Saturday, 24 August 2013

Debut Spotlight: Jennifer Burke

If you're a regular follower of the blog then you will have discovered by now that I am a huge fan of Irish fiction and authors so I'm delighted to be able to introduce you to a new Irish author, Jennifer Burke, whose debut book The Secret Son is being published by Poolbeg Press next week.

After the death of his wealthy father Liam in a car crash, Seán Murtagh flies home to Wicklow for the funeral. There he is stunned to discover that Liam’s will disinherits his family and leaves everything – including the family home – to a secret son, Andrew Shaw.

The news fills the Shaw family with hope. Twenty-year-old Andrew is in desperate need of a kidney transplant, and for him the inheritance may mean the difference between life and death.

However, the lives of Andrew, his devoted older sister Tors and young brother Jack are disrupted when their mother insists they move from their home in Kerry to Wicklow to stake their claim under the will. There they live in a tiny bungalow on the sea front, while the Murtaghs take steps to contest the will.

Gradually, both Seán Murtagh and Tors Shaw recognise the need to seek some middle ground but that seems impossible, such is the hostility between the families and the burning resentment that exists between the mothers.

Andrew Shaw’s focus, however, is not on the question of the inheritance. There is something else he needs from the Murtaghs ... something only they can give him . . .

Jennifer Burke recently entered and won TV3’s “Write a Bestseller” competition in conjunction with Poolbeg Press.  As a result, she signed a three book deal with Poolbeg with her first novel – The Secret Son – hitting bookshelves on 1st September.

Although Jennifer works full time a solicitor with the Commission for Energy Regulation, she devotes as much time as possible to her writing – of all kinds.  She was shortlisted in Cork County Council’s “From the Well” short story competition in 2012 and had her short story published in the resulting anthology. She was also shortlisted in the “Fish Publishing Flash Fiction” competition in both 2012 and 2013.  But Jennifer is most interested in writing novels - she is member of the Irish Writer’s Centre where she is takes part in monthly novel writing group.

When not writing, Jennifer sings with the Lassus Scholars choir and enjoys travel and tag rugby.

Jennifer got the idea for The Secret Son while studying Wills & Probate during her solicitor
traineeship.  She was shocked by the number of cases that come before the courts involving families who have fallen out over a dead relative’s will.  She began to develop an idea of a will that went one step further than the cases she was studying: instead of just dividing up the family fortune in an unexpected way, the will in The Secret Son reveals a dark secret from the past that threatens everything the family holds dear.

No comments:

Post a comment