In 2004 I was given an opportunity to pitch a TV show to the BBC. My first novel, Dead I Well May Be, had just come out, and although the book hadn’t sold well, it had been well reviewed, and this had attracted the attention of the Beeb.
Young man—the Troubles have been only been over for six years. Nobody in Northern Ireland wants to watch a TV show set during those terrible times. Nobody in the Republic of Ireland wants to watch a show set during the Troubles. Everyone in England is so sick of Ireland, they wish the whole island could be towed into the middle of the Atlantic and sunk. And as for trying to sell this in America? Forget it. They still think it’s the 1950s and The Quiet Man over here. If I can give you some free advice: never write about Northern Ireland and especially Northern Ireland during the Troubles.