The Mountains to Sea Book Festival starts today, the 3rd of September, and runs until Sunday 8 September in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. The packed programme features authors from home and abroad, including Margaret Atwood, Roddy Doyle and Colum McCann.

Award-winning novelist Colum McCann grew up near Dun Laoghaire in a house full of books brought home every night by his father, Evening Press journalist and author Sean McCann. Father and son appear together in a special event on Saturday 7 September at the Pavilion Theatre, where they will talk about their lives as writers.

In 2010, Miriam O'Callaghan visited the McCann family home to record a special 'Miriam Meets' radio programme. The McCanns reminisce about Colum's childhood. Colum talks about how his father Sean "radically shifted the landscape of Irish literature" by encouraging young writers, introducing a special page for women writers in the Evening Press called 'The Petticoat Panel' in the 1960s at a time when such a thing was unheard of. Sean recalls the day Colum got his Leaving Cert results. He told Colum he could now be anything he wanted to be, and Colum said "Dad, I'm going to be a writer".

This 'Miriam Meets'was broadcast on 19 December 2010.

The accompanying images of Colum McCann are from a RTÉ News report on him winning a US National Book Award prize for his novel 'Let the Great World Win', broadcast on 19 November 2009.

Colum McCann