INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR TONY (DUTCHY) DOHERTY
This month we have the privilege of interviewing Irish author Tony (Dutchy) Doherty who is the scribe of “This man’s wee boy.” A beautifully crafted memoir and riveting story set in the trouble torn streets of Derry in the 1960s and 70s. Written with the innocent voice of a young child Tony never wavers from it throughout. In this very personal story he gives a snapshot of family life, street relationships, characters, tensions and the love he had for his father Patrick. The book unfolds in a series of stories about civil strife, conflict, C.S. gas, tracer bullets, family struggles and heartache.
The chaos of conflict in Ireland finds its way into this young life through the death of a friend under an army truck and more horrifically, directly into his own home. This book has been described as ‘a treasure'. It is filled with humour, innocence, sorrow , pain and draws it’s readers into a world of unsupervised children left to their own devices. This is a guaranteed best seller and I defy anyone who reads this not to cry. N.B. You may need to brush up on you Derry Dialect. An extract can be found here. “The book is a gritty, warm account of life in Derry’s Brandywell, Creggan and Bogside in all its colour. “ - The Irish News
What school did you attend?
Initially passed the eleven plus and attended St. Columb’s College. Then attended St. Joesph’s
What made you write the book?
I always had a yearning to tell the story and after I read Seamus Deane’s “Reading In the Dark “ I made my mind up to do it.
Are these all true stories and are characters all real?
What tips would you give to aspiring writers?
Anyone hoping to be a writer should read Stephen King’s book ‘On Writing’; read everything you can get your hands on; and keep a notebook handy. You never know when things will pop into your head.
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
I love gardening and typically grow herbs and vegetables.
Who inspires you or who are your favourite authors?
Well… let me see. As a child I loved to read Walter Mackan books. But my favourite reads are by Hemmingway; Brendan Bethan; Thomas Hardy and of course Seamus Deane who has been a great inspiration to me. I also love reading Alice Taylor.
What are your greatest loves?
My beautiful wife Stephanie, and of course my two sons, Rossa, 19 and Oscar 11.
What have you gained from writing this book.
“Well… I believe I know myself a little better. I certainly know and understand my father a little better and have had a valuable insight into my child hood. If you’ll pardon the pun, those are three bonuses in my book.”
Are you shocked that your book sold out on Amazon in 24 hours?
Completely! I can’t believe it but it’s a great feeling.
Are you happy with the finished product?
Totally happy! When you see your words and works in a real book with your coupon on the cover it is a truly thrilling experience. I’ve been reading bits and pieces since I got it and it’s definitely very, very different reading from your bound book than reading the same words from a screen or in reams of A4s.
What best describes how you feel now?
I love the idea of describing myself as a writer and published author. It’s a thing I could get used to!
About the Author
Tony Doherty was instrumental in setting up the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign in 1992, which led in 2010 to the exoneration of his father and the others killed and wounded on Bloody Sunday, and to a public apology from the British Prime Minister in the House of Commons. He has worked extensively in community regeneration in Derry, is a member of the Big Lottery Fund's NI Committee and is currently Regional Coordinator for Northern Ireland's Healthy Living Centre Alliance.
This Man’s Wee Boy is published by Mercier and will be launched by author Jimmy McGovern at Tony’s old school, Long Tower Primary School in Derry on Thursday, August - 25 - 2016.
Where to purchase:
Listen TO Tony on The Pat Kenny Show.
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