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09th Nov 2022

Alice Ryan: “All I’ve wanted to do was write a book”

Alice Ryan talks exclusively to about all things bookish.

An Post Newcomer Nominee Alice Ryan’s debut novel has become an instant hit.

There’s Been a Little Incident is selling out in bookshops across the country, including in Hodges Figgis, where I met up with the Irish author to chat all about books.

As we wander around the bookshop, pointing out books we read and dozens we want to buy, Alice tells us about how it feels to be nominated for an An Post Irish Book Award.

“I feel like for the last 10 years all I’ve wanted to do was write a book. I’ve watched the Irish Book Awards and loved it, but when you’re in it- I’ve got the three-year-old, she’s got a fever, there’s burning fish fingers, so it’s a bit more real. But in a nice way because you’re getting on with your normal business in life. But I am thrilled. The response from people has been incredible. I feel really lucky.”

Ever the avid reader, Alice is also a fan of her fellow nominees, including Aingeala Flannery, author of the bestselling novel The Amusements. But it’s Irish authors of the past that have really inspired her.


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“There are so many female writers from the past who are unreal. I’ve been going back and looking at them. One writer I’m obsessed with is short story writer Maeve Brennan. Her short stories are so sharp and witty, but they’re also dark.

Like many others, books have had a constant influence on Alice. Kate Atkinson, Brit Bennett, and Meg Mason are amongst Alice’s favourite authors, but it was Atkinson’s novel Life After Life that hit differently. It’s one of those novels that grips you from page one. The characters feel like people you know and love and you simply can’t shake them after finishing the book, Alice shares.

Much like the characters in Life After Life, readers won’t be able to forget about the Black family in There’s Been a Little Incident. Alice’s tender debut is full of wit, charm, and characters that feel both familiar and one-of-a-kind. She credits Richard Curtis for inspiring her work. His movie About Time inspired Alice when she was writing There’s Been a Little Incident.

There’s Been a Little Incident features a family you won’t forget, a unique protagonist that you’ll adore, and a tenderness that’ll warm you up like a giant cup of tea.


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In There’s Been a Little Incident, the Black family band together as their lost sheep Molly disappears.

You can vote for Alice in the An Post Irish Book Awards here.

There’s Been a Little Incident is available in all good bookshops.