Born in Derry, but with strong Donegal connections, Charlie Herron grew up in the Marlborough area of the city and was for many years principal of Foyle View School. Charlie’s love of spinning tall tales has stood him in good stead as a stalwart of the Colmcille Debating Society and as a four-time winner of the ‘prestigious’ Baron Von Munchausen competition. More recently known for his storytelling on local radio, Charlie continues to broadcast with storylines never far removed from his native Derry and Donegal.
On retirement, Charlie took to creative writing as a hobby and has never looked back . His debut novel McCauley’s War is being launched this Friday in L/Derry. Charlie explains: “McCauley’s War has been a pleasure to write. It began as a short story, but the characters took on a life of their own and I couldn’t put down the pen. It is a different approach to writing for the radio or short stories. You have to develop the characters more and keep track of the various plot lines while always trying to retain the reader’s interest. But I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and learned a lot from working with the team at Guildhall Press. They helped greatly and I am thankful to them, and the Arts Council, for giving me this opportunity. Here’s hoping everyone enjoys reading it!”
Set in Derry in September 1941, McCauley’s War is written through the eyes of the streetwise nine-year old Dickie McCauley, who dominates his friends and constantly outwits his elders. Torn between the foolish, drunken dreams of his father and the realities of family life in wartime Derry, Dickie’s antics with his motley gang bring unwanted attention to the doorstep of his long-suffering mother. These innocent scrapes, ultimately complicated by much darker deeds and local politics, lead to terrible consequences for the close-knit McCauley family.McCauley’s War is a poignant and compelling story, told with an absorbing mix of humour, insight and affection. Dickie McCauley’s war is hard fought – and he takes no prisoners.
McCauley’s War by Charlie Herron is published by Guildhall Press. Available from local N.I. bookshops and www.ghpress.com