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Meet Ann Devine - the Irish mammy to beat all Irish mammies

We talked live to Colm O’Regan about his debut novel, Ann Devine: Ready For Her Closeup.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

ANN DEVINE IS a woman we all know – even if we don’t really know her.

The titular character in comedian Colm O’Regan’s debut novel, Ann Devine: Ready For Her Close-Up lives in the rural town of Kilsudgeon, and is about to see her fourth child move out of home.

The book follows as Devine ends up dealing with her loneliness by joining the local Tidy Towns chapter, battling with the creators of a new Game of Thrones-inspired series that is filmed in Kilsudgeon, and winding up a local politician. 

Ann Devine (1)

O’Regan is best known for his Irish Mammies work, as well as his stand-up comedy. In 2011, he created a Twitter account @IrishMammies, where he catalogued the traits of a classic Irish mammy.

“I was trying to write things that I thought only happened in my family, and when I wrote down ‘will you have it in a bowl or with a wafer?’, everybody knew what I was talking about,” O’Regan told us about the Twitter account, which exploded in popularity.

That led to a series of books on the topic, before he branched out to a novel. When it came to creating a new character, it wasn’t always an easy task, he told us. 

“The thing about writing a fictional character for the first time is there is a temptation to make them an everywoman, make them a hero and that all their flaws are adorable. And they are quiet heroes who by the end of the book are able to load a shotgun and fire…” he said. “Part of it is almost restraint, not pouring everything into them. Trying to give them an outline of a character and having them develop along the way.”

Roger Kenny Photography Actor Head Shots www.rogerkenny.ie Colm O'Regan Source: Roger Kenny Photography

Find out more about the book by watching our live interview above – and along the way we also chat about rural Ireland, what it was like growing up in Dripsey, how a hangover led O’Regan to become a comedian, and whether we might see Ann Devine on the big screen.  

Ann Devine: Ready For Her Close-Up is published by Transworld and is out now. Video filmed and edited by Nicky Ryan live at the Gutter Bookshop.

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