Author Roisin Meaney is wide awake to creative forces

Roisín Meaney. Picture: Cian Reinhardt

SOMETHING is keeping Roisin Meaney awake at night.

And having just published her fifteenth novel, ‘The Anniversary’, it hasn’t anything to do with losing her touch as a bestselling author.

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Roisin, who has lived in Limerick for most of her life, has been suffering from chronic insomnia for more than ten years and has tried every type of exercise and alternative remedy in search of a full night’s sleep.

“I’ve meditated, I’ve lain on a yantra mat, I’ve done yoga, I’ve listened to whale music, I’ve taken supplements that are known for sleep-inducing properties, you name it, I’ve done it, or swallowed it.

“I take half a sleeping tablet that I buy over the counter in Spanish chemists. After trying a gazillion other remedies, alternative and otherwise, this is the only one that works. Every few nights I don’t take it, and I don’t sleep,” she said.

Though she has no idea what might have triggered the insomnia, she’s confident that it’s not caused by mental or physical issues.

“Perhaps the creative process has something to do with it, I used to think it might be, but now I’m not so sure.

“If I’m not writing I’m generally thinking about the next book, but I’m not convinced it’s the culprit. I’m currently on book number sixteen, you’d think my system would have adapted by now”.

Despite her struggles with insomnia, Roisin still manages to keep her busy routine of writing daily, and all that being a modern successful author entails, such as book readings, speaking at book festivals, interviews for television, radio, newspapers and keeping her social media up to date as well as replying to fans of her books.

Though she has tried to structure a nap into her daily routine it has not worked.

“No matter how tired I feel, I seem incapable of napping. I so envy folk who can grab half an hour of sleep whenever they want. Thankfully, I’m still producing a novel a year. Of course, they might be better novels if I slept well, but that’s for another thing”.

‘The Anniversary’ which is now available in bookshops, centres around a couple, Lily and Charlie, who split up four years earlier and who are coming together to spend a weekend in the house where Lily grew up, and where they spent summer holidays when their children were small. Accompanying them are their respective new partners, their two adult children and their daughter’s partner.

Last October Roisin bought a small cottage in Miltown Malbay in Clare, where her cat has also settled in, and she goes for regular early morning walks on the beaches.

“I’ve been dividing my time between Clare and Limerick, and I’ve been met with nothing but friendliness and warmth from the locals. I’m a total blow-in, but they’re okay with that”.