M.A. Smyth

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Originally from Dublin, I came to the UK as a child in the late seventies, eventually settling in Inverness where I still live with my wife and two daughters. I found it amusing to find myself in one of two places that spoke the ‘Queen’s English’, the other being the one I left, Dublin. It’s nothing to do with accent. It’s the lack of slang and colloquialisms – apparently. Even more amusing was my first day at the Inverness Royal Academy. Nobody warned me that the locals referred to the school, rather innocently, as the IRA. Ironic, given that I was struggling to find a place within a society that viewed the Irish as either a bunch of terrorists or of below average intelligence. Luckily, more than enough people didn’t hold such views, and thanks to family, friends and some very accommodating neighbours, I survived and left behind that difficult period – though it has provided literary inspiration, particularly on the themes of equality and acceptance.

Jobs? I’ve had a few, from welding on rigs, to copywriting with a daily newspaper, to sales and marketing, to finishing where I am; as a mentor and employability trainer for young people. It’s probably fair to say I owe it to everybody I’ve ever met, young and old, rich and poor for providing me with the mega volume of material I’ve now drawn upon to write ‘Down at Dan’s’, my first novel.  So… thank you, World.