I am delighted to hand over my blog today to Irish author, novelist, story writer, poet and reviewer, James Lawless, who has recently published his latest novel The Spanish Au Pair.
James Lawless was born in Dublin and divides his time between County Kildare and West Cork. His first novel Peeling Oranges, a paternal quest set in the Liberties of Dublin and Franco’s Spain, was published in 2007. His prose and poetry have been broadcast and published in various magazines and anthologies in Ireland and abroad
I do hope you enjoy.
‘A big thank you to Mairéad for allowing me the opportunity to guest blog on Swirl and Thread about my new novel The Spanish Au Pair. It is about how an au pair contributes to the fall of a publicly revered police inspector. While many of us hear of the exploits of the Irish diaspora in far flung fields, I wondered about the other side of the coin? What is it like for a foreigner to come to live and work in Ireland, the land of a hundred thousand welcomes? One such person was Mariana Rivas who came to Ireland to work as an au pair. The prompt for the novel is topical with recent media coverage on the exploitation of au pairs, particularly as cheap substitutes for prohibitively expensive crèches.
This work is a contemporary, literary thriller about a Spanish au pair who becomes embroiled in the strange goings on of a Dublin family, tyrannically ruled by a predatory but outwardly respected garda inspector, Fionn Mac Convery.
In his ambitious rise in the force, the inspector has damaged several people, including his wife, whom he abuses and a previous au pair. The novel pivots on his constant efforts to seduce Mariana. In the course of avoiding Fionn, Mariana experiences the mean streets of the city and meets some of the characters who have been damaged by him. There are also suspicious links with Fionn and the murder of the father of the taxi driver Sam Sinclair whom Mariana befriends; and perhaps equally tragically is the inspector’s hand in the death of the homeless Tina whom he was supplying with stolen cocaine in return for sex. These connections haunt the inspector and eventually cohere to his detriment in a grand finale.‘
[ About the Book ]
Mariana Rivas arrives from Spain to work as an au pair in the Dublin home of the Mac Converys, Garda Inspector Fionn Mac Convery tries to seduce her. In the course of avoiding Fionn, Mariana experiences the mean streets of Dublin city and meets some of the characters who in his ambitious rise in the police force have been damaged by him. There are suspicious links with Mac Convery and the murder of the father of the taxi driver Sam Sinclair whom Mariana befriends; and perhaps equally tragically is Mac Convery’s hand in the death of the homeless Tina whom he was supplying with stolen cocaine in return for sex. These connections begin to cohere as Mariana, together with Mac Convery’s maligned wife and a vengeful Sam, set out to find justice.
Purchase Link – The Spanish Au Pair
[ Bio ]
James Lawless’ awards include the Scintilla Welsh Open Poetry Competition, the WOW award, the Cecil Day Lewis Award and a Hennessey award nomination for emerging fiction. Two of his stories were also shortlisted for the Willesden (2007) and Bridport prizes (2014), and he was an award winner in the Colm Tóibín Short Story Awards (2020). He is the author of five well-received novels Peeling Oranges, For Love of Anna, The Avenue, Finding Penelope and Knowing Women, a poetic meditation Noise & Sound Reflections, a book of children’s stories The Adventures of Jo Jo, a poetry collection Rus in Urbe, and a study of modern poetry Clearing the Tangled Wood: Poetry as a Way of Seeing the World for which he received an Irish arts bursary. He is an experienced workshop facilitator, a member of the Irish Writers’ Union and of Poetry Ireland’s Writers in Schools scheme, and he is a book reviewer for The Irish Examiner and Sunday Independent.
His works are at https://amzn.to/2CGnHI3 and have been translated into several languages at https://bit.ly/3mB6yVv and are on audio at https://adbl.co/2HeCuOZ Born in Dublin, he is an arts graduate in Spanish and Irish of University College Dublin and has an MA in Communications from Dublin City University. Working for the Simon community for several years informs some of the social concerns in his writing. He divides his time now between County Kildare and West Cork.
Twitter – @vanThool
Website – https://jameslawless.net/