Paperback Writer: Eilís Barrett
Not many writers are offered a two-book publishing deal by the age of 15, but Eilís Barrett is not a typical teenager.
Born in Longford, Eilís Barrett was brought up in Ballinasloe, County Galway. Home-schooled by her mother, Eilís’ creative strengths were nurtured via storytelling and games. Having started writing seriously by the age of 12, within two years the ambitious teen had completed an astonishing two full-length novels.
Now 17, the inspirational writer leads the charge for Young Adult fiction in Ireland. Her debut novel Oasis was published in 2016, part of a two-book deal with her publisher Gill Books. Set far from the idyllic, rural surroundings of the west of Ireland, the dystopian sci-fi tells the story of Quincy Emerson, a young girl who carries a gene that has destroyed the human race and lives in a quarantined city. The book also deals with some of the inner challenges of being a teenager, no matter what universe you live in.
As any aspiring author would, Eilís did face some creative hurdles along the way to finishing her debut. Getting involved with the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which sets the goal of writing 50,000 words in one month, was a big help to the Galway novelist.
Barrett's prolific writing career continues apace as 2017 sees the arrival of second novel Genesis, which again picks up the story of Eilís’ central heroine Quincy Emerson.
When not occupied with her writing, Eilís is a keen piano player and martial artist. See? Even literary wunderkinds need some distraction from their work.