When twelve-year-old Sophie Williams went on a Girl Scout summer camp, she never returned home.
Squid contacted me through Twitter. I’ll be honest, the name made me smile.
From behind the counter of an Irish bar, I’ve watched the world flow by. I have heard a thousand stories, and told more than a few. It’s about time I wrote a few down.
In the past, ‘Cliff Dive’ and ‘Murder of Crows’ have both short stories of mine which have featured in the Woven Tale Press.
The Art’s Council of Ireland published an anthology of emerging Kerry writers called ‘Visions’ which included my story ‘Bunny Derby’
In December, I was contacted by the CQ Awards to say that ‘Buddy App’ had been awarded Best Short Story 2015 and would be featuring in the addition just after the new year.
My first full-length novel was published by Kindle Press through the Scout process and it is called Honeysuckle Lane. It’s a fast-paced crime novel which follows the residents of a street in Dublin as they battle to keep their individual secrets. It has been well followed since its launch in 2015 and gained nearly 100 reviews across Amazon and Goodreads.
My second book was self-published and it is a collection of comic short stories called the Misadventures of Father Tom. A nice light read if you are going on a journey.
In 2018 my latest crime novel came out, titled Thirty Pieces of Silver. It is currently available on Amazon as an Ebook and Paperback. Although it is new to the market it is receiving solid reviews at the moment.
Tell us about yourself
I find myself amazed that people want to know about me at all. Sure, I’m just your average fella, trying to make a few bob, and keep myself out of the poor house. If there were anything unusual at all about me, it’s that I court disaster. I always have if the truth be known.
I never knew the word can’t. No matter the obstacle, no matter the endeavour, I felt equipped to give it a go. I failed, and failed plenty, but found it survivable. Then, once in a while…I won! Small wins, big ones, they all have a place. Life is just a collection of attempts, or so I believe.
I’m not sure if this still counts today. Society, in my opinion is far too preoccupied with sure things. You got to keep safe! Bad stuff could happen! You might get killed! If I had a buck for every time I was nearly killed as a kid, I’d have $27.50. Seriously maimed deserves a half mention. But I’m still here! I sure get nostalgic for those early years. Here, let me tell you a quick story.
One of the best things that ever happened to me was being born in the seventies. Back then, the only thing restraining a kid were the boundaries of his imagination and the threat of a wooden spoon across the arse. One day, myself and my brother were arguing over which television station to watch, (and there were only two), when Dad stormed into the room and yelled, “Enough of this blasted thing!” and unplugged the TV. He didn’t stop there! Oh no, he picked it up, took it outside and put it in the back of the car, then drove away. He came back an hour later empty handed.
“Where’s the telly!” we both cried in unison.
“It’ll come back when you two stop fighting over it! Now, go out and play,” he said, and that was his last word on the matter.
Three years later…we still had no TV.
Of all the great things my father did for me, that was his greatest! He gave me the gift of freedom, the inspiration (and boredom) to use my imagination and fostered a life long love of adventure.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I’d never say I was an author. It’s a description that sits far too uncomfortably with me. If I do anything, I tell a good story, or I hope I do. It only seemed natural to write a few of them down and as you can tell, I can go on a bit. The stories on the blog started to grow, until one day I had a book on my hands and not a clue what to do with it. Thankfully, Kindle Press said they knew just what to do and made me the first non-US author to be taken under their wing. Despite my terrible spelling, at least six people have read my books, I think my mother bought the other five and a half thousand copies. I’m sure she’s been hiding them in the attic.
What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?
Holy God, I’d read the back of a Cornflake box if I’d nothing else to hand. Thrillers, horror, comedy, mystery, true life, young adult…I’ve read the lot. I’ve even sweated my way through the odd romance. In the end my favourite is crime. They have so many layers to explore, I love them. Although the stories on my blog cover all sorts of genres, Honeysuckle Lane and Thirty Pieces of Silver, are fast-paced crime thrillers. Both are set in Dublin and I hope both will keep you flicking the pages until your fingers are sore.
Is your book for adults, young adults, or children?
Adults, most defiantly adults.
What is your current release or project?
My next book is in the very early stages so I’ll tell you about Thirty Pieces of Silver.
It’s a story of betrayal. It follows two groups of criminals, each intent on controlling the supply of drugs in the heart of Dublin city. It’s a story were the action comes hot and heavy but I hope we have interesting characters for you to fall in love with or hate, as the case may be. The strange thing about this book is that after I had it finished some real-life events took place that eerily echoed scenes in the book. Perhaps I was having psychic flashes of the future when I was writing it.
