I’m very excited that my friend Ted Dunphy has published a book! It’s called Rowing Down the World to Auckland. Read on to learn more about Ted, his writing and the things that inspire him.
Ted uses wit and humour to deal with the tragedies real life often brings in today’s world and will you are bound to laugh as you follow the travels of Bruno Brennan to New Zealand to visit his grandchildren. Rowing Down the World to Auckland will take you on a journey filled with twists and turns that will keep you turning the pages. Here is a little bit more about Ted and his thought and writing processes in his own words.
Where do you find the ideas for your books?
People give them to me. Sometimes they say things that start me off. I know I am not the centre of the universe and that gives me a great perspective for seeing the humour in people thinking the world revolves around them. I cherry-pick the images that float up from my subconscious when I take time to be quiet. Ideas for books are everywhere once I look and listen.
How do you create your characters?
I don’t create them. I find them. I rummage in my subconscious when I see an idea for a story emerging until I find the type of characters who will fit in. Once they pop up they take on a life of their own. They will shape the story or decide to act differently from what I first thought they would do.
Do you give them the names of real people?
I rarely use the names of real people. Readers like the humour in the made-up names I give my characters. Sometimes a character’s name lets the reader imagine the details of their backstory, making the novel more personal to them. Imagine the details of the backstory behind the name Mastermind Muldoon from my next book The Devil to Pay. I leave Hedgerow McGlinskey to your imagination. A name can reflect a characteristic of the individual, or recall an episode from the past. Lame Delaney’s name cruelly portrays his affliction. Runaway Johnson will never live down his moment of weakness. Boanerges, the au pair trafficker in Rowing Down the World to Auckland, is a name from the Gospels that always appealed to me. It was the first nickname I ever saw in the Bible and has a rolling sound to it that is pleasing to the ear. Rashers Moroney is a name that still makes me laugh. I took the name from a chap who used to live in Waterford. I never found out why he was called Rashers. The precise answer would spoil my picture of him.
Do you prepare a plan before you start writing?
I don’t plan out my novels. I start with one or two characters and let them deal with events I hear on the news or that surface from my memory. In Rowing Down the World to Auckland the bishop and his priests flee their diocese in a Viking longboat – a natural form of transport for anyone brought up in a city founded by Vikings, if not the best way to deal with accusations of wrong-doing. Kayakers have a clever way of faking death but are reviled by yachtsmen everywhere because they are hard to see, being so low in the water. Bruno Brennan talks to drowned German sailors in the Bay of Biscay. Is that any more unusual than a boy with a tiger in his boat? Who says Bruno can’t meet a Birmingham canal barge off the coast of Wexford? Why not have a wild stag party with a religious theme, managed by members of the theology faculty from a well-known university?
Do you make your books funny on purpose?
I cannot write funny books but I cannot avoid using humour. Pompous, self-important people tempt me to debunk them with a word or a gesture that in the blink of an eye or at the speed of a quip strips away their hypocrisy. There is nothing funny about life but I am always struck by how humorous it is. Look at the politicians we tolerate. Listen to self-appointed saviours offering freedom as long as we lash ourselves to their bandwagon. What about the puerile ways in which education is distorted by people whose only authority for the task is that they went to school sometime long in the past? Amazingly, we live through this mayhem and we find love, hope and enjoyment and we take delight in listening to tall tales that are almost true. I write about real events and stretch the limits of tall tales to pick at the truth of being human. Humour is the handle we use to keep the daftness of life in its place.
Click here or the link at the top of the page if you would like to purchase a copy of Rowing Down the World to Auckland.
You can read even more about Ted Dunphy and Rowing Down the World to Auckland here.