Peadar Ó Guilín Interviewed

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Over the 13th and 14th of October I attended Octocon.  While there I asked some of the authors if they would be willing to answer some questions I had.  I supplied a list of 25 and asked if they would be willing to answer at least five.  Peadar was the first to respond with his answers so this is the inaugural post in what I hope will become a series of interviews with some of Ireland's Genre writers.

Peadar Ó Guilín on Dublin City Public Libraries Catalogue

Peadar spent his youth in Donegal and now lives in Dublin.


1. So what kind of fiction do you write?

I write all types of Speculative Fiction, by which I mean Science Fiction, Fantasy and Supernatural Horror. My two published books so far have been Science Fiction, but my short stories run the gamut.


2. Why?

I love worldbuilding. I like being a virtual tourist in strange and fabulous lands. I try to supply the same experiences for my readers that I get from my favourite authors.


3. How long have you been writing for?

My whole life, but my first professionally published story came back in 1997.


4. What is your library history like?

I mostly used libraries when I was growing up. Specifically, I read the yellow-covered Gollancz SF books. I think the first Harry Harrison book I read was a loan from the library in Letterkenny. Unfortunately, I was terrible at returning books. I'm so badly organized that I kept losing them.


5. Does it give you a special thrill to see your books in your local library?

They're not there. I'm not sure my local library knows I exist or that I live just down the road!


6. Do you do readings in libraries, how do you find them?

I have done a lot of workshops for children in libraries. Some of the experiences there have been wonderful. I try to teach them how to make a good story, but we spend most of the time laughing.


7. Did you have a favourite author as a kid?

That varied a lot over time, but Harry Harrison is the one I look back on most fondly. And Tolkien, of course!


8. List five favourite authors (who aren't you!)

This list changes a lot, but that's just the way it is. Also, I don't write like any of the people below, so, if you love the same authors I do, you might not enjoy my work!

George R. R. Martin

Neal Stephenson

R. Scott Bakker

Ursula Le Guin

M. T. Anderson


9. Have you read any books about Ireland that made you laugh/cry/breathe smoke?

Joseph O'Connor's The Star of the Sea was incredibly moving. Also, Thomas Flanagan's The Year of the French is a must read.


10. Do you read any genres outside what you write? Deliberately?

I enjoy a lot of non-fiction, mainly history and popular science. I have also read more than a few detective books.


11. Do you go to any Irish Conventions?

I go to all of the SF book related ones when I can, as well as TitanCon in Belfast, which is more focused on the TV series of A Game of Thrones.


12. Do you go to any non-Irish Conventions? Any favourites or recommendations?

I love WorldCon, which is usually held in the US, but which will be in London in 2014. It's huge and it's tremendous fun.

Last year I attended EasterCon in the UK for the first time and thought the organization was brilliant.


13. Do you have any hobbies outside of writing?

I like walking, cooking and playing soccer. I have a smartphone addiction, which results in an expensive new purchase every year.


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