My name is Nicola and I am a writer.
Originally from Tallaght, I went to school in Presentation Primary School and Presentation Secondary School in Terenure, where my favourite subjects were always History and English.
I spent many years working my way through various jobs before writing my first book. For instance, I worked on the deli counter in Bewley’s Cafe in Mary’s Street, Dublin. After that, I worked in the Bodyshop in The Square Shopping Centre, in Tallaght. Then, I went to work in the cash office of Iceland Supermarket in Tallaght village. I hope it is just a coincidence that all of these businesses have since closed!
My first big break was getting a job in a small independent bookshop called Dundrum Books. I have always loved reading and books. So, it was at this point that I felt my life starting to make sense. It was pure heaven to be surrounded by books all day long and meet other book lovers.
Back in the 1990s, lots of my friends were taking a year out to go and travel the world. Sure enough, I wanted to do the same. I hated giving up Dundrum Books but I was excited about living somewhere new. I filled out a lot of forms, got my visa and flew to Australia for a year where I ended up working in a branch of the Dymock’s Bookshop in Perth. The next twelve months sped by and I found it hard to leave the sunshine but my year was up and I had no choice.
To my delight, within a couple of weeks of arriving back in Dublin, I got a job with Easons as a supervisor for their Heuston Station shop. Now, I didn’t much like supervising people, and I really wasn’t very good at it. However, I was thrilled to be working for one of my favourite bookshops. I also loved spending my day in the busy train station which remains one of my favourite train stations today.
From there, I got a job in the sales department of the book publishers, The O’Brien Press. This was the first time that I didn’t have to work weekends or late nights on a Thursday. I also learned a lot about how a book gets made and how much work is involved in getting it into the bookshops.
A couple of years later and I was ready for another change. This time, I moved to Belfast and got a weekend job in Waterstones, in Ballymena. I didn’t mind working every Friday, Saturday and Sunday because, the rest of the week, I was working as a ghost-writer.