Welcome Irish Author Paddy Kelly!

A believer in equal time for the sexes, I’m happy to have Irish author and all-around good guy, Paddy Kelly to Author! Author!

1. Erotic Refugees is a novel about two young Irishmen in contemporary Stockholm. Is the story semi-autobiographical?

More than I dare to admit, although you’ll need to work out for yourself which bits are real and which are wishful fantasy. Rob and Eoin’s stories are very like my own, and indeed like very many single Irish guys in Stockholm. We come for love and we kind of stick around and become Swedish without really noticing. In Sweden it’s also very common  for parents to share custody of kids after divorce, so divided up my home-dad-life and my going-out-life into two characters. To be honest, I’m a lot more Eoin than Rob.

2. If not, what inspired you to create Erotic Refugees?

See my answer above, but also the fact that I’d been writing speculative fiction for a while and decided to have a stab at a more mainstream book. Being an exile in Stockholm seemed like a natural topic.

3. It sounds as though Stockholm is a large, cosmopolitan city with a huge number of young, single divorced parents. Would you have written ER if you’d lived in another city?

If I hadn’t been a single dad, probably not, as that theme is central to the story. So it’s hard to say as I’ve only lived long-term in two cities, Dublin and Stockholm, and only in one with a small child. But, when it comes to getting dates in Stockholm, as an Irish guy I have a huge advantage. We’re just so damn exotic!

4. Do you have a lot of female friends? You sound as though you understand women pretty well, at least more than the average bear.

I do have many female friends (many of them I met through dancing). I must admit I find women more interesting than men, possibly due to my total lack of interest in “male” things like sport and cars and so on.  Sport bores me to tears, to be honest. I also make an effort when I write to create strong female characters and steer away from stereotypes. For a man, I’m quite a militant feminist. I hope.

5 . I have the impression you’re an IT guy.  If so, are your attitudes about working in the computer electronics field reflected in Rob’s comments?

Indeed I am! You got me there. Rob’s experiences in IT are basically my own. Stockholm is a world centre for indie and casual games right now, and not many people know that. Minecraft, for example, comes from here, and the people I work for make that horribly addictive Candy Crush game. If Rob were in Stockholm today, he’d have a hard time staying unemployed for long!

6. I know you’re working on a new novel. Can you tell us what it’s about? Will it be based in Sweden also?

The new novel is a very exciting project, and has been a hard one to write. But for now I’m coasting towards the climax, and it’s a very nice feeling. It’s a speculative fiction adventure book set in dreams and in the real world, although the real world parts are in Dublin. Any more than that, I’m not saying for now. But it will be awesome! And it has the best villain.

7. Do you think writing for an American audience is different than writing for a European one? And if so, why?

I haven’t thought about it, really. The Americans in my writing group have told me that my writing is “very British” and I suppose that’s true.  I think writing to a specific audience is a mistake- you just always have to write the book you want to read.

8. Your two male protagonists, Eoin and Rob, are funny guys, especially Rob. Do you consider yourself funny when out in the real world and not just when tapping on the keys?

Yes, I do try to keep things funny.  The world is awe-inspiring and terrible, but also hilarious.  As a non-religious person (and fervent ex-Catholic), I need to find my joy in every moment. Life is full of those moments if you’re paying attention and de-stress and just observe. Here’s an example of that (written, oddly enough, by me).




One Response to “Welcome Irish Author Paddy Kelly!”

  1. Author! Author! Laura Kennedy May 2, 2013 at 1:22 am #

    Thanks for being with me, Paddy. It was fun. You’re a breath of fresh air.

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