Spotlight interview with Christine Ryan
Over the next few weeks we’re running a series of Spotlight interviews with the guest facilitators who will be will hosting workshops at this year’s Dalkey Creates Festival. Today we’re catching up with Christine Ryan.
As a freelance journalist, Christine started off writing music columns, features, interviews, reviews and news. She became Editor of the music magazine Fresh and made weekly TV appearances as a commentator on Beatbox, the RTE music video show. She produced an annual charity rock concert in the Olympia Theatre, Christmas Rocks for Children, headlined by The Pogues and featuring the best groups and musicians in the country. After that she worked for the Sunday Independent, became the Managing Editor of Southside Newspapers and the Editions Editor of Dublin Tribune. She produced various features for national newspapers and magazines. She was social columnist for U Magazine for several years and Managing Editor of Creative Cook.
Q. What did you want to be when you were a child?
It was a toss-up between ballerina and parish priest. As far as I was concerned our parish priest had the best job in the world. Whenever he called to our house, every bun, biscuit, sandwich and cake in the place was shovelled into him. And that was just our house - he had a whole parish to visit! Throw in a big house, a housekeeper and a car and it was enough to turn any small girl's head to thoughts of signing up. After all, ballet requires discipline and pain. A great deal of pain. This priestly lark seemed to require very little effort and vast rewards. When my mother told me only boys could be priests, I cried. That was the first of many times I cried over boys.
Q. Do you have a routine in your creative practice?
Routine and I have never been friends. I do write every day, whether in my local cafe (nice view, good eavesdropping) or at my desk at home (domestic distractions). The rest is pretty much free range. I rarely know what I'm going to write when I sit down, except that it will be a continuation of what I wrote the day before. I used to agonise over every sentence but since I discovered the blessed release of first-draft writing I enjoy the process so much more.
Q. Which work of art do you wish you had created?
Anything by Shakespeare.
Q. If you could give any advice to someone starting out on your path, what would it be?
Read, read, read. Read anything, read everything. Observe life closely. Listen to it actively. Then interpret it in your own way.
Q. Who would you like to meet that you haven't already?
I have a hankering to meet J. K. Rowling. Not just because of Harry Potter (I was an early adopter) but also because of her twitter feed. She is sound, smart and has a social conscience that she is not afraid to bare when twits come tweeting.
Q. What would you ask them?
I would ask her to be my friend - that way, I'd get to know all her secrets.
Q. Which actor would play you in the film of your life?
I would like to think that the younger me would be Kirsten Stewart, followed by Helen Mirren in middle age, sequeing into Maggie Smith as I get older and even more beligerent.
Christine Ryan will host workshop called ‘Setting Free the Force’ on Sunday 22nd October, between 2pm - 5pm in Harold Boys' School. The workshop will help you learn ‘how to tap into your Creative Self to Find your Writing Voice’.