Maintaining the write attitude

by Dave O'Connor
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I N T E R N A T I O N A L best-selling crime author Ava McCarthy has just released her latest novel:
Dead Secret.
T he Dublin-based writer took time out of her hectic schedule to talk to The Gazette about a typical day in her life, which sees her as not only a prolific writer, but a full-time financial services IT project manager at Bloomberg, and a mother of two.
Speaking on her newly published work, she said: “It’s about a young woman who discovers her husband has murdered their only child, so she decides to kill him and kill herself – but it doesn’t quite go to plan, and she learns things about her husband that she didn’t really want to.”
McCar thy resisted writing Dead Secret for a while, due to the dark and uncomfortable themes
that it deals with, but she couldn’t get the story out of her head so she finally built up the courage to
begin it.
On juggling writing and work, she said: “I work full time as well as writing, so it’s a challenge – it’s pretty
Having taken a few years off work to write her first three novels, McCarthy didn’t think she’d write another book, and she returned to work, but she said she decided to “use every spare moment” and finally wrote Dead Secret.
McCarthy, who has degrees in physics and nuclear medicine, credited her writing skills with her logical approach to fiction writing, and said that she is “particularly proud” of this book.
A typical day in the writer’s life starts at “the hideous hour of 5am” when she gets up to shower, wake the dogs, have a cup of tea and sit down at the kitchen table when everyone else is asleep, where she can write for two hours before leaving for work.
“It has to be every day, otherwise I’d lose momentum, even if it’s only for half an hour, but it adds up.”
McCarthy said that her morning writing session flies by before it’s time to hop on the Luas to work, where she continues to jot down notes.
Her 9-to-1 routine consists of a busy work day, and then McCarthy finds a quiet place at lunch to
sit with her laptop to continue writing.
She said that there’re not many quiet places to sit in her busy office. “Sometimes, the only alternative is to go into the ladies [toilets], put the lid down, lock myself in, put my laptop on my knees and just click away on the keyboard,” she laughed.
“You learn to tune out all the flushing, although I don’t know what the ladies in the other cubicles thought I was doing!”

McCarthy’s evenings are reserved for family time with her two teenage children, her husband and two dogs. While she often does a little work then, she uses this time to unwind and prepare for the next day.
“My family are around then and the last thing I want is for my books to affect them in any way. Once we’re all back in the house together, I don’t want to be locking myself in a room to write,” she said.

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