Posted 8 Dec 2014, 14:08
By day, Seamus McCrudden is a popular local taxi-driver, based in Ballybofey in the Irish county of Donegal. Previously, he had dabbled in creative writing, submitting work to local newspapers, taking part in literary festivals and competitions, as any aspiring writer might do.
"I was always writing bits and pieces at night," he tells Connie Duffy of Donegal Now, "but they usually ended up in the bin. Then, about 15 years ago, I got involved in amateur drama, when local school teacher, Susan Doherty, decided to put on a few plays. I liked it and took part in a few shows, including a few for the nearby Butt Drama Circle in Ballybofey. That gave me the confidence to go on and go public with my writing."
That confidence which he gained has resulted in his first full-length novel, Donegal Gymnasts. It has been described as "an exploration of love and loyalty", according to Books Ireland magazine and, "a heart-warming piece of fiction that will entertain, thrill and take the reader of a journey from one end of the world to the other", by others. It is a tale that stays rooted, even as it peels back the layers and in doing so, manages to reveal the complexities associated with lives that are intermingled with love, loss, tragedy and triumph.
Donegal Gymnasts tells the story of twin brothers of Chinese and Irish descent, growing up in Ireland of the 1960s and ’70s, discovering a natural talent that sets them apart from their peers and how they deal the pressure that ensues. It is a story that entertains on many levels, offering an interesting take on Irish society and recent history in the process. It reads best however, as a work of fiction, by an author who delights in keeping his readers guessing, right to the very end.
Donegal Gymnasts by Seamus McCrudden is published by The Manuscript Publisher. It is available to buy in all good bookshops as well as online. RRP €9.99.