Forkhill writer set to launch debut novel “The Boy Who Played in a Band”

December 14, 2015

Local first time author Pat Murphy, from Forkhill, debuts his first novel this month, just in time for the Christmas wish lists.  Pat began writing the book, “The Boy Who Played in a Band” four years ago after years of dabbling in writing poetry and plays.  A spell looking after his wife during a period of ill health provided the Forkhill man with time on his hands to finally put together the novel he had always dreamed of writing.

The compelling tale of a young man’s journey growing up in south Armagh through the Troubles tells of the suffering and hardships endured under British rule and, as the main character becomes embroiled in the struggle, how it affects those around him and his closest relationships.

Speaking to The Examiner about the launch of the book, Pat says the fictional story is one he felt “needed to be told.” The everyday life of Conor Quinn, and his role in the Troubles reflects that of many young men growing up in Ireland at the time and, Pat believes, it is a perspective that has not always been accurately portrayed by some writers. Drawing from his own experiences, people he knew and stories recounted to him over the years, the novel is sure to strike a chord with those who grew up during the dark days of the conflict in the north as well as readers interested in gaining a first hand perspective of what life was like for the resistance spirited men and women who fought back against “the enemy”.

“Conor plays in a republican band and gets thrown into the struggle through that,” explains Pat.

“The story follows the path his life takes after becoming embroiled in the Troubles and how it affects his family and friends. I definitely got inspiration from living in south Armagh during such a turbulent time and drew from stories I heard, people I knew and significant events and incidents that took place and I just felt Conor’s story is one that needed to be told,” he adds.

Expressing his hope that the book resonates with people young and old, the debut author says he has had very positive feedback from those who have read it so far.

“I actually gave the book to a 75 year old man I know who told me he cried when he read it,” says Pat.

“I’m pleased that people are moved by the story. I had another avid reader advise me to write a follow up as the story does lend itself to that.  I don’t know if that’s the plan yet though as it took me four years to write this one!”

With the first 300 copies of “The Boy Who Played in a Band” hot off the press, the debut novelist has a number of book signing events coming up, the first of which takes place in the Welcome Inn in Forkhill on Wednesday night at 8pm.

This is followed by a further book signing in Ti Culainn cultural centre Mullaghbawn this Friday 18th Dec at 8pm.

Copies of the novel will be available to buy at the book signing events  or by contacting Pat himself via his Facebook page.  The book is priced at  £10/€15 and will soon also be available in bookshops nationwide.