Emerging Writer Member Profile

Thomas J O’Mara

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Member Bio:

I'm a retired accountant, a widower with three grown-up boys. I've lived and worked in London for over thirty years but I'm still a fully paid-up BIFFO! - turf-footing a speciality. My formal tuition is limited to several years of creating-writing classes, at the Brick Lane Bookshop, East London.

I've been writing for about ten years and have written quite a few short stories and two novels. My first novel, HRH Prince Philip: Escape from the Palace, is self-published. The other, Father Ger, seeks a publisher.

Life is busy and I write as a means of escapism and relaxation. I love finding a core idea, usually daft, and worrying it up into short story or novel. I would categorise both my novels as humorous, gently satirical and with a sizeable dollop of magic realism. We're all entitled to our delusions. It's all about entertainment.

Writing sample

“But sure, as long as you bless yourself properly and behave respectfully, prayers can be offered up from anywhere.”

He recalls a night long ago, when he overheard his mother and Father pray fervently, not kneeling but in bed, and with a wholehearted conviction all the saints in heaven would have been proud of. It was very late on a warm summer’s night when, as a lad of four or five, he would normally have been asleep.
“Oh dear God,” his Father had implored quietly, in the next room.
“Oh heavens above,” his mother had whispered in return, “yes, Michael, go ahead.”
“Oh thank you Lord,” responded his father, breathless, “thank you Lord, thank you.”
“The Lord save us all,” his mother had interjected, embracing her husband’s overwhelming devotion.
“Oh…dear Lord…oh dear God… oh…oh…” they had entreated together, united in prayer, united in God’s passion; deep and simple and rhythmic; almost childlike in its invocation; a deep and penetrating ecstasy enveloping their very souls. On and on they had implored Gods salvation until suddenly, after maybe two or three minutes of breathlessly praising the Almighty, they both stopped; exhausted. They had been filled to overflowing by the grace of God; infused by a love so powerful and so pure, it was as if they were in heaven itself.

Father Ger remembers how wonderful he felt knowing how holy his parents were – ‘the apple never falls far from the tree’.

Current project

The writing sample above is from my recently finished novel, "Father Ger." It's the story of an Irish priest ministering in Ealing, London. He has no money to fix the hole directly above the alter in his beloved St. Agnes' Church. The bishop won't give him any, nor can he win any on the Lottery or the horses. Things look bleak until, with a huge dollop of good fortune, one of his parishioners kills himself off a ladder. His grieving widow shoves £10,000 in unmarked, used notes into Father Ger's chest with which to bury him. God has provided. But the graveyard beside St Agnes' is closed, and only this graveyard will do.

The novel is 94,000 words long and just about finished. But further madcap (or otherwise) ideas gleefully considered.

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