Today we talk about NAG, a book by Colm Michael O’Driscoll published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Colm Michael O’Driscoll to get to know him better, when he found the inspiration that brought him to the writing of his book NAG, as well as if he sees something of himself in the protagonist of the story.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Is there a particular moment in your life that led you to the writing of your book? What was that?
I remember distinctly, waiting on an empty street with a foolscap copy and a couple of pens in the side pocket of the car door, and the green man on the traffic light flashing intermittently, and the high- pitched sound that accompanied it, a guide for the blind or visually impaired, on a main windy thoroughfare at an ungodly hour of the morning, finally deciding to see this one to the end. I had said it before, but had never made it, wanting to dispense with what felt like trivial, unnecessary language to get to the crux of the matter. That it developed as it did was as much the hidden nuance or natural plot that the story itself finds, and the two main ideas that it portrays ‘that we are doing quite well as humans, individually and as a species despite the feeling society perpetrates upon us that we are weak, feeble or underachieving is a misnomer.’ And the other ‘that there are times where we might not be at our best, or things aren’t going too well, that a force will come along to take us to a better place not in the too distant future of our lives…like the force that took us to the bad from the good’.
- What characteristics your audience should have to appreciate your book?
That’s a difficult one to answer. It did feel as if Clem couldn’t be the only one in the world feeling the way he was, and as the story unfolds the characters, he meets display similar traits. It might be suggested that gullibility or innocence could be two of these, which contain a lot of love for people in the world, and maybe when these two characteristics get tried and worn away by the world that turns them around into sceptics or even cynics, perhaps even a little like Erasmus, for example, and the desire is there to abandon the love, I hope this work attempts to help these people that ‘all is not lost’ and that they aren’t alone and it is probably best to stay the path. So, even in a way, there is bit of stoicism involved, whether there is any victory, maybe debatable, and indeed that might only be pyrrhic. Empathy is also another characteristic, but it might be a case in this work that it is those needing it more than those giving it whom it might suit better.
- How much of you is there in the protagonist of the story?
Quite a lot. Although, a lot of it is fictionalised, and I wanted to try and bring out the least likeable form of him in the character. It can also be garnered in the name of the main character, I don’t really know what I was doing there, but it was a subconscious decision and I felt fine with it, maybe it was a case of being as open and as honest as possible, which may indeed nearly be impossible, Jean-Jacque Rousseau’s ‘confessions’ goes very close, given such conflicting desires that go on in the conscious mind. Nobody can be in two places at once, thought they might ultimately want to be. It did strike close to the bone, which is why I delayed so long in releasing it, as the book is about the journey and discovery of what the meaning of life is to the character, and that honesty held throughout, which might have given it some of the relatability that readers have given as feedback. It seems within the short passage of time since, there is more relevance to the work today than when it was finished.
- What is the first book that you read and what did it teach you?
Chicken Little, ‘The sky is falling! The sky is falling!’ Strangely enough, even though I couldn’t put an age on myself when I read it, 5,6,7, it found a deep affinity in part of my soul, in terms of being independent and always true to yourself. Distinctly, I remember the situation in the book spiraling out of control without anyone taking charge or taking a calm and measured look at the situation. Things were going to become needlessly messy and loud and the consequences not at all good. It is such a relevant story with the bombardment of news, information, misinformation that we are receiving today and the divisive effect it is having on our societies. It taught me to keep an eye out for those under pressure, and trying to find an opportune time to intervene and diffuse the situation, because there is a lot of vulnerability and suffering involved. It is becoming a lot more difficult to try and be a voice of reason, if at least that’s what one thinks they have when approaching it. It is also important to remember one is not infallible, and one cannot crusade against all injustices, so my experience and learning has brought to me.
- Are you planning to write more books?
There are a few drafts scattered between some foolscap notebooks, old computers, and here on this one that I really need getting back to. ‘Life is what happens when you’re making plans’-John Lennon. Writing happens in binges for me, can’t stop when I start, and start when I stop. It is fabulous when it takes me in and there is a special feeling and connection with the text. It can be exhausting, at least for me, and when I take a break, the enthusiasm to go back is harder and harder to acquire. There is a trilogy where the first part is a play, which has been completed, but needs tidying up and the following two parts are roughly about age reversal. There is a book come script called ‘The Influencer’ …i don’t think that gives too much away for the plan I have in mind for it. it is a long way from being finished and I have also written the start to a parody of a self-help book. There is also a novel about Post World War II and The American presence in France after liberation, which needs to be extracted from an old computer, it was about 70% complete as far as I remember, so it would be a shame to let that go by.
Europe Books thanks the author Colm Michael O’Driscoll once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside him on the editorial path that led to the publication of his book NAG. We wish him the best of luck for his book and for his future works.
To you, my dear reader, I wish this book captures and intrigues you. I wish it will also allow you to have new insights and food for thoughts that you could reflect upon.
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!