Music to Write By

If I’m lucky, every week I spend a number of happy hours by myself, writing. Music is often my only companion. If I’m really concentrating – trying to craft a particularly tricky sentence, or juggling a complicated plot sequence, I turn it off, but most of the time it is the perfect accompaniment. I’m like Pavlov’s dogs: the minute […]

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You can take the girl out of Ireland…

I was born in Northern Ireland, and lived with my family in a little (as in: blink or you’ll miss it) village called Altnamackin in County Armagh until we made the long and alienating journey to New Zealand in 1974. I was named after Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, who, legend has it, planted a […]

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The Belfast Question

This story is based on something that really happened to me to when I went back to Northern Ireland in my 20s. I was born there, and my family shifted to New Zealand when I was four. My father was a Presbyterian minister in Country Armagh (termed “Bandit Country” in 1975 by then Northern Ireland […]

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