After that it was over to the cobbles of trinity, and the Samuel Beckett theatre where I had the treat of seeing Kevin Barry and John Butler showing a short film they had collaborated on and then reading from their first novels.
Kevin is a great performer, he knows it too. With mischievious charm and one foot thrown back at the podium he acts his way through the reading, bringing his already rich words even further to life. City of Bohane is based in the city of Bohane, and he read from it in a Bohane accent. The language of the book is a unique patois mixing cork and limerick accents (rubber bandits how are ye) and the book itself seems to revolve around feuding families, violent action and very nice costumes. It was hard to get into it in the 15 minutes that he read for, but Kevin promises great rewards in the interview afterwards, saying he was inspired by "The Wire" and shows like that which are, in turn, structured similarly to 19th Century Russian novels - with alot of work early on, getting to know a wide cast and world and therefore greater returns because "you feel like you've had to earn it" - it seems he's happy for the book to be a lean to rather than a lean back kind of thing, and is already working on the screenplay, drawing the costumes etc.
John's first novel is called The Tenderloin and was just launched last night. The day job for him is film work, directing short films, and before that he worked in IT in San Francisco, during the IT boom. This is where the inspiration for his book arises, although he had originally planned it to be a straight memoir - it was pointed out to him that nothing terrible had happened him, and he wasn't terribly famous - he found fictionalising the whole experience was even more fun. (Kevin told us that John once said to him actors were like "the best toys ever" - this is a guy who likes to have fun). The book got alot of laughs from the audience as he read, and his impression of a big boss giving a speech at a staff BBQ was brilliant. I'd say this is well worth watching out for and it'll be firmly on my wishlist - and one that I'll be pushing for a read in the book club.
The whole evening was fun and inspiring, and I took particular courage from the revelation that most people "Tool around" for a decade before really getting disciplined and getting to work (so what if my decade takes a little longer than most)... A very motivational way to spend a Thursday.