Tell us about the key characters.
So, the main players in Thirty Pieces of Silver are Jimmy Kingston, the head of a long-established crime empire. He run’s his business like a roman emperor. His word is law and if crossed he is deadly. Then come the Griffin brothers. Four hard lads who fought their way out of the gutter to make a better life for themselves only to have their ambitions stunted by Kingston. The last character is Joey, a nice young lad, who gets drawn into this dangerous world through friendship. He ends up sinking way deeper into this life than he ever intended to go.
It was nearly three in the morning when the last song finished, and the street outside Zoe’s was littered with drunks and spaced out teenagers. It was time for him to go home. Dave nodded to the security men as he left, they all knew him but pretended they didn’t. The envelope he passed to the head doorman once a month assured his business went undisturbed, as long as he was discreet. Overall, it had been a good night. He had pockets stuffed with cash, and he’d had a good time getting it. He’d sunk half a dozen beers and hovered up at least four more lines of coke along with getting a fumble from the red-head in the disabled toilet. Life was good, man, really good. The cold night air carried the smell of chips and the beer he’d drank kicked his appetite into overdrive. His stomach screamed out for food, so he wandered in the direction of Kim’s Kebab shop a few streets away. He was near the top of the road when he spotted the creepy guy from earlier leaning against a wall and munching on a burger. The bloke waved him over.
“Hey man, got any more of them little birdies?” he said through a mouthful of chewed beef.
“Sure,” Dave said, walking toward the man. “How many do you want?” That was as far as he got because two knuckle-draggers rushed him from behind and bundled him down an alley. That was never an auspicious start to any encounter. He tried shouting for help, but one of the men drove a fist into his gut and knocked the wind right out of him. The guy eating the burger pushed himself away from the wall and followed as if nothing untoward were happening. Once they were deep in the dark lane, the two gorillas went to work on him. After the first dozen blows, he didn’t feel much of anything. He was on the verge of passing out when the burger chewing guy stepped forward. Thankfully the other two stopped trying to kick his teeth in. Dave lay with his face against the cold concrete and struggled to draw a breath. Every time his chest moved it was like being stabbed from the inside. He tried to open his eyes, but there was something wrong with one of them. The world was fuzzy and unfocused. Fear made him push through the pain as he tried to focus on the skinny guy coming toward him. When the scared face was only inches away, he realised the man was still smiling. He finished the last of his burger and sucked the grease from his fingers. Then he said, “You tell Jimmy he’s not keeping us out anymore. You got that?” Dave tried to speak, but he couldn’t make the words come out, so he nodded his head fractionally. Even that slight movement caused a riot of pain to explode inside his brain. As he moved, he felt something slap wetly against his cheek and refused to imagine what it might be. “Good,” said the man, standing up. He paused and hunkered down again. Dave braced himself for more pain, but instead, he felt the man’s hands on his body as he emptied his pockets of drugs. He took Dave’s wallet and even found the deals of coke stuffed inside his sock. As the scarred man stood to leave, he said, “And tell him to keep a leash on Pit-bull Byrne, or we’ll put that doggy down for good.” The guy delivered a final kick to Dave’s head which mercifully turned out the lights in his brain, giving him temporary relief from the agony.
Do you have a favorite scene?
I have a favourite scene but where’s the fun in hearing what I like. I want to know what everyone else liked. I think this is the wonder of books. Each experience is individual to the person reading. Every story unique to the one who holds the page. I only hope I was able to sow enough seeds with my words to allow magic happen in the heads of others.
What advice would you give a beginner?
I’d say we’re all beginners. It’s impossible to edit a blank page. Try and try again. Each time you’ll get a little better, but don’t feel bad if you fail to hit perfection (It doesn’t exist).
I’d say take all the advice people are willing to give. Never be insulted by an offer of help. It’s up to you to decide what really works and what’s rubbish.
Lastly, I’d say write for pleasure. If you’re seeking fame or fortune, you might be barking up the wrong tree.
Thanks so much for having me along for a chat. I hoped you enjoyed a peek into my world. If you fancy dropping by the blog for a few stories be sure to say Hi in the comments box. One way or the other, keep the love of books alive. You know what they say, an open book prevents a closed mind.
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Where it all Began blog https://squidmcfinnigan.blogspot.com/