Writer Donal Ryan considered ending his three-book deal with his publishers as he found writing some of the stories too difficult.
Some of the stories in his debut short story collection, A Slanting of the Sun were written while he was writing the Booker nominated, The Spinning Heart, and The Thing About December,
Then when he needed to focus exclusively on the stories to complete the three book-deal, they suddenly became more difficult to write.
"I was giving up, I was saying to my wife Anne Marie, I can’t do this at all. It got so hard at one stage I was saying to her I’m actually going to quit, I’m going to tell Doubleday (publishers) that the deal is off. “
But it all came right in the end with the help of Anne Marie, his first reader and most honest critic. Ryan's third book will prove as powerful a draw as the novels for his many fans.
These days he is writer-in-residence at the University of Limerick, something he is eternally grateful for.
He said it “saved my bacon actually, because I was really floundering at home and I’d quit the day job.” The day job was Labour Inspector for the National Employment Rights Authority.
The affable writer, who lives near Limerick city with his wife and two children also recalled that when he did not make the Booker shortlist for The Spinning Heart a newspaper carried the headline: `Donal Ryan fails to be shortlisted.’ "But I didn’t attempt to do anything, so I couldn’t have failed,” he noted wryly.
The novel later won Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards in 2012 and was shortlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award in 2014.
Read the full interview here.
A Slanting of the Sun is in bookshops now.