• West Cork Literary Festival 2021

David Diebold

Location: Dublin, Ireland
Facilitates workshops.
Speaks at events.
Speaks to writer groups.
Speaks to book clubs.

Bio

A former features and magazine editor on a number of national titles, David Diebold has written for the Irish Independent, Irish Daily Mail and for The Herald, where his regular weekly column of seven years made the judges’ shortlist for the National Newspapers of Ireland Feature Writer of the Year Award in 2011, and NewsBrand Ireland Popular Columnist of the Year in 2016. His writing featured in Press Gang, Tales from the Glory Days of Irish Newspapers (New Island, 2015), and has appeared in Spontaneity arts magazine.

David was raised in south Dublin by his maternal grandfather, a World War Two veteran waist gunner on a B17 Flying Fortress who survived 24 combat missions over Germany. Bob Diebold was also an award-winning journalist on the Los Angeles Times and a jazz pianist who played with Louis Armstrong, as well as Irish jazz greats John Wadham and Louis Stewart. David’s biological father, Bill, who he tracked down with a private investigator, was a technician with American hit band Three Dog Night, and went on to be a successful special effects expert whose inventions were used on sets for Titanic, Harry Potter and Star Wars.

As an actor, David studied performance art at Vincent and Chris O’Neill’s Dublin Theatre School (formerly Oscar Theatre School) in the mid-1980s, tutored by Irish theatre and television legends Ray Yeates, Kevin McHugh and Chloe Gibson. He left to cofound the short lived Express Theatre Company with a young Aidan Gillen, then travelled Ireland with Seoda, a TIE (Theatre in Education) troupe alongside Gary Lydon (The Guard 2011, Calvary 2014) and Jimmy Brennan (Pigs 1984). In 1990, David found himself on stage with the Kirov Ballet at the Point, Dublin, where he managed to bluff his way through a week-long, sold-out run of Le Corsaire without ever having learned to dance. During this time, he befriended Maxim Nisnevich, godson of Mikhail Baryshnikov and was invited to the USSR in 1991, where he was stranded during the August Putsch and its aftermath.

As a cook, David worked in a string of colourful situations, from dish pit to prep, resulting in a succession of busy restaurant jobs in the US, one of which, in Newport, Rhode Island, saw him bluff his way into cooking breakfast for none other than Senator Ted Kennedy, a story published nationally on the day Senator Kennedy’s death was announced.

As an aspiring underground filmmaker in San Francisco, while working for Hog Farm cofounder Larry Brilliant, a former Marry Pranskster on Ken Kesey’s Magic Bus, David studied television production and film at College of Marin, before forming Lazy Drunk Productions with comedian Victor Escobedo and making a number of short films.

David Diebold is available for interview. For further information please contact Emily at 01 849 0629 / MonumentMediaPressIreland@gmail.com

Books

This Is How We Dance

From struggling actor to wannabe cook, aspiring filmmaker and national newspaper hack, David Diebold’s unconventional life has placed him in some bizarre and precarious predicaments. He has blagged his way on stage with the Kirov Ballet for an entire run of Le Corsaire without ever having danced; fibbed his way into a busy kitchen and cooked for Senator Ted Kennedy; and completely cocked up a job as a stripping vicar.

Strangest of all, perhaps, is the family backdrop to this rather odd journey, in which David discovered that his sister was actually his mother, and his real father, a former roadie with American hit band Three Dog Night, who he tracked down with a private investigator, was a top movie special effects man.

By turns humorous and heartbreaking, these 52 vignettes of life, love and loss are soul-searching, searingly honest, and just plain strange.

