Several weeks ago I had bought a voucher to a reading at the Irish Writers Centre and I had completely forgotten all about it. So yesterday, after spending all day emailing and researching, I was surprised and delighted to find a hidden ticket to “Joseph O’Connor in conversation” tucked away in my calendar.
I didn’t really know much about Joseph O’Connor, other than that he is one of Ireland’s best known authors and Sinéad O’Connor’s big brother, but after spending the evening listening to his tales and beautifully lilting voice, I think I may now be a fan.
The event was hosted by Assistant Literary Editor at The Irish Times Martin Doyle and occasionally interrupted (in my opinion) by young adult author Anna Carey. As Joseph O’Connor regaled the audience with stories from his life, featuring an afternoon with his idol Patti Smith in New York, fear-dreams of having to teach John Lennon how to play the guitar seconds before a gig and his happy (and successful) ‘marriage’ to writing, time flew by filled with laughter.
Intrigued by the author I decided it was time to buy one his books, and yes one for my sister too, and find out if I like his writing as much as I enjoyed his talk. As I walked home, swinging the bag with my copy of his latest novel “The Thrill of it All” nestled in next to O’Connor’s favourite book “Ghost Light”, I could not help but feel thrilled about how I had managed to surprise myself with such a wonderful evening.