The home of Irish women writers on the web
Kathleen Sheehan O'Connor
Welcome to my website. It's great to think someone out there might read this and be encouraged to take up the pen and write. I think words have fascinated me for what comes across like a thousand years, certainly since skinny childish fingers dipped the first nibbed pen into Quink ink.
But the childish fascination came to some fruition when I joined a English Appreciation class run by the Jesuits in Limerick. We were asked to contribute small anecdotal pieces and I did and they were recieved warmly. I was on my way.
That summer of 1969 I was asked to write for The Limerick Leader and I shared a page for nine months with the late great John B. Keane. Heady times. Then we came to live in Dublin and I contributed to the feature page of the Evening Press a happy relationaship that lasted for eighteen years. The feature editor was Sean McCann the man who helped and encouraged so many young writers on the road to success.
During that time I spread my wings to many newspapers and magazines until the playwright Bernard Farrell advised me to stop and write the book. I did and I wrote Silver Harvest in a large ruled notebook by hand.
It took one year and the deciphering of that notebook took another year.
Etched on my mind like the birth of my first born was the day the publisher phoned and told me he liked the book and intended publishing it. It was six o clock on a foggy November day and we were sitting down to dinner. Happiness was walking back into that kitchen and airily waving my hand telling my husband and children to bow they were in the presence on a real live author.
That was one of the highs of the writing game and of course like all occupations there are lows too. Lonely days when you live in a world apart from all normality as you weave your trade. Wearisome days when you wonder will any one buy your book, like your book or will you sink without trace. But you hang on in there because it's addiction as great as any addiction. I remember saying that when I gave a reading in The Writers Centre. A well known author was in the audiance and she shouted "it's more than an addiction--it's a curse. Despite that we go on.