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Pa­trick Chap­man

Pa­trick’s writ­ing life started at age six, with comics. Then he started writ­ing ad­ven­ture sto­ries. Af­ter col­lege, he worked in ad­ver­tis­ing, for var­i­ous com­pa­nies, cov­er­ing ac­counts such as Aer Lin­gus, An Post, and Guin­ness.

“I worked at Adept for five years, for the Euro Changeover Board, then I left to have more time for writ­ing. Since then, I’ve free­lanced.”

Pa­trick pub­lished two col­lec­tions of poetry in the 1990s, and has also writ­ten short fic­tion, an award-win­ning short film, star­ring Gina McKee, episodes of chil­dren’s TV se­ries, and au­dio ad­ven­tures for Doc­tor Who and Dan Dare.

“I also pro­duce for BBC Ra­dio 4, and co-edit an on­line poetry magazine, The Pick­led Body.”

Pa­trick started the novel in 2001, af­ter a child­hood friend had com­mit­ted sui­cide. He wrote 80,000 words, then had to learn the tools of novel-writ­ing. He has rewrit­ten the de­but over the years, ex­tract­ing a sub-plot which was pub­lished four years ago, as a novella.

Who is Pa­trick Chap­man? Date/place of birth: 1968/County Roscom­mon.

Ed­u­ca­tion: St Mary’s Col­lege in Boyle; Col­lege of Com­merce DIT in Rath­mines, ad­ver­tis­ing. Home: Stoney­bat­ter, Dublin.

Fam­ily: Girl­friend, Sarah Mullen.

The Day Job: Free­lance Ad­ver­tis­ing copy­writer, and ra­dio pro­ducer for BBC Ra­dio 4.

In Another Life: “I’d like to be an astro­naut. They were ro­man­tic fig­ures when I was grow­ing up with the Apollo pro­gramme. I can’t imag­ine how beau­ti­ful it would be to see the earth from space.”

Favourite Writ­ers: JG Bal­lard; Ray Brad­bury; Lor­rie Moore; Ju­lian Barnes; Peter Carey, and poet, Robert Low­ell.

Sec­ond Novel: “I have a few sto­ries for a novel, but there will be another col­lec­tion of poetry first.”

Top Tip: “Don’t be afraid to walk away from some­thing that isn’t work­ing. When you step away, your subconscious will work, and when you get back to it, the prob­lem will be solved.”


The De­but

So Long, Napoleon Solo; Blaze Vox Books, €14.76

Jerome Wil­liams has trou­ble sus­tain­ing re­la­tion­ships. It’s Dublin, 1999, and his child­hood friend, Tom, has killed him­self. Reel­ing in the wake of the tragedy, he hooks up with Ro, Tom’s trou­bled, and pregnant girl­friend, whilst also try­ing to res­cue his friend, Clea, whose part­ner is prov­ing dan­ger­ous.

The Ver­dict: A novel with heart. Sexy, sala­cious, and know­ing.

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