Sunday, 28 July 2019
My wonderful first week
Thank you, it's so exciting to have received my first enthusiastic supporters. It's been an exciting and terrifying week contacting (I won't say reaching out to) friends and family to let them know that I am one step closer to having a novel published after so many years of waiting. Below is a bit more about how Dolly Considine's Hotel came about, and what it's about. I look forward to reading your feedback on the comments page.
But before I go, please, please, please, pass on details for the campaign to your friends and together we'll generate enough excitement to get the funding in place. The sooner the funding is settled, the soon everyone gets to read Dolly Considine's Hotel.
When I was twenty I gave up my comfortable office job in Dublin to become a full-time writer. Of course I still needed an income so I got a casual bar job in a hotel. I was called a lounge boy. This hotel had no guest bedrooms, but every night we served alcohol to upwards of a hundred late-night drinkers, all supposedly staying in the hotel. They were called "bona fide" travellers under the licencing laws.
Ever since then I've wanted to write a story about the relationship between the landlady of a shebeen and her young writer/lounge boy; and now I have. Dolly Considine's Hotel begins in June 1983 just after the election of Gerry Adams to a seat in Westminster and ends just after a party held that September to celebrate the victory of the pro-life constitutional campaign to prevent legal abortions in Ireland. That amendment (the 8th) was overturned in 2018.
Dolly Considine's Hotel has an ensemble cast, with Julian and Dolly not just participants, but facilitators of the stories Julian wants to tell. Among the cast are Josie, now a ghost, but in her lifetime an innocent chambermaid who doesn't want to be pregnant, Sylvia, who may or may not have a secret child living with the sister she goes to see on her day off, Paddy (the dead porter) who seems to have the ability to take over Julian's pen and write his stories for him; Blathin the poet radio presenter and Mikhail the flamboyant theatre director, both of whom fall for Julian's charms. Dolly's past and her aspirations emerge through the stories, as well as her husband and lover.
Malone is arrested moments after Julian meets him in the bus station, filling Julian's summer with endless speculation in his stories about the reasons for his arrest; coincidentally in the months when Republicans in the North of Ireland (we learn later) were actually planning the biggest jail breakout since WW2. These speculations fill Julian's journal and are shared with us alongside his sexual encounters and his strategies to maintain his job and independence, despite Dolly's attempts to control him.
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