A VISIT FROM CIARÁN COLLINS Nov08

A VISIT FROM CIARÁN COLLINS...

Every new school year brings with it hopefully a new year for CloudofThink. It must be admitted, however, that the creative writing club has struggled somewhat to get off the ground this year. We decided then that it was about time to raise a greater awareness of the club and of the general pastime of writing by inviting an author to the school to speak to students. Ciarán Collins, a Cork writer and teacher, kindly consented to come along to our school on Tuesday 20th, and discuss both his new book and the process of writing. This book, Mr Collins’ first, is called The Gamal. It tells the story of Charlie, a lad from a small West Cork village, who keeps mainly to the sidelines of life but, contrary to the popular belief that he is a bit of a fool or “gamal,” notices anything and everything from joy to sorrow to the book’s central doomed romance. Charlie’s first-person narration meanders from the realms of the hilarious to the heart-wrenching in a touchingly real and relatable account of the life of a teenager. It was with a reading from the first pages of this novel that Mr Collins began the event on Tuesday, a reading which I could see left the whole audience enthralled and determined to read more of the book themselves. I then sat down with Mr Collins for what proved to be a fascinating and very informative discussion about his work. He described how, when he was beginning The Gamal, he thought it very important to “be as ambitious as I could… to try and write the very best deepest, funniest, most heartbreaking, engaging, insightful kind of a book that I could come up with,” a sentence which captures perfectly the...