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About Me

Once, for a brief, illusionary spell when I was very small and

fanciful, I believed I was a robin. I can’t remember why I

decided on a robin rather than one of the other species who

frequented my garden. I was probably attracted by its red

breast and fearless nature – or admired its celebrity status as a

Christmas card icon. I visualised myself flitting in bushes,

posing against a snowy background or following furrows of

freshly dug earth. I was quite upset when I discussed my

metamorphosis with my mother and she, gently but firmly,

insisted that I was a child, not a bird. Eventually, to prove her

point she placed me in front of a mirror and I was forced to

confront my identity crisis. No wings, no redbreast; just a little

girl gifted with a wild and weird imagination. Not that I had any

understanding of imagination at the time―or had any inkling of

the significance it would play later in my life.


Like all writers, I was an avid reader throughout my

childhood. I kept a torch hidden under my pillow and, after

lights out, I burrowed under the blankets, filled with an

insatiable desire to reach that last page. In that warm, cocooned

space I read until my eyes – or the torch battery – gave out.


In school, I was constantly in trouble for ‘day-dreaming.’

That’s what my teachers called it, though there were some who

believed my pensive moods stemmed from idleness. Without

any understanding of the power of imagination, I simply took it

for granted that my mind should be elsewhere while my body

remained trapped in a school desk. Such adventures. Such

travels. Real life drifted over my head and my school reports

bore witness to this fact. Nothing imaginary lurking there. I was

the square peg in the round hole and have no memory of

excelling in any subject. These days, when I meet friends from

way back then, they tell me I used to read my poems and essays

out loud to the class. Why can’t I remember those moments?

The way I remember being a robin or, as I grew older, the

imaginary ships I sailed, the magical lands I visited? Perhaps,

such memories were blanked out under the force a cane or

strap, used with vigour to stop my ‘day-dreaming.’ I lived in an

era of corporal punishment and my teachers were convinced I

would never amount to anything other than a wide-eyed- gazer-



They were right. I became a novelist.


It didn’t happen immediately. The route I took was

circuitous, via motherhood and a career in journalism. The

pleasure I had gained from the books I read as a child attracted

me to the world of children’s fiction. Those were the first books

I wrote: fantasy, adventure, gritty realism, teen lives and loves.

But my characters, like my own children, were growing up and

reaching towards the challenges of adulthood. I made a

decision to change direction and write for an adult readership.


I’ve written eight novels, Fragile Lies, Sleep Sister,

On Your Doorstep (available on as Stolen Child),

The Lost Sister (available on as The Prodigal Sister),

The Betrayal, Guilty, The Wife Before Me, and my latest novel, The Thorn Girl.


I hope to write many more novels. All I need to do is hold

onto the imagination I had when I was too young to understand

its power – and was unaware that it is not always necessary to

have wings to fly.


I live with my husband, Sean, in the coastal town of Malahide,

close to the wonderful Broadmeadow Estuary, which had

featured in a number of my novels.

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