Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m an Irish writer who grew up in a theatrical family. I used to make serious TV and wanted to do some fun stories for a change. The Madam Tulip books make me smile. I hope they do the same for readers.
How long have you been writing for?
All my life, in one genre or another. Mostly TV scripts, but plays too. The good thing about novels though is that you can just go ahead and write; you don’t need a whole crew of people to make them happen.
What motivates you to write? How did you begin writing?
In my twenties, I directed and co-wrote a solo play with and for my mother who is a wonderful actress. Believe me, if your Ma is waiting, you finish the thing. That’s one kind of motivation. In general though, if stuff runs around in your head and you want to stay sane, you’d better do something with it.
Do you have a writing routine? If so, what’s a typical day like for you?
It all depends on what other projects I’m involved with, but I try to write straight after checking the mails. It can’t always work out that way though.
What was the first thing you did when you found out your book was being published?
Started thinking about the next one. I guess if you’re in any creative job you really only care about where you’re going, not where you’ve been.
What was the publishing process like? How long did it take?
I’m lucky in that I have a TV production company with a small publishing arm. I’m sort of the boss and not the boss at the same time. They’re testing the water with Madam Tulip, and so far they’re happy. I’m a big fan of the freedom and independence the smaller publishers can give their authors. Writers looking for a deal with the big houses can forget that what they need is the right contract for them as a writer, and that’s not easy to get.
Are you currently working on anything new?
Madam Tulip #4
If you weren’t a writer, what would your career be?
I think my fantasy career would be as an archaeologist specialising in somewhere with a mild and pleasant climate, no biting insects, never previously explored and so a dead cert for academic fame (and tenure, of course).
What’s one thing you learned through writing that you wish you knew before you started?
You don’t get holidays; your book won’t let you.
What is your favorite book, genre, or author?
Patrick O’Brien (a wonderful historical novelist and one of the finest storytellers ever), EF Benson (Mapp and Lucia) and Dorothy Sayers (of course). For comedy, Wodehouse, Thurber and Flann O’Brien (hilarious Irish genius). In the canon, Jane Austin is right up there for me.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Same advice everyone gives; keep writing, quitting never works.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Just a big thank you for having me.
About David Ahern
David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.
Madam Tulip wasn’t David Ahern’s first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’s ever had with a computer. He is now writing the fourth Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.
David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.
About His Latest Book
Suspense, mystery, action, a little romance and lots of laughs
A surprise role in a movie takes actress Derry O’Donnell to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands. But romance soon turns to fear and suspicion. Someone means to kill, and Derry, moonlighting as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip, is snared in a net of greed, conspiracy and betrayal.
A millionaire banker, a film producer with a mysterious past, a gun-loving wife, a PA with her eyes on Hollywood, a handsome and charming estate manager—each has a secret to share and a request for Madam Tulip.
As Derry and her friend Bruce race to prevent a murder, she learns to her dismay that the one future Tulip can’t predict is her own.
Madame Tulip is the third in a series of thrilling and hilarious Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant amateur detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.
Buy the Book