As I said in my last post, summer is upon us and this is a particularly busy time of year here – writing, tourist season, visitors, hay baling, vegetable gardens etc – so I’m temporarily reducing my Green Fingered Writer posts to one a fortnight. As soon as things calm down, I’ll be back to the usual weekly updates.
In this post, I’d like to tell you about an amazing little guy I met yesterday while working in the local bookshop in Schull, Whyte Books. (For those of you that aren’t aware, I’m helping out part-time, the perfect antedote to the solitude of writing. And when you see the place, you’ll understand why I love it.)
One of the great things about working in a bookshop is the people you meet. People who love books. People who need books. People who want to talk books. And sometimes, you meet unexpected treasures that stand out and inspire.
This young fellow, Joe Prendergast, is just 9 years old and the proud author of two adventure books – The Great Fragola Brothers (2012) and The Great Fragola Brothers – The Twisted (2013) – with all proceeds donated to the Clinical Cancer Research Trust at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin.
According to Joe, he had written a few long stories before but never completed them. When he lost his dad to lung cancer last summer, he decided to complete a story as a dedication. But he had no idea where it would lead…
Now, with two books, several readings and television/radio interviews and the final installment of the trilogy underway, Joe Prendergast is in flying form. And as far as I’m concerned, he is to be admired on so many levels. Courage, dedication, determination and guts – this kid has it all. And I can’t wait to read his books. I’m preparing to be amazed. Again.
It was a delight to meet Joe and wonderful to see such a young boy so enthused, so motivated, so excited by writing. He was oozing dedication and joy and this made me stop and think.
How many times do we hear writers bemoaning their workload or complaining about deadlines?
Thankfully, I can honestly say that I rarely hear writers complain.
I have regularly come across panic, fear, self doubt and worry, but these are counterbalanced with joy, wonder, gratitude and celebration; and both the positive and the negative elements are accepted as part of a writer’s life.
I’ve never once heard anyone complain about having to sit at their desk and write. Because, like Joe, we writers love what we do. And we love it with a passion.
So meeting Joe not only made me want to whoop with joy at the thought of fresh talent, it also reminded me of my unwavering faith in the writing community – from writers and publishers to readers – and in the wonder of the written word.
Who inspired you today?
(You can read more about Joe in ‘Starting Early’, over on SJ O’Hart’s blog, Clockwatching…)