Author Interview – Peter Cunningham

Sometimes it’s so hard to keep at it – What keeps you going? I’m hooked.

Have you met any people in the industry who have really helped you? My former editor, Christopher MacLehose taught me a huge amount. I’m indebted to him.

What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel? A number of readers have told me that the thing they want to do most when coming to the end of ‘The Sea and the Silence’ is to go back to the start and begin the book again.

I feel I have achieved something when I hear people saying this. Their comments arise, in part, from the circular nature of the book. Much of what went before is explained at the very end.

But there is more.

Readers have also told me that they felt extraordinarily close to Iz as they read the book, and that the way Iz coped with her tragedy gave them courage to deal with their own.

It is a most uplifting experience for a writer to become so close to his readers in this way. The fact that readers say that my novel helped them to overcome personal tragedy, as it helped me cope with mine, makes all of us part of the one, big human family as we try to make sense of the hand that life has dealt us. Writing then becomes a privilege, for I feel I have reached out and touched many people thousands of miles away, and that they, in turn, have reached back to me and have given me the courage to keep going.

What’s your favorite meal? Crab mayonnaise, followed by grilled sea bass and new Irish potatoes, followed by fresh Irish strawberries and cream.

What color represents your personality the most? Rioja red.

What movie do you love to watch? Men in Black.

How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing? Social media is an amazing development. It interconnects all of us. In the same way that a fish is part of a shoal, social media has molded mankind into a single unit. It’s scary but it’s there.

If you could do any job in the world what would you do?

I’m doing the job I want, but if I were to pick another, I think I’d like to be ruler of a small but wealthy tropical country.

What are you most passionate about? What gets you fired up? I love watching a good horse race, or a rugby match, or a golf major when one of our great Irish golfers is in contention. Yes!

What makes you angry? Inequality, political corruption, arrogance.

Are you a city slicker or a country lover? Country lover.

How do you think people perceive writers? Most people have never met a novelist and perceive us as very famous people who are at the same time probably a bit weird.

What’s your next project? My next novel, which I’m currently writing. Call it superstition, but I never discuss work in progress.

What would you love to produce in your life? Apart from children, books that I’ll be remembered for.


A book for your head and your heart. Winner of the Prix de l’Europe 2013.

A powerful novel from one of Ireland’s best writers on the turbulent birth of a nation, and the lovers it divides

Ireland 1945. Young and beautiful, Iz begins a life on the south-east coast with her new husband. As she settles in to try and make her life by the ever restless sea, circumstances that have brought Iz to the town of Monument are shrouded in mystery. However, history, like the sea cannot stay silent for long. The war in Europe is over, and change is about to brush away the old order. Soaring across the decades that follow Ireland’s newly won independence, sweeping across the fierce class issues and battles over land ownership that once defined Irish society, The Sea and the Silence is an epic love story set inside the fading grandeur of the Anglo-Irish class.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Historical Fiction/Historical Romance

Rating – G

More details about the author

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