An Post Book Awards: “I wrote like a madwoman surrounded by children’s toys,” says the crime novel winner

Chef-turned-writer Louise Kennedy was stunned last night after her debut novel Trespasses won Novel of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards.

The Co Sligo mum-of-two joined household names – including Marian Keyes, Kellie Harrington, Charlie Bird, John Boyne and John Creedon – who all walked away with gongs at the glittering awards ceremony at the Dublin Convention Centre.

Ms Kennedy, 53, originally from Holywood, Co Down, said: “It’s a great honour, it was such a strong shortlist” after her debut novel – set in Belfast in 1975 – was Eason’s ‘Novel of the Year’ the ceremony was chosen. She said she wrote the book in her garden shed.

“I wasn’t expecting to be shortlisted let alone anything else,” she told the Irish Independent. “I think it’s particularly great that the award is also voted for by the Irish public, so I’m really excited.”

After working as a chef for almost 30 years, Ms. Kennedy published a series of short stories after she was “put in a car by a friend in 2014” who “made me go to a writing group with her.”

“I wrote a short story fully expecting that the others in the group would laugh at it and I wouldn’t have to write another one – but they were all very encouraging so I just kept going,” she said.

She plans to focus on writing even though she is currently undergoing cancer treatment.

“I just write — but it’s something I can do from a bed,” she said. “I’m on treatment but it seems to be working.”

Meanwhile, journalist Edel Coffey won the Irish IndependentsCrime of the Year” for her debut novel breaking point.


Miriam O’Callaghan congratulates Anne Enright. Photo: Mark Condren

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The novel was also nominated for the shortlist Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year award won by Alice Ryan There was a small incident.

Ms. Coffey said she was also honored to win the award for her own debut novel.

“Three years ago, I sat at my dining table surrounded by children’s toys and wrote like a madwoman out of desperation to achieve that goal I always had, to write a book.

“And if I thought I was standing here tonight, nominated for two awards, I would have laughed and probably cried too — and I definitely wouldn’t have believed you,” she said of winning the award.

Meanwhile, former RTÉ broadcaster Charlie Bird won Biography of the Year for his film. time and tides Best-selling book co-written with co-author and longtime friend Ray Burke.

Mr Burke said winning the award “would be huge for Charlie” who is battling motor neuron disease.

“He’s fantastic at focusing and getting up every day with something new,” said Mr. Burke.

Among the other 13 Book Award winners was Marian Keyes, who won the Popular Fiction Book of the Year award Rachel againBoxer Kellie Harrington for her biography Kellyco-written by Roddy Doyle, who won Sports Book of the Year, and RTÉ broadcaster John Creedon for A treasure trove of Irish folklore for ‘Best Irish Published Book of the Year’.

Award-winning novelist John Boyne was named Author of the Year by the Library Association of Ireland, while novelist Anne Enright received Bob Hughes’ Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Literary Achievement – which also includes her 2007 Booker Prize heard. winning novel The Assembly as well as six other novels, three short story collections and a mother’s memory.

Ms Enright, who was named the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction between 2015 and 2018, joins other Lifetime Achievement recipients including Sebastian Barry, Colm Tóibín, Thomas Kinsella, Eavan Boland, John Montague, JP Donleavy, Paul Durcan, John Banville , Maeve Binchy, John McGahern, Edna O’Brien, William Trevor, Seamus Heaney, and Jennifer Johnston. An Post Book Awards: “I wrote like a madwoman surrounded by children’s toys,” says the crime novel winner

Fry Electronics Team

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