Adrienne Dines was born in Dublin. One of her earliest ambitions was to be a seanachai, a traditional storyteller, but the nun assured her that wasn’t possible.
‘Nobody pays you to tell stories these days,’ she said in the sort of voice that convinced you she knew. She mightn’t have been right.
Adrienne read English, History and Psychology at Trinity College, Dublin, graduating in 1981 as an English and History teacher, ready to get into classrooms and tell the stories that pay the bills. Unfortunately, teaching jobs for newly qualified teachers English and History teachers, however enthusiastic, didn’t exist in Ireland in 1981. She emigrated.
Fifteen years later, now with a husband and three sons, she embarked, absolutely by accident, on a writing career.
In August 2005 her first novel, Toppling Miss April was published by Transita followed six months later by The Jigsaw Maker, one of Easons’ ‘Books of the Month’. In October 2006, her third novel Soft Voices Whispering was launched in the UK, and in Ireland in March 2007 in line with her ambition to ‘hit the ground running’.
The other accident was the launch of a speaking career. She is a well-established after dinner speaker or after luncheon as the case may be. Some of the talks are delivered in verse as it affords her the opportunity to say things that might raise an eyebrow in prose – much better to blame it on the rhyme.
Adrienne still lives and works in Weybridge but travels around the country giving talks and workshops for Literary Festivals, various professional / charitable organisations, and for people who ask her nicely. Especially for people who ask her nicely.
And she’s discovered that the nun was wrong – they do pay you to tell stories. Her next ambition is to come across someone sitting on the beach somewhere abroad, reading one of her stories. She’ll buy them an ice-cream.*
And of course, she’ll keep running.
*This ambition was fulfilled in September 2012, at the poolside in Fraser Place, Singapore. The lady’s name was Anne and she is an Australian. The book Anne chose to read was Soft Voices Whispering and she was enjoying it – she said. She didn’t want an ice-cream so she had a signed copy instead.
Good choice Anne!