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Dream comes true for Tralee author Noel as he finds publisher for his debut novel

There weren’t too many positives to the lockdown, but one thing it gave us was an abundance of free time and one person who certainly used that free time to his advantage was Noel O’Regan from Tralee, who used the lockdown as a chance to sit down and finally get to work on her novel.

oel is a past recipient of the Sean Dunne Young Writer Award, winner of the Bridport Short Story Prize and has been named Kerry County Council Writer-in-Residence. His fiction has been published in Stinging Fly, Ambit and Southword.

His first book, to be published by Granta Books, titled ‘Although the bodies fall‘, is the story of a man who finds himself drawn to his family home at the end of Kerry Head in Ireland.

“It’s a scenic place, but the cliffs are also a black spot for suicide, and from an early age Micheál was involved in his mother’s mission to save these troubled souls,” the synopsis reads.

“Now, having grown up, his life in ruins, he feels obliged in the same way, to constantly watch the ‘visitors’, to try to dissuade them. When his two sisters tell him that they want to sell the land, he must choose between his siblings and the visitors, a future or a past,” the synopsis concludes.

Noel – who is certainly no stranger to the publishing world, having previously worked at Mercier Press – spoke with The Kerryman this week about working on the novel during lockdown and why he’s so happy Granta Books – who he describes as his ‘dream publishers’ – will be publishing his book.

“I heard the news last week. My agent, Euan Thorneycroft, sent it [the book] at Granta and he found out within days that Laura Barber the editor had read it and liked it and shared it with the team there who also seemed to like it and so an offer was made and that was finalized last week and I was just thrilled,” Noel said.

“Basically the last five or six years before the pandemic I was working full time as an editor at Mercier Press in Cork, so that didn’t really leave me much time for my own writing. So for the first three or four months of lockdown there was nothing else to do so i settled in my room and just wrote i already had the idea for the story but this three or four month spell m got through the first draft,” he continued.

Continuing, Noel said he was visiting his home in Tralee with his parents when he heard the news and it was a special moment to hear it with them.

“I was with my parents when the word got out and it’s been great for them too because they’ve always been supportive of me,” he said.

Finally, Noel ended by reflecting on his joy Granta Books will soon be the home of “Though The Bodies Fall”.

“The reputation of[GrantaBooks’danslemondeestsanségaleentermesdepublicationdefictionlittérairedehautequalitéIlspublientplusieursdemesécrivainspréférésdoncpourmoitrouverunemaisonparmidesécrivainsdececalibrec’estincroyablec’estunrêvedevenuréalité”ilafini[GrantaBooks’reputationgloballyissecondtononeintermsofpublishinghighqualityliteraryfictionTheypublishmanyofmyfavouritewriterssoformetofindahomeamongwritersofthatcalibreit’sincredibleit’sadreamcometrue”hefinished[GrantaBooks’danslemondeestsanségaleentermesdepublicationdefictionlittérairedehautequalitéIlspublientplusieursdemesécrivainspréférésdoncpourmoitrouverunemaisonparmidesécrivainsdececalibrec’estincroyablec’estunrêvedevenuréalité”ilafini[GrantaBooks’reputationgloballyissecondtononeintermsofpublishinghighqualityliteraryfictionTheypublishmanyofmyfavouritewriterssoformetofindahomeamongwritersofthatcalibreit’sincredibleit’sadreamcometrue”hefinished

Margarita W. Wilson

The author Margarita W. Wilson