A NORTHSIDE author is celebrating the publication of her second novel. Siobhan McKenna, from Howth, came to writing relatively late in life but is already establishing herself as Dublin’s own Candace Bushnell famed from ‘Sex and the City’.
‘The Other Woman’ is Siobhan’s second book having last year published ‘The Lingerie Designer’ after winning TV3/Poolbeg’s ‘Write a Bestseller’ competition.
Siobhan’s stylish debut novel had all the ingredients of a bestseller: a great storyline, interesting characters, exotic locations and a few twists and turns thrown in for good measure.
Like her debut novel, Siobhan (46) has written about what she knows – business, good wine, chocolate, travel and the Italian way of life (she has her long-term partner Graziano to thank for the latter).
‘The Other Woman’ again has all the ingredients for success with a heady mix of passion, deceit and desire involving characters from a successful family dynasty who travel to Kenya and Italy to develop their next business venture.
According to Siobhan, who admits she’s a deadline person who left it to the 11th hour to sit down to pen the novel, the book took many months to research.
“A huge amount of research went into learning about the cultures in Italy and Kenya, as well as the chocolate and wine making industries,” she told Northside People.
It’s the level of research required for such a storyline that makes Siobhan a little wary of the ‘chick lit’ label.
“I used to get a little offended at that phrase but now I’ve learned to understand it better and I see that a lot of other female authors get tagged with it regardless of the kind of books they write,” she said.
“I think that ‘chick-lit’ sometimes dismisses the amount of research that goes into a book like this but I don’t really mind the label that much now.”
Be under no illusion: Siobhan’s novels are not the ‘happy ever after’ brain-candy type but rather a bittersweet story of complex characters intertwined with a darker thread.
Although Siobhan spent two decades working in the clothing industry, she always had a love of writing which she eventually tried her hand at five years ago.
“I had always wanted to write a book but it was only when the clothing trade took a nosedive and the work dried up that I thought I’d make the most of the situation,” she explained.
“I thought that rather than have a pipe dream I’d be proactive and try to write something. But I have to admit it was quite challenging and daunting.
“I love being a writer. Now if only I could make a living out of it.”
Siobhan has a three-book deal with her publishers Poolbeg so we can expect her third book next year although she’s still trying to figure out just what kind of story that will be.
‘The Other Woman’ was published in early July and is available at most bookstores priced €13.99.