My mother once told me that writing a book was a bit like having a baby (I’ll have to take her word for that) and in my case that equated to the gestation period of several elephants. She also explained that after putting your heart and soul into creating a ‘new life’ you were gripped with fear about showing it off to the world in case people thought it was ugly! So, after tinkering about with the idea of writing a story about a dysfunctional football for sixteen years, Baxter’s Boys was finally born and presented to the world in January 2020. Thankfully I’ve had some wonderful reviews to date.
The novel originally started out as a screenplay and I did my best to get the BBC on board to commission it as a six-part serial but alas I came up short. Normal life took over and my screenwriting dreams were put on hold until about 3 years ago. The idea of writing for tv/film was inspired by a copy of The Committments by Roddy Doyle which I was given in 1990 while on placement from college. I was immediately hooked. Here was a book filled with characters who spoke like my friends and I. We could have been in the band, the fact that none of us could play an instrument was only a minor setback. When I heard the book was being turned into a movie I was like “that’ll be bleedin’ deadly.” Finally, a story about working class people who I could relate to. Although I’m an ardent reader, anything from historical fiction such as John Boyne’s Mutiny on the Bounty to the darkly comic Mystery Man series by Colin Bateman, I love to read stories I can easily identify with. A Kestrel for a Knave is one of my all time favourites.
Baxter’s Boys is a black comedy set in Dublin circa 2012 and follows the lives of a group of misfits who play football for Sporting Les Behans. Being brought up in Dublin’s North inner city gave me plenty of material to work with. The book tackles bullying, homelessness, drug addiction, domestic abuse… did I mention that it was a comedy? A lot of lads who have read the novel have contacted me saying that they didn’t usually read books, except maybe on holidays but that they could really relate to the characters and their issues. In my experience not enough men from working class areas read books and if this story encourages them to read a bit more then I’ll be delighted. If anyone would like to make the book into a tv series I’d be even more delighted!