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Closer to Home - Author Erin Kaye

Thursday, 22 February 2007


We have up and coming author Erin Kaye on the couch today and she's chatting about her new novel, Closer to Home.

Erin's writing has been compared to Cathy Kelly and Maeve Binchy but really it's in a category all of its own. She tackles difficult subjects with sensitivity in the context of the unique and acutely observed backdrop of Northern Irish culture.  Erin prefers to be considered alongside the likes of Shelia Flanagan and Kathy Kelly.

To date, all Erin's novels have been based in the fictious town of Ballyfergus in Northern Ireland.  However, this, Erin's fourth novel, makes a departure as part of it is set in Boston.  Erin hopes this novel is a story that all readers can identify with.
Erin now lives in Scotland and happily combines writing with raising her two young children, Ryan and Liam. She visits Larne frequently to see family and friends. "I find Larne an ongoing source of inspiration for my books, along with my mother (she's full of great stories), and the Sunday Times Magazine because it focuses on topical human issues."

Erin Kaye's favorite subject at school was English which she studied to A-level, earning a grade A. "We didn't have a TV in the house until I was well into primary school so we read a lot. I remember in primary 6 my teacher didn't believe that I had read Dickens's Great Expectations. But I had!"

Straight after graduating from the University of Ulster in 1988, she married Mervyn and they moved to Aberdeen, where Erin embarked on a career in banking. "I thought I wanted a sensible, well-paid career," she says. Ten years later she was at the top of the corporate ladder but, always an avid reader of fiction, the urge to write had been growing over the same period.
Frustrated with the long-hours culture and making little progress with the novel, she finally threw caution to the wind, handed in her notice and turned her back on one promising career. "It was the most foolhardy thing I've ever done," she recalls. But her gamble paid off - her first novel, MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS, was published in 2003 and was followed by 'CHOICES' and 'SECOND CHANCES'.

Erin took a real gamble here as she was on the board of Bank of Scotland but her husband and she decided to tighten their belt, downsize cars etc, and let her pursue her goal of writing.  Friends thought they were mad, but she wanted out of the rat race and knew she had to follow the dream.

She sets the books in the north because that is where she is most familiar with and the town of Ballyfergus is based on Larne, her hometown.

The hotel in Closer to Home is based on a hotel from her childhood in Larne which she returned to last summer but was sad to see is now, nearly derelict.

She feels this book is her strongest, and she hopes that it might make it into the English market and eventually, that she might be able to go global.

For more information
Closer to Home was published by Poolbeg Press on Jan 25th and is priced at €9.99