Page Turner / Edited by Peter McDermott
Rodney Edwards is a busy man. He works for the Impartial Reporter in Enniskillen and in that capacity was named Northern Ireland Weekly Journalist of the Year in 2013, and then, in 2014, the Press Gazette voted him the 10th most influential UK journalist on Twitter. He also contributes to publications in Belfast, London and Dublin and is a regular on television and radio.
But, somehow, he’s found time to pen his first book, “Sure, Why Would Ye Not?” which has been published by Blackstaff Press.
Edwards said it takes an “offbeat look at the very many words, phrases and sayings that are used in rural Ireland.”
At its center are two gentlemen who are setting the world to rights.
“Venture into any part of Ireland and you will likely see two oul fellas chatting away, in fields, outside shops, at funerals. One will be wearing a flat cap, the other a pair of wellies,” Edwards said. “In the book, Bob and Charlie spend their days hashin' about this, that and the other and when they are not avoiding their wives by footerin on the farm they are giving out about the price of things or their children, or childer as they call them.”
The author believes that “Sure, Why Would Ye Not?”, as a snapshot of rural life across the country, will strike a chord with many Irish ex-pats.
"I think my book will remind people of growing up, of family life and of Irish country ways,” Edwards said. “But most of all, I think, I hope, that it will make people laugh out loud and remind them that there is no place like home.”
Indeed, Sky News’ Eamonn Holmes called the book: “An unbeatable collection of words and phrases that remind me of home. Rodney Edwards has captured our spirit and sense of fun. Simply brilliant.”
Date of birth: Nov. 27, 1986
Place of birth: Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.
Residence: Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.
Published works: Sure, Why Would Ye Not? My first book, published by Blackstaff Press.
What is your writing routine? Are there ideal conditions?
I do like peace and quiet to write. While writing this book, I spent many long days and nights locked away in a little room on my own. But when I was out and about more often than not an idea would have popped into my head, and I had to write it down. This happened in cafes, restaurants, friends' houses all over Fermanagh. A lot of the book was written - in long hand - on bits of paper.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
If you have a desire to write a book then you must do it, otherwise you will always regret it. My advice is to be determined, stay focused and make your dream a reality. As long as you believe in yourself, be persistent and don't give up it is possible to achieve anything.
What book are you currently reading?
I have a very diverse taste in books depending on how I am feeling. Sometimes I like something that thrills me, other times I enjoy a book that makes me laugh out loud, or makes me think. At the moment I am reading “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hossein. It is a powerful, gripping read.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
Anything by the redoubtable Roald Dahl, such as “Matilda,” “The BFG,” “James and the Giant Peach” or by David Walliams, such as “Mr. Stink,” “Gangsta Granny” or “Demon Dentist.” Like Dahl, Walliams has written some wonderful books that have captured the imaginations of so many children. I think Walliams is very much a modern day Dahl. My wish would be to write as well as my two favorite children's authors.
If you could meet one author, living or dead, who would it be?
Roald Dahl. As a child, I loved all of his books. I read a lot of them when I attended Jones Memorial Primary School in Enniskillen. I loved reading time and would have sat in the corner reading Dahl having been transported to his wacky world. Reading his books inside and outside school inspired me to want to write and be creative and imaginative.
What book changed your life?
“Boy,” by Roald Dahl. I found it fascinating to learn how his childhood experiences led him to a career of writing.
What is your favorite spot in Ireland?
It has got to be beautiful Fermanagh, of course. The green fields, the blue skies (when it isn't raining) and the picturesque islands - one for every day of the year.
You're Irish if...
A perfect night in is in front of the fire with a cup of tay in one hand, and a slice of fadge in the other.