Selfpublishbooks.ie are reprinting Katherine O’Riordan’s memoir, A Certain Time, A Certain Place and luckily I got to catch up with the author herself.
Katherine O’Riordan was born in Macroom town where she lived for twenty-one years until she married and moved to Cork. I asked her where the writing began. She said, “Those years I spent growing up left such a lasting impression on me that I was forever writing down memories as they came, in the hope that one day my children and grandchildren would get a glimpse of everyday life.
“This book is a opportunity for them to find what their grand and great grand parents were all about, and how life was lived and fun was had with neighbours and friends in those much simpler times.”
With her collection of short stories, she then decided to make a book of them and so A Certain Time, A Certain Place came into being.
Who should we count among the influences behind this decision? Katherine was happy to tell me. “Catherine Cookson, Edna O’Brien, Phillipa Gregory, Clare Boylan and Ella Wheller Wilcox, without a doubt.”
Having a father and uncles who worked as house-painters, it was no surprise that Katherine also took up painting as a hobby and has made hundreds of art works, which have found homes all over Ireland and further afield.
In A Certain Time, A Certain Place, Katherine has captured a part of Ireland that will evoke memories in anyone who enjoyed swims in Sullane, trips to the Palace Cinema or days at the visiting fairs, and transport anyone who is unfamiliar with those memories right back to Macroom in the ’40s and ’50s. It is easy to see the influence of painting and music on Katherine’s prose and she vividly describes a very specific part of Ireland’s history.
I asked Katherine what is next. “I would love to produce a book of poetry and illustrate it myself, so it looks like busy days ahead!”