‘Diebold’s stories read like dispatches from a street-smart disciple of chaos theory under deep cover. Life-affirming stuff from a renegade spirit.’ —Eamon Carr, journalist

‘Penned with great wisdom, This Is How We Dance is both a survivor’s tale and a survival manual for anyone who’s gotten mixed up with the business of families.’
—Damian Corless, author

‘All of his stories evoke a powerful sense of place. A few sentences in, and I’m transported.’ —Katie Byrne, journalist

‘Wise, funny and profound vignettes of family life, foreign escapades and eulogies to the fallen; flash memoir that actually reads like The Great Irish-American novel.’ —Nick Kelly, broadsheet.ie

‘With detours through celebrity, ballet and Kung Fu, Diebold writes with honesty, warmth and hilarity about fatherhood, family secrets, life, love, loss and the perils of growing up.’ —Shane Hegarty, author: Darkmouth; Boot

‘Finely sliced, smartly spiced, a feast for friends and family. Read this and yours will seem quite normal. Every teenager should hide this from their parents… Fiery, finger-licking, lip-smacking good…’ —Liz Ryan, author: French Leave , The Year of Her Life ,
A Note of Parting , Beautiful Dreamer

‘This magical book will make you laugh, look again at your own family, and pretend not to cry as David Diebold breaks your heart with his clear-eyed observation’ —Terry Prone, author: Racing The Moon, Fear Of Flying; Runing Before Daybreak, Swinging On A Star

‘I’m sad as hell now and it’s barely just past sunrise… Good work. ’ —Willy Vlautin, author: Motel Life, Lean On Pete, Northline, Don’t Skip Out On Me

‘One of the cleverest and funniest writers I know.’ —Rowan Joffe, screenwriter/director: 28 Week Later, The American, Tin Star

Diary of a Wimpy Dad

Some people have absolutely no business being in charge. Sadly, those people are also sometimes named ‘Dad’…

A few years ago, David Diebold took the brave decision to give up a full-time job to be a stay-a-thome Dad. Thing is, there was already a stay-at-home Mum, three hairy monosyllabic teenage boys, and a pathologically cheerful, explosively hormonal pre-teen girl.

What follows is a year at the coal face of parental ineptitude, a year in which David learns that helping to keep the well oiled machine of a busy family home firing on all cylinders requires, well, oil… and a machine.

If a family of six in a rapidly degenerating house weren’t enough to contend with, there’s Molly the ancient, toothless, perpetually molting dog, hell bent on murdering the postman. Good enough reason as any to hit the wine.

It’s not all missteps and pratfalls. Amid the chaos of life, David and family must contend with the trials of teenage angst, and the death of a loved one. Can he survive 12 months and keep his sanity? Sure. But can anyone else?

‘Diebold writes with warmth and hilarity about fatherhood, life and love’ — Shane Hegarty, Author of Darkmouth

‘Great tenderness and zinging wit’ — Sophie Grenham, books journalist

‘Penned with dazzling panache … A survivor’s tale and a survival manual for anyone who’s gotten mixed up with the sticky business of families’ — Damian Corless, author of Christy Dignam: My Crazy World

‘Rarely has something made me laugh and cry as much’ — Tom Dunne, Newstalk

‘Deeply emotive … surprises on every page’ — Sue Leonard, Irish Examiner

‘Diebold’s unique style makes you happy, sad and hysterical in a short number of pages. This is the type of book that you’ll be sad when you finish. Diebold’s experienced career in writing, chiefly in his award-winning work for the print media, is evident throughout. A brilliant read.’ — Amy Finnerty, RTE Culture

‘If you think I’m going to say ‘heartwarming’, forget it. Diebold’s stories read like dispatches from a street-smart disciple of chaos theory under deep cover. Diebold (if that’s his real name) skilfully pens revelatory case notes that explore the often unconventional nature of family relationships. Life-affirming stuff from a renegade spirit’ — Eamon Carr, Irish Independent

‘The diary we wish we’d all kept. Every teenager should hide this from their parents. This rocks’ — Liz Ryan, author of French Leave

‘Wise, funny and profound vignettes of family life’ — Nick Kelly, broadsheet.ie

‘Write about what you know, they say. For the most part, it’s good advice. It probably helps if you’ve lived a life as down right odd as Diebold’s … but it’s his skill as a writer that carries the day … Very entertaining.’ — Pat Carty, Hot Press

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