I’m Eamonn Lynch, a Derryman and a debut author, who up to now has been writing for fun. I don’t expect that to change, irrespective of this book or any others that may follow.
More importantly, I’m a proud father of Emma and a doting grandfather of Davin and Penny. I have two sisters and five brothers, so I know what a race to the dinner table looks like!
Born in 1953, my experiences as a young boy were fairly normal for those times, in that I was active, adventurous and a bit of a handling.
But my transitions to mid-teens and early twenties were just about as abnormal as the early seventies were in Derry with the advent of the Troubles.
My life has had many challenges; not just with the Troubles, which all Derry citizens of my generation had to navigate, but also personal experiences over many years, with excess drinking and gambling being the main culprits. Today I don’t indulge in either.
I spent most of my working life in the public sector, and I’m now happily retired and busier than ever!
The urge to write began about 20 years ago, mainly through the medium of poetry and on a whole spectrum of topics ranging from subjects as diverse as personal to political and from local to international.
All that time, there was a ‘wee voice' in my head telling me that I should write a book. It was quickly followed by another, louder, voice saying, “the cheek of you to think you could write a book”.
For years, the loud voice won out and I kept the ink dry. Eventually there was a compromise; I decided that writing a book of short stories would allow me to write without feeling that I was getting above my station.
The first short story that I penned (and it was indeed freehand on A4 paper) was a reflection on a jogger running along the banks of the River Foyle.
The fact that he ran very slowly, listened to music while running, let his mind wander and came to somewhat cynical, yet humorous, conclusions and observations resonated closely with my jogging experience.
This created a new thought process where I decided to take that cynical, funny jogger back through his life and tell his story in a way that, though fictitious, would capture the mood of my times.
This format allowed me to mix fact and fiction in a readable, humorous, believable and authentic fashion. And that’s how Dan Feeney, the subject of my book, Get That Boy Home, was born.
I still feel amazed that I’ve actually completed this book. The fact that it’s being published is more down to encouragement from family and friends that have read the manuscript than any personal ambition or vanity on my part.
However, I do admit to being a bit chuffed about getting this far, and I thank them for their consistent encouragement; otherwise known as nagging!
You can see some of their comments on my book by clicking 'reviews' on the derryyarns.com website. A review is included from a visiting English profesor who I happened upon by accident a few years ago, was also instrumental in the book finally making it to the publisher.
More recently I have started to write a second book, again historical fiction, but this one will straddle two generations of our troubled history, namely the Famine and the Troubles. Even as I write this, a third book is germinating in my head, so it looks like I’ve got the bug!
I have also written a play that, with some tweaking, I hope to put on in a Derry theatre sometime in the future, probably after the restrictions of Covid 19 are in our rear view mirror.
In 2016, I was the main writer of the 1916 Easter Rising Pageant performed in Derry’s Guildhall Square to a large crowd, so my writing hobby has already begun to see some daylight.
A few short stories have also emerged in recent times. I’m not a professional writer, nor do I have ambitions to be.
I will just continue to write until I have nothing left to say. Whether my writing has any value or not, I leave that judgement up to you, the reader.