An interview with Eoin Glynn



The following is an interview taken from the July 2008 edition of NEM (non-existent magazine) Weekly:
INTERVIEWER: So, Ian. You're a writer.
EOIN GLYNN: Eh, yes. But it's pronounced Eoin.

INT: Owen?
EOIN: Yes.

INT: Why's it spelt like that? It looks like Ian, or Eowen.
EOIN: It was designed to confuse.

INT: It worked. So, anyway, you're a writer.
EOIN: I am.

INT: Of children's books.
EOIN: Exactly.

INT: Aren't you worried?
EOIN: Why?

INT: Some people won't take you seriously as a writer.
EOIN: True, but you can't please everybody. I just love writing and will keep on doing it.

INT: Fair point. Might you ever write for adults?
EOIN: Yes, very possibly.

INT: What age are you currently writing for?
EOIN: Eight to twelve year olds.

INT: Having read some of your work, I notice a strong emphasis on mischief.
EOIN: Yes, well, mischief just sort of comes naturally to me.

INT: Were you a terror as a child?
EOIN: You might want to ask my mum that question. But, as far as I'm concerned, no. Or at least, not at home.

INT: So you were a terror somewhere else, at school?
EOIN: For most of my junior school I was fine.

INT: But not all of it?
EOIN: No. When I was ten or eleven, I gave certain teachers a lot of grief. I suppose my biggest claim to fame was that I caused the headmistress to retire.

INT: You caused her to retire?
EOIN: Yes, after I gave her a stroke.

INT: What makes you think you caused her stroke?
EOIN: She told me, in no uncertain terms. In fact, she was shouting her head off at the time.

INT: Wow. Is she still alive?
EOIN: I hope not.

INT: Do you feel bad about that?
EOIN: Bad about what?

INT: Giving your headmistress a stroke.
EOIN: I didn't want her to have a stroke, but to be honest; it was nice having her out of my life. And in a way, I'm grateful for the lessons she taught me. And I don't mean the English or maths. I wasn't paying much attention to them. She taught me exactly what I should not do as an adult. She showed me how not to deal with children. She was a gift, really.

INT: She probably didn't see you in that way.
EOIN: I have no doubt that she didn't.

INT: I have a few standard questions that I'd like to ask. The first one being, what are your favourite children's books and why?
EOIN: Well, as a child, I loved all the Roald Dahl material. I just thought he was great, a truly wonderful old man. I felt he really understood the mind of a child. I also adored the Asterix and Tintin material. Now, as an adult, I'm very keen on pretty much anything Eoin Colfer publishes. Artemis Fowl was an especially great creation. The HIVE books by Mark Walden are also remarkable. They are so politically incorrect, which I love. Political correctness drives me nuts. People should just be real and forget the acting, unless of course, they are actually actors.

INT: Who or what was your biggest influence in deciding to become a writer?
EOIN: Me, myself and I, and then The Lord of The Rings. I love books. I love the smell of them. It was after reading LOTR that I decided I wanted to write fantasy. Two huge manuscripts later, I realised I was not the man for the job. Writing about mischief and adventure comes much more easily.

INT: What inspired you to write your latest book?
EOIN: Going on a Caribbean Cruise.

INT: What's the best thing you've ever written?
EOIN: Any book that's currently under a publisher's nose.

INT: Is there any particular ritual involved in your writing process (favourite pen, lucky charm, south-facing window)?
EOIN: I can write anywhere. I just write like a man from Connemara - head down into the wind and rain, get on with it and don't look up till lunch.

INT: What is your favourite colour?
EOIN: Caribbean blue.

INT: What is your favourite food and worst?
EOIN: My favourite would be Sushi. Worst would be Brussels sprouts. They make me vomit.

INT: Do you have a pet?
EOIN: Yes, a dog that thinks he's human. The only human thing he can't do is speak. But he's working on it. He can make many sounds that are not natural to any animal. So I have faith in him, it's just a matter of time. We'll start with the alphabet when he's ready.

INT: What subject did you enjoy most at school...and least?
EOIN: I enjoyed English the most. But I suppose that's somewhat expected for a writer, isn't it? And let's just say that maths wasn't my favourite subject.

INT: What is your favourite film?
EOIN: Err, there are so many. Life of Brian, Star Wars, The Matrix, Lord of The Rings. I can't pick a favourite.

INT: What music do you like?
EOIN: Arrgh, this is an even harder question. I like so much. Grunge in general, I suppose. Also, Rage Against The Machine, Chris Cornell, Linkin Park. The Irish band Lir were incredible.

INT: If you weren't a writer, what would you have been?
EOIN: In my mind, a secret agent. In reality, a bored lawyer.

INT: How long does it take you to write a book?
EOIN: Three to six months of actual writing plus three months of editing and cursing.

INT: Where do you get your ideas from?
EOIN: My life, and my dog. As soon as he starts speaking, I'll be able to get a whole lot more from him. Although, he'll probably want royalties by that stage. I'll just have to stockpile bones and trade them off - one idea, one bone, one idea, one bone. It should work.
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