AFTER years steeped in academic writing and research while lecturing in English Literature, new author Maeve Tynan admits that it was “fun” to step out of her comfort zone and write her first book for children.
Maeve, from O’Connell Avenue and a VEC teacher in the city, has written the fabulously imaginative and gorgeously illustrated bilingual picture book Ar Shiúl leis na Daoine Maithe - Away with the Fairies.
Maeve, who completed a doctorate in English in Mary Immaculate College in 2007 and has lectured both there and in UL, explains that she took great pleasure in channelling her inner child.
“I got back into children’s writing in the last year or two and it is a big change from academic writing, just trying to find that voice,” she explains. “I have always read kids’ books and blogged about them, so I would be very exposed to it as a form.
“It is a change, but it is nice, you are out of the passive voice and having everything intricately researched and just having fun and using your imagination. It is lovely that way.”
The story, for 7-9 year olds, is about a boy called Billy Gubbins who is always in trouble because he is very forgetful - and is ‘away with the fairies’.
“He makes a wish one night and the fairies do come and take him away,” explains Maeve. “It is a picture book and I wanted it to be about Irish fairies, who are a bit grubbier than Disney fairies and they are a bit more devious. So the mood of it has a little bit of darkness in there.
“This came almost as a complete idea, I just had the character and put it together over a couple of weeks. I have always had a notion about doing it, the only life long ambition I have had has been to write a book. It was great fun to do, I really enjoyed it and I am hoping to do a few more.”
The book features beautiful illustrations by Spanish artist Carles Casasin and Maeve says she already has the sequel written, while she would clearly love to become a full time author.
“The dream is to become a full time author, but I have met enough to know to stick to the day job too. I love doing it, but I will never be the kind of person doing just one thing,” she adds.
The book is available in O’Mahony’s and Eason’s and from www.moinin.ie with free postage anywhere in Ireland. The book will be launched this Saturday at 11.30am in the children’s department of O’Mahony’s on O’Connell Street.