My name is Nessa and I'm a thirty-something year old mother and writer.
Back when I was about 7 years old I wrote a story about the blackboards in my primary school coming alive at night. They would meet up in the popular blackboard's classroom and chat about what they had seen in the school that day. There were even blackboard cliques.
When I was 10 my parents bought a pub. We lived above it. At 13 I began collecting glasses and at 15 I was pulling perfect pints of Guinness. We had a large collection of music behind the bar and I loved 1960's music, much to the chagrin of the customers. A few of them took it upon themselves to educate me on 'good' music. This started my love of punk, especially late 1970's punk. I still love my 60's though.
It was through my love of music I started to write poetry. I have no flair for music myself but see lyrics as poems made for music. I wrote a lot of angst-y poetry in my middle to late teens. Some of which I can't bear to look at as it makes me cringe.
I went to college in my home town. I spent four years doing a three year Arts Diploma. There was no real focus in it but I loved that. It had a bit of everything; Film, Theatre, History, Archaeology, Culture, Visual Arts.
Before the ink was dry on my last exam I took up a job offer to be cabin crew with Ryanair, a low-fares airline. After five weeks training I moved to Stansted Mountfitchet, England and stayed there for one year. This is a defining part of my life. Without going into much detail it taught me how to be a nicer person, stop drinking so much and to put effort into my studies.
I finished with Ryanair the week I turned 23. I went back to college and got my Degree in Cultural Resource Management. At this point I wanted to be a teacher. I started running the film programme in the secondary school I had gone to for six years. They would often ask me to be a substitute art teacher, which I readily accepted as the money was fantastic!
Unfortunately, the criteria for getting into the Higher Diploma in Education (qualification needed to teach in Ireland) was very strict. I did not want to go back to do another four years in college so I spent the year building my studies up in other areas. In one year I achieved a Diploma in Geography and the Environment with the OU, re-sat two higher level subjects I had done for my Leaving Certificate (I barely scraped a pass the first time), built up over fifty hours in substitute teaching, ran another year of the film program and worked 21 hours a week in a deli. At the end of this year I still did not get into the Higher Diploma. So I gave up on teaching.
In 2006, aged 25, I went back to college to get my Masters in Cultural Innovation for the Arts. I loved this year. In 2007, I finished my thesis on some of the greatest minds on pedagogy. How we educate our children is still a passion of mine and hope to do a PhD on it in the future.
In November 2007 I took a job as a field representative (I knocked on doors trying to sell AXA health care and Sky TV). It was a very tough job and looking back now I don't know how I did it. I left the job in 2009 as I didn't think the job was safe, health-wise, while pregnant.
Beth was born on the 18th September 2009 and she changed my life for the better. When she was 8 months old I took a job as an administrator in an estate agents. I liked the job but felt my personal dreams beginning to fade.
In September 2011 a friend told me about a writing competition. A manuscript had to be completed by the end of January 2012 if you won. As it happened I didn't win but did have a completed manuscript by 23rd January 2012. I started the story as a romance in 2007 and it finished in 2012 as science fiction.
The Secret Beneath Bleeker Avenue, my first novel, was published with KDP on 22nd July 2012.