Born: Strabane, Co Tyrone, Ireland
Since I can remember I’ve wanted to be a writer which might explain why I spent most of my life working as a journalist. I didn’t have the guts or the know how to pursue my dream. Then life got in the way.
But before that I produced my first newspaper when I was nine (total readership: 12). I put together a project at school on the Cultural Revolution in China in 1968. I was 12. The Chinese embassy in London sent me a crate load of Mao Tse Tung’s ‘Little Red Book’ which aroused some ‘official’ curiosity!
My interest in creative writing was first roused by an English teacher in St Flannan’s College, Ennis. It was subsequently doused by another English teacher in St Paul’s College in Dublin.
At college in University College, Dublin I studied History and Politics with the intention of becoming a journalist. I worked for several national newspapers as a financial and news reporter, feature writer, sub-editor, music columnist and gossip columnist. I also worked as a freelance feature writer and sold my work to newspapers and magazines throughout the world including Mojo, Q, Select, New Musical Express, Rolling Stone, Washington Post, Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Telegraph.
I published one book. So Different: an unauthorised biography of Sinead O’Connor (Omnibus Press 1992), an international bestseller that was translated and published in four languages.
In my last ten years as a journalist I worked as a Social Diarist for the Evening Herald through the rise of the so called ‘Celtic Tiger.’ It was an exciting time in Ireland when Dublin became the cultural capital of Europe and an essential stopover for international celebrities doing the late 20th Century’s version of the Grand Tour. My last job in journalism was as Showbusiness Editor for Ireland on Sunday (now Ireland’s Mail on Sunday).