On Writing: Lisa McInerney

We caught up with the brilliant Lisa McInerney to discuss the inspiration behind her 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction winning novel The Glorious Heresies.

Cork City, specifically its rhythms, its ups and its downs – both in terms of hills and accents. I wrote most of Heresies 100 miles away, but dipped back in every so often. I get quite down if I’m away from Cork too long.

 

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An actual Holy Stone. We were given this years ago and one day I picked it up and felt its weight and darkly thought, You could kill someone with this yoke.

Run-down houses, especially those that are clearly still inhabited, make me wonder about what goes on behind the closed doors of places no one loves enough to call home.

 

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Electric Picnic, Ireland’s famous music festival. I set a couple of fraught scenes at EP after having a bizarre time there. I’d gotten a last-minute ticket and had gone with a friend, but I didn’t know any of his friends and it was an isolating, tense experience. I think sometimes when we think we’re expected to have fun we can instead slip into a contrary kind of anxiety. You know when musicians scream “Are you having fun?” into the crowd? There’s a good 10% who’d like to shout back, “No, I think I’m about to have a panic attack actually.”

‘Evil Friends’, a song by the band Portugal. The Man. I listened to it over and over while I was writing Heresies. Lots of dark mischief in there. It suited me at the time.

To find out more about The Glorious Heresies and see the 2016 shortlist in full click here. Don’t forget to tell us what you think of the books on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.