I have been a writer since I was very little. I had no doubt as to this career in my first decade of life. On entering my teens, I was just as adamant but strangely found little time to actually write fiction, only a few scattered attempts echoing whatever book I happened to be reading at the time. Into my twenties, I found university and then travel absorbed my time. I lived in London, Sydney and Singapore, before returning to Ireland with my first husband and first child. For my thirties it was all marriage and my children, two girls, which occupied me, as did a very demanding job and restoration of a period house in Wicklow, South Ireland. It was as I approached my forties, I suddenly went ‘Whoa! Where are my novels?’ and realised for all my talk I hadn’t actually started let alone finished any novels. In my final year of my thirties I sat down and wrote my first children’s novel, The Bell Tower. I had been experimenting earlier with pre school children’s literature but this was my first full scale attempt at writing a novel. It took two weeks to finish. It was also an autobiography with no relation to my life, just samplings of my growing up.
Next up, I wrote Running out of Road which is my first adult book and it took four years to write. It is most definitely not autobiographical but my divorce over this period had a huge bearing on the novel. Once, half way through the writing, I met an old work colleague and as we were both struggling writers we compared notes. One point he raised was his inability to write sex scenes. It was very funny as I had discovered my divorce had given me the courage to write on lots of topics, one of which was sex!
I have also written many short stories and towards the end of 2011 began blogging in earnest. 2012 was a good year for my writing. I did it more frequently and with more passion. I am slowing leaning to hone my craft.
In a parallel world everything else was falling apart. My dream house, the Raheengraney of these pages, was hurtling towards repossession. I am in court now struggling to make sense of it. I have another offer on the house but the bank still refuses to talk to me. It would prefer to repossess than try and recoup some money.
My business also collapsed in 2011 – and the bailiffs were called in. I thought that was bad but I struggled on for another year until I had to call time on my office and long term colleague. That nearly killed me. I moved home and starred for long hours at the computer. I wrote a bit. I slept a lot. I found it hard to get up in the morning. I experienced at first hand the mind crushing impact of loss of money and home and a financial future can do to a person. So I wrote a book, called Does my DEBT look big in this to try and help others. My book is about the emotion of debt and how to hang onto hope even when it is in very short supply. The profits are pledged to Pieta House, the front line charity for the prevention of suicide in Ireland.
I was also writing other books. Too many rabbits some might say but these are starting to come to a natural end. The first is a non fiction book about a family coping with a severely disabled child. It is a very hard story to tell. I hope to be finished this first quarter of 2013.
I am also writing another book with a good friend on her life with horses. An inspiring woman, she founded the only equine charity in Ireland and has dedicated her life to horses.
I am writing still about injustice and abuse. I feel I have a obligation to use my words to help others.
I write a lot of fiction too – some in short story format. I am getting into my stride in this area too.
I have a great family and many very good friends who have helped me during these tough years. I thank them here.
Finally, I have two fantastic girls who keep me on the straight and narrow.
Follow me on Twitter @jilliangodsil
Bella bursts into the world with an energy that defies any attempt at grace. Fighting demons that mostly harken from her dysfunctional upbringing, she brings havoc and chaos to those around her, and most of all to herself. She is a fighter who must learn to nurture, God help her!
‘Running out of Road is uncompromising and direct with a fascinating heroine and deserves to have legions of fans.’ Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl author
‘ Visceral and sexy, Godsil’s gripping novel is a welcome antidote to the usual Irish chicklit fare.’ Nick Mulcahy, Business Plus