Sunday 17 November 2019

'I'm not an oddball who reads their own work', says Marian

Marian Keyes
Marian Keyes

Marian Keyes, one of Ireland's most successful authors and due to publish her 13th work of fiction early next year, hates reading her own work.

The writer, who has sold more than 35 million books since her 1995 release Watermelon, doesn't relish that part of the job.

"I am not one of those oddballs who reads their own work," she said. "Reading anything I've written is like being flayed alive. But I had to for another project."

She was referring to being chosen for the National Library of Ireland's new Digital Pilots scheme, which saw her 2012 book, The Mystery Of Mercy Close, being selected to become part of the national collection.

She revealed she was going through a bad time in terms of mental health when she wrote it, and how "surprised" she was at how well the story flowed upon reflection a few years later.

Competent

"For long spells I thought, 'I'll never be able to finish this, I'll never be able to write again', and eventually [it] happened, I got there and I had to read it again for something else," she said. "I was like, 'this is competent and funny' and that was interesting and I know there's nothing more awful than a boasty Irish person but I'm just saying it was interesting to see it from a different perspective."

She added that it was an "honour" to be chosen for the digital project and it was particularly apt given that she has always worked digitally and has never written anything by hand.

"At the time I wasn't able to be doing media or going on the telly or doing book tours the way that I used to - and the way that I'm able to do again - so a lot of the promotion was done digitally," she said.

She's currently finishing the final draft of her eagerly awaited new book, which she says is due for release on February 6 and is called Grown-Ups.

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