I’m delighted to welcome a fellow Irishman today, and I’m looking forward to chatting about books and writing and all the places in the world he’s visited. Philip Coleman is a fellow author at MuseItUp Publishing. To try and make Philip feel at home in my English county of Yorkshire, I’ve cooked up a big fry, with plenty of mushrooms, black pudding and soda bread, and a lovely dish of fresh butter. There’s also a big pot of tea on the go. No need to worry about the rain showers today, at least: coming from Ireland, Philip is well used to it!
Like many Irish people, as the sad joke goes – we all live somewhere else entirely. Where do you live, Philip? I’m originally from Ireland but I now live in France and work across the border in Switzerland.
That sounds wonderful. Vous en avez de la chance! Where is your favourite place in the world? Oh gosh! I think Costa Rica, Brazil and Namibia would be at the top. Italy, France, Poland, Ireland and the parts of the USA I’ve visited (West Virginia, Washington DC and New York) would be on a longer list. And, perhaps because I don’t live there any more, I’m fond of Ireland!
You’re well-travelled, like so many Irish. Those sound like great places to visit.
Being a writer is a great job. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Again the list could potentially be very long! However, cleaning bedrooms (or, more precisely, bathrooms) in a Paris hotel would probably be one of the worst. I won’t elaborate…
Oh no, please don’t…! Let’s move on! What book do you wish you’d written? Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. I have many books that I love but that one stands out as one I wish I had written.
Great choice – I love those books! What’s your happiest memory? All my happiest memories involve my partner and my children. Perhaps reading aloud to my children or sharing special moments with my partner.
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them? It would have to be someone with whom I could have an amusing and sarcastic discussion about life and the world. Perhaps Edward Gibbon, author of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (another book I wouldn’t have minded writing).
What would your superpower be, if you could choose one? To be absolutely infallible at spotting typing errors!
If you won twenty million in the lottery, what would you do with the money? I would retire from my job so that divide my time between writing and working as an ambassador on conservation and environment issues.
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you? To try and look at problems and issues through other people’s perspectives, especially those I don’t agree with, so that I test my own assumptions. I don’t always succeed – especially when I’m angry about something – but most of the time I try.
Here is the blurb for my book:
In 1482 Mary, the last Duchess of Burgundy, lies on her deathbed in a castle in Flanders. She is only 24. In her final moments she makes a wish that, 500 years later, will threaten the lives of a boy and a girl living in Brussels.
The Master’s Book is the story of Sean, an Irish teenager, just arrived in Brussels to a house that is also a crime scene. Together with Stephanie, his classmate, he finds an illuminated manuscript, only for it to be stolen almost at once.
Where did this manuscript come from? Who was it originally made for? Is there a connection with the beautiful tomb Sean has seen in Bruges? Above all, why does someone want this book so badly that they are prepared to kill for it?
Part thriller and part paper-chase, this book is aimed at boys and girls of twelve and over.
My website is in development and I will have a new blog associated with it but in the meantime here’s my Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/philipcolemanauthor
Thanks so much for coming, Philip. It’s been great talking to you. I wish you all the best with your new book, and a safe journey back to France. Bon voyage!
If you have any questions for Philip about his book or his travels, or any comments at all, please let us know below. We’d love to hear from you!