05 Kevin Curran

Kevin Curran grew up in Balbriggan, County Dublin and has a Masters in Anglo-Irish Beatsploitation Final CoverLiterature from UCD. In 2012 he was one of the winners of a place at the inaugural Novel Fair at the Irish Writers' Centre for Beatsploitaion, his first book.

1) What is your name? What is your quest?

My name is Kevin Curran.  My quest is to write when I can, and when I can, to write well, and write true.

2) Okay, tell me about your book.

My book is the result of two intense years of pouring my thoughts on Ireland, our society, our structures, everything, down onto a page. It's a simple story about an ambitious teacher who manipulates a naïve 15 year old African student, in order to achieve his goal.  What would a teacher want to steal from an African student? Is the question I'm always asked.  That's the catch.  And how does he steal it? Is always the next question.  The novel is very much a 21st Century Irish story – in time, setting and character.  This is something I'm very proud of.

3) What was the most difficult bit to write?

The writing was easy.  The editing was the hardest part.  The story clung to me, suffocated me, hounded me until it was written – and then once it was written it just didn't want to be picked apart! But I spent a few months – on the publisher's orders – whittling the story down from 120,000 words to 90,000 words.  I'm glad I did.  It's trimmer and meaner, and better as a result.

4) What surprised you about writing it?

I was surprised how far I dropped into the world of the main characters and how I lost myself and just let the story take hold.  Because when the story took hold it was almost as if it really was happening before me.

5) First line:

I actually know this off by heart at this stage: 'On the third note, the low C after the high G and E, I've sat down, opened the Mac and started it up.'

6) What's the next project?

I've completed a Christmas piece for my publisher which will be included in a book out in November which has an incredible array of amazing , inspirational writers contributing, so I'm delighted with that.  I'm also really excited about my next novel, which I'm 40,000 words into.  I've got a good feeling about it.  I wont give anything away for fear it falls apart on me! A house of cards is what I feel best describes novel writing, a gust of wind could bring all of it crumbling down.  I just battle to keep all drafts out!

7) Your three main characters are trapped in a barn during the zombie apocalypse. What's the outcome?

The teacher Rob would use the student Kembo Peirara to shield him in some way from the zombie's radiation gun, and more than likely, Rob would become friends with the zombies.

8) Your book's been made into a movie. What's playing over the opening credits?

This is hard as the book is all about music, so musical references are everywhere in it.  But I suppose I'd want something dynamic and contemporary to mirror the story.  It has to be 'Death in Vegas' with Girls.

9) When and where is the book available?

The book is available everywhere from the end of May, on Kindle and iTunes and all that lark!

My two cents: Beatsploitation is a fast moving and highly entertaining read. It's great to see a first novel that takes so many risks, taking on racism and Celtic Tiger selfishness in modern Ireland and presenting the reader with a thoroughly unlikeable hero - yet you can't look away as Rob makes one disastrous decision after another. My favourite bit was the pitch perfect dialogue, especially the phonectic transcription of the Spanish for 'thank you' as 'grassy-ass.'

Here are those opening credits:

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In Canada...or try here. Or go independent.

"...astonishingly good....a juicy coming-of-age story...also an important read." The Globe and Mail

"...poignant...heart-wrenching. This stunning debut will surely appeal to both teenage readers and adults." Quill & Quire, starred review

"Witty, devastating, with a melancholy humour..." Sunday Business Post

"...page-turning, top drawer stuff..." BGE Book Club

"...warm, witty, heartfelt and utterly engaging..." The Irish News

"A stunning debut. I loved it." The Irish Examiner