Sheila O'Flanagan

Sheila O'Flanagan

As you can see, a Dubliner all my life. My parents owned a grocery shop in the Iveagh Markets, in the Liberties area of the city and I guess city blood runs through my veins.As a child I enjoyed reading and telling stories and everyone thought that I end up in a job which had something to do with books and literature. But though I applied for a job in the library all of the job offers I got were in commerce.I turned down lots of them before my mother accepted one for me (I was on holiday at the time). It was in the Central Bank of Ireland and that’s how my career in financial services began.I started out in administration and then moved jobs until finally I was working as a dealer in a commercial bank. Eventually I was promoted to Chief Dealer (the first female CD in the country). I traded lots of different things – foreign exchange, swaps, options, bonds…all of the kind of things you read about in the papers and that sound very technical and difficult. Of course once you’re doing it, it’s not half as technical as it sounds.But I still loved reading and writing (which I did in my spare time) and I desperately wanted to write my own book. I guess I never quite got over the fact that I was never offered the library job! In my thirties I decided that it was now or never and I sat down, stuck Chapter 1 on a page, and started. I wrote the whole thing before sending it off.I was offered a publishing deal (with no advance) by an Irish company but only if I wrote a different book! So back to the drawing board, I started again. It was another two years before it was published. It wasn’t until I’d written a few books and was offered a contract (this time with an advance!) from another publisher that I felt able to give up my trading job and write full time. So, even though it took a long time, I eventually realised my dream of being a full-time writer.And now I also write a business column for the Irish Times.When I’m writing a book I want to do three things: * Tell a good story * Make the reader feel like they know the characters * Make each book better than the lastI don’t write for any particular audience but I suppose I must have people like me in mind – people who have busy lives and who like to escape into someone else’s for a while.I love writing books. I hope you enjoy reading them.
Maggie's Story, Sheila O'Flanagan
Sheila O'Flanagan
Maggie's Story
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