazon.com/Orange-Petals-Storm-Skyla-ebook/dp/B0055DVQEG. You can find her on facebook: www.facebook.com/niamhclunesbooks, twitter: http://twitter.com/NiamhClune, she was
A loveahappyending.com featured Author http://orangeberrybooks.com, she two blogs: http://niamhclunewrites.blogspot.com/ and  http://theobblog.com or you visit her on You Tube: http://bit.ly/pV9qQk.

1) How did you develop an interest in writing? I have been writing since I was 12. I remember being so sad because of childhood circumstances that I needed to express that sadness in some way. I discovered that writing down how I felt in the form of poetry was healing.

2) Please tell me a little about your blog. I have started a blog called Unsung Inspirational Women because there are a lot of them out there that live wonderful lives. I have only just started this blog, but have an array of people I would love to feature from writers to wonderful women who work overseas in Aid and Development. All my stories will be of those who triumph against all the odds. I guess, I identify very strongly with this theme.

3) I see you have just published a MS. Can you please tell me a little about it? The title of my newly published manuscript is: Orange Petals in a Storm. I am about to change the genre from metaphysical to Magic Realism which is a sub-category of Fantasy. It is a spiritually inspirational story of transformation about a wonderful child, eleven-year-old Skyla McFee, who endures great suffering at the hands of her step-family. Skyla’s reality is harsh. But she evolves spiritually despite, or perhaps because of the hurt she suffers. She transcends her unbearable life through the power of her beautiful spirit and through the power of her imagination. In magic realism, the magical and the ordinary coexist; the supernatural is part of tangible reality. In Skyla’s reality, colours can speak in ways she can understand, and the beauty inherent in the world becomes her teacher. We see as Skyla sees: a world in which we find shelter from every hazard and outlive the longest night. Telling you that Skyla triumphs over her situation, is not a spoiler – because as you get to know her, you realise there is no other way. She must triumph because of who she is.

4) What authors do you admire? I love Tolkien, Jane Austen and the Philosophical writers such as Sartre and Paolo Coelho.

5) What music, places, people inspire you? I used to be a singer in London back in the 1970’s. I have written many songs and sung with some very famous people. I guess I am influenced by people such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. But I also love classical music such as Chopin and Schubert. I love Architecture, especially Tudor and Victorian. I have lived in many countries, but think I was most inspired by my time living and working in Africa for Oxfam, UNICEF and World Food Programme. I have never seen such modesty and gratitude for the simple things that most of us take for granted. One day, I will write about how the nomadic pastoralists, the Massais, Turkanas and Samburu I met in Kenya touched my heart so deeply.

6) How long did it take you to write your current book? Two years. I am meticulous. I edit, edit, edit. I aspire to write beautiful prose that by its very nature uplifts and allows soul into life. I like writing that is simple, uncluttered by adverbs and adjectives. I play with words and defiantly re-arrange them to paint pictures of light as well as dark. I aspire to have good grammar, consistency of metaphor and three-dimensional depth to character. I want my readers to cry, to feel all sorts of emotions. I want my readers to be able to identify with the intimacies, and private inner world of my characters as though they speak directly from one heart directly to another. I write musically, to be read aloud.

7) When working on your current MS did you complete an outline first or did you just start writing? I always just start writing and see where the story leads.

8) What is your writing process like? Certain hours that you find more productive, a routine, a set amount of time or a number of pages you make yourself write everyday etc. My writing process is intense. Once I start, I find it very difficult to leave the world I have entered and come back to mundane reality.

9) Would you care to share your opening paragraph (hook) with us?

Not until she reached Kingsland Road did she relax her pace to a brisk walk. Some might have thought it strange to see a young girl walking with pace and determination along East London’s drenched streets at such a time of night. She wore no coat. Dressed in her grey school skirt and blue jumper, only the local school she attended defined her. Those in the warm safety of their cars or huddled under umbrellas might indeed have given her a passing glance and wondered what she was doing there mud-stained and alone.


Collette said...

It is always so nice to learn more about how such talent is developed. Thank you for providing such in-depth questions and answers! Nicely done :D

L'Aussie said...

Hi Sylvia! Hi Niamh! This is such an inspirational interview. I'm also fascinated about living in a boat on the Thames. Must get pretty chilly in a London winter! I share many similar likes and dislikes and philosophies so I'm sure I'd enjoy the book. I'm currently writing a novel which will, amongst other things, highlight the plight of the women in Afghanistan. It is very sobering doing the research.


Dr. Niamh Clune said...

Thank you Collette and Denise for your kind comments...it is always sobering to see how others live who are much worse off than ourselves.

jennymilch said...

Hi Niamh...I'm sorry about the childhood sadness, but what a wonderful outlet you found for it. I've said this before, but I really find that first paragraph a stunner.

Betty Dravis said...

This is a great story about Niamh Clune, Sylvia. The more I read about her, the more I'm impressed. Isn't she phenomenal? Wow!

You're pretty fantastic yourself. I look forward to reading some of your works asap.

Hugs - Betty Dravis

Dr. Niamh Clune said...

And Thank You, L'Aussie and Betty too for your kind comments...

Sylvia Ney said...

Thank you Betty! Niamh is a talented individual and I expect to see many more great things from her in the future.

Bri said...

I've read Niamh's book, "Orange Petals in a Storm", read her latest article titled, "Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore" - http://karenselliott.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/paddys-green-shamrock-shore-by-niamh-clune/
which is a must read for anyone and countless other notable articles this fine writer has done on behalf of other authors and I have always come away enlightened and secure in the knowledge that the best is yet to come.