- 24 Apr 17
Having drifted aimlessly through his twenties, Galway-born ALAN McMONAGLE didn’t start writing seriously until he turned 30. Now aged 43, all of his hard work has finally paid off with the success of his debut novel Ithaca.
Alan McMonagle is an extremely happy man, and has been that way ever since late November 2015. Not that the Galway-born writer was unhappy before then, necessarily, but he gleefully maintains that the last 16 months of his life have been all gravy.
This period of contentedness kicked off with a welcome phone call from his literary agent Ivan Mulcahy. “Yeah, I got this great piece of news and it sort of sent me into a tailspin,” he recalls. “It’s not every day Picador come knocking, you know? I think I’ve been spinning since, really.”
Picador were offering a relatively lucrative two-book deal. McMonagle’s debut novel, Ithaca – a darkly comic coming of age story set in post-boom Ireland – was launched just a few weeks ago. Although he already had two well-received short story collections under his belt, it’s all still something of a dream come true for the softly spoken 43-year-old. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s all good,” he smiles. “Every bit of it. I’ll roll with the punches if and when they come as well, but time has just blitzed by since I got the news. November 2015 and then suddenly it was March 9th, 2017. Launch day…”