The Next Big Thing – from Orfhlaith Foyle

Orfhlaith Foyle’s novel Belios was published by the Lilliput Press in 2005. A collection of her poetry and short fiction, Revenge was published by Arlen House,also in 2005.
Her first full collection of poetry Red Riding Hood’s Dilemma was published in 2010 by Arlen House, followed by her debut short story collection Somewhere in Minnesota , also from Arlen House in 2011. It was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize. The title story was previously published in Faber and Faber’s New Irish Short Stories 2011.

These eight questions manage to persuade writers to reveal their methods, hopes and also the pitfalls of setting out to construct a book.

1 Where did the idea come from for the book?

For my first novel, Belios, I suppose, as with all first novels, I used some of my life with a great deal of imagination. That is also true for most of my following stories and poetry.No matter how different the character, the idea or theme of my stories, there is always something of me in there.
My next novel is very different and so are its characters, but as a writer, i ask myself “What would I do if I was this person in this story and with their life?” That’s how I write. I make people up and I go along with them.

2 What genre is the book?

Literary fiction. My first novel has definite Gothic overtones, but nothing so different from real life. My stories do have a dark leaning but that’s fine.

3 What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a film of your book?

For my first novel, Belios I really have no idea. For my second one, and only for daydreaming purposes because the book is not finished yet… I think Michael Fassbender… but he would need to put on a bit of weight and develop an Australian twang. for another one of the characters… I think Abbie Cornish…she has a real gift for living a character.

4 What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

For all my stories, I am obsessed with how human we try to be or/and how we fail, and how we equate savagery with love.

5 How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I wrote Belios in three months but that was after countless months of work, revision, dead-ends and sheer un-useable words. With stories, it varies but once I have its guts, then I just write. With my WIP, I am still writing it but I see the end now and again…depending on how my writing day goes.

6 Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A person’s face inspired my present work.

7 What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?

I don’t know.I just like to write as if I was the reader.I just want to tell a story that pulls the reader in and makes them live inside the story. When I was a child, that’s how I read, and I never lost that way of reading.

8 Will your book be self-published or represented by an agent?

I don’t have an agent but I hope this book will be good enough for the people who published Belios. That’s what I tell myself anyway.

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3 Responses to The Next Big Thing – from Orfhlaith Foyle

  1. Valerie says:

    I’ve been reading Orfhlaith’s ‘Somewhere in Minnesota’ and admiring her facility for language among other things. I like the darkness in her work. It’s part of us. Coincidentally I came across ‘Belios’ in a second-hand bookshop the other day and it’s on my ‘to read’ pile. Enjoyed the interview, thanks to you both.

    • patjourdan says:

      Yes, her writing has hidden depths and deserves second readings. I get the impression that it is thought about, deliberated over and not dashed onto the page!

  2. Nice interview – intriguing – not a lot being revealed 😉 But we must be patient, an OF book is always worth the wait.

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