Today it’s a pleasure to host author Rose McGinty. I first became aware of Rose when I was a member of the Urbane Book Club (no longer running) and received a copy of her book, intriguingly entitled the ‘Electric Souk’.
Rose McGinty was born with itchy feet, which she has yet to decide is a blessing or a curse. But it was her adventures in the Middle East that gave her the itchy fingers to write. Rose lives in Kent, where as well as enjoying writing short stories, flash fiction and poetry, she also paints. She works in community health services and has worked overseas in Ireland, Canada, Sweden and the Middle East.
She completed the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course, under the guidance of Richard Skinner, in 2015. Electric Souk is her debut novel and Rose says of her story, ‘The parts of the story that are true, I probably wish were not; while the parts that are not, I probably wish were true.’
So over to Rose:-
Which 5 pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
Daydream Believer by the Monkees – I mostly felt trapped at school. My way out was to
daydream and take myself off into magical worlds. It turns out this was the key skill I developed at that time as now my life revolves around stories – and I still daydream.
Riverdance by Bill Whelan – I was living in Dublin, studying at Trinity and actually dancing on the stage in a show that was a fusion of Irish and contemporary dance when Riverdance exploded from the Liffey. That was such a special time. It is Ireland in one piece of music and its energy, magic and joy are everything that Ireland is to me.
Missing (I miss you like the deserts miss the rain) by Everything but the Girl – this song reminds me of my time living in the Middle East. The desert was so hypnotic like this song, but so cruel too, and leaves you full of yearning.
No Frontiers by Mary Black – there’s a lyric in this beautiful song that echoes something my grandmother always used to say to me, and when I hear it it’s as if she has come back to me in a song. It’s all about overcoming your fears and hope.
I can see clearly now the rain has gone by Johnny Nash – this sums up everything I feel about life since I found my writing group – they are my bright, bright sunshiny day.
Highlight 5 things (apart from family and friends) you’d find it hard to live without.
Can you offer 5 pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self?
There’s really only one piece of advice but it relates to at least five key aspects of life – jobs, relationships, homes, bed and definitely parties – always leave ten minutes before you think you need to.
Tell us 5 things that most people don’t know about you.
I jumped 192 metres off the Auckland Tower and have no fear of heights.
I enjoy life drawing.
I love dancing and I’ve danced since I was four, mostly ballet but I also studied Egyptian dance (belly dancing) for a year with Yasmin, who danced in U2’s video for their song She Moves in Mysterious Ways.
I am a secret Coronation Street addict and when I can’t sleep I write storylines in my head. If Shakespeare was alive today he would be writing for Coronation Street and I would love to write even one line and have a drink in the Rovers Return.
I was mistaken for a WAG once, whilst sitting next to a very famous footballer at Dublin airport. I merrily let autograph hunters take photos of us although I had no idea who he was and had to ask someone once he had been called for his flight. My one ever moment of glamour.
What are the first 5 things you’d have on your bucket list?
See a whale swimming free in the ocean
Travel the Silk Road
Live by the sea in Ireland
Kiss my soulmate
Thanks so much for taking part Rose, I love your music choices. No Frontiers by Mary Black is a lovely track and she has an amazing voice. I know most people will want to know who that famous footballer was, but that’s your secret, not mine, so my lips are sealed! Hope you get to achieve those things on your bucket list. Living in Ireland, ideally near the coast, is also one of our dreams – I can think of nothing nicer. When you achieve that dream, I’m hoping it’s with your soul mate.
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Ireland’s gone bust, and with it Aisling Finn’s life. She flees austerity for adventure in the desert. But the Arabia she finds is not that of her dreams. Everyone is chasing a fast buck, a fast woman and another G&T. Expats and locals alike prickle with paranoia. Debonair fixer, Brian Rothmann, charms Aisling with champagne brunches and nights at Bedouin camps. But is Brian a hero or a desperate expat prepared to go to any lengths to get what he wants? Is this Aisling? Or is he using her as bait? Her only hope is Hisham, a local activist. But where do his loyalties lie? Aisling faces severe peril when the sleazy expat and blood-lusting desert worlds collide, as the Arab Spring erupts. She has to ask, whom can she trust? Can she trust her instincts? Humanity blisters in this haunting, lyrical thriller about trust and treachery.
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