Derbhile Dromey is a freelance writer, originally from Clonmel, Co Tipperary and now living in Waterford. Despite running her busy business, WriteWords Editorial, helping people and companies with all their writing needs, Derbhile found time to write her debut novel, The Pink Cage.
This interview was originally published last year but as Derbhile is relaunching her book I thought I’d post this again with a special introduction from Derbhile herself:-
This time, the voice on the end of the phone told me they’d stopped printing the book, for a variety of tedous reasons, but ultimately it came down to money.
However, they did give me the rights back, so I could publish it myself and give it a new lease of life. And they also recommended a printer. After that, everything happened with dazzling speed and I now have just under 150 copies in my possession – I’ve sold 12 already.
To speed up the process of finding a home for these books, I’ve organised a relaunch on Friday 29th June at 6pm in Tramore Library. If you can’t come along to the relaunch but wish to buy the book please check out The Pink Page on Facebook or Twitter.”
The Pink Cage tells the story of Astrid, “a girl with hair the colour of day-old snow”, on a Visually Impaired skiing trip with flashbacks to her unusual childhood being home schooled alone with her scholarly father. Astrid is a wild character enjoying the nightlife of a “world of beats and flashing lights”. This is experienced through the senses of Astrid who is partially sighted but rebelling at the stereotype of the other “Sightskiers”. It also focusses on her “not quite forbidden” relationship with Jazz, a club DJ who introduced the beats into her teenage years.
Initially I bought the book with the intention of reading it just because I knew Derbhile. I wasn’t sure that I would enjoy it because the days of me enjoying those type of ”beats” are long gone however I soon became fascinated with the descriptive text of how the lights and the music were experienced by Astrid. And despite being a character people may not initially like I was drawn to her by the different upbringing Astrid had which more or less explains the way she is as a young adult. I couldn’t put the book down because I wanted to learn more about her past and what the outcome of the ski trip would be.
I was lucky enough to catch up with Derbhile recently for an interview and be included in her blog tour this week.
Sian: “When did you first decide to write a book?”
Derbhile: “All my life. I joined a creative writing class with tutor, Suzanne Power, and the idea was in my head from then. The Pink Cage is the first book I’ve actually finished. I have two others that weren’t finished. Luckily I salvaged some short stories out of one of them. I believe in recycling.”
Sian: “How long ago did you start on The Pink Cage?”
Sian: “How like Astrid are you?”
Derbhile: “About 70%. All the cool bits.” (said with a big grin) “The background to the story is based on ski trips I’ve been on for the last 8 years for the partially sighted and blind. The skiing is exactly the same as I’ve described in the book. I didn’t have the same upbringing as Astrid just with her father however we had holidays by the beach and they were a certain influence for writing the beach scenes.”
Sian: “Are the characters based on anyone you know?”
Derbhile: “I tend to base the characters on people I know in the beginning but then they take on a life of their own so they don’t end up like anyone really.”
Sian: “Is there going to be a sequel to The Pink Cage?”
Derbhile: “No, it’s a complete story on it’s own.”
Derbhile: “I have ideas for more books but I really need to let myself go to write. As Charles Bukowski said, ‘You got to write shit to write good.’”
Sian: “How long did it take to get The Pink Cage published?”
Derbhile: “I had 27 rejections which I class as badges of courage. Being a journalist I’m used to rejections but I found it easier with publishers as some were positive rejections. The Book Republic are new publishers and they replied yes straight away.” Check out the first blog of the tour by Orla Shanaghy for the publishing process “Wait til I tell you”
Sian: “What type of work do you do when not writing a book?”
Derbhile: “I am a freelance writer and journalist and help people tell their stories through writing. I proof-read every type of writing going and help people with their website content too. Mostly I just do everything involved with writing.”
Sian: “Thank you for the interview Derbhile and good luck in your next writing project. I look forward to reading the next Derbhile Dromey novel.”
The Pink Cage is available from the following:-
Derbhile is contactable through WriteWords Editorial.