LISP 4th Quarter 2020 Official Selection Short Story, Hazy Days of Summer Seventy-Three, by Colm Herron
Can you please tell us about your daily life?
Writing, walking in the fresh air and back to writing.
When did you start writing? How often do you write?
I began writing at the age of seven and retired when I was fifteen and a half. The retirement, which spanned thirty years, was necessary because I'd decided that it was more important to live rather than write. Now my idea of living mostly took the form of chasing girls, although on one or two never to be forgotten occasions it was girls who did the chasing. Anyway, I later went on to suffer an early mid-life crisis. I was in my early forties at the time. It was a kind of epiphany I suppose, which told me that maybe writing could itself be a way of living. And so I penned my first novel - For I Have Sinned - which stunned me by proving to be a trailblazer for Channel 4's instant sitcom classic Derry Girls in which the Derry (my home town) vernacular is both authentic and almost universally comprehensible. I've written five novels and they've all received outstanding reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. I've fulfilled invitations to read from my work at festivals far and wide, the most memorable being the Edinburgh Fringe. My admirers include Paul Greengrass, Fritz Senn, Paul Webb (Selma), Morris Beja who is a world authority on James Joyce, Ferdia MacAnna (The Last of the High Kings), and Tony Parsons (Man and Boy). I have received several awards from the N. Ireland Arts Council, the earliest of which saved my bacon, ie: kept me solvent. The reader may idly wonder about my output between ages seven and fifteen. Well, from seven to nine I stitched and sold handwritten stories to classmates. From nine to eleven I spent part of every Saturday honing my narrative skills telling cliff-hangers to ne'er-do-wells in our local gambling hall, a venture that wasn't exactly lucrative but shaped me all the same. And from eleven to fifteen and a half I tried my hand at writing plays, one of which was broadcast by the BBC. How does it feel to have your work recognised?
How did you come up with the idea for your LISP selected story? Is there a story behind your story? And, how long have you been working on it?
It was a story I started on a few years ago and then left aside. So I completed it for your competition. What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing competitions?
Hardest thing is fear of rejection. Best thing is the enthusiasm which should soon take over. Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on LISP?
Obviously! If I can do it, so can you.