A UCD student has been nominated for Best Irish Newcomer of the Year in the Irish Book Awards. Kevin Power, who is currently working towards a PhD in Modern American Literature in UCD, has been nominated for his debut novel Bad Day in Blackrock.
Mr Power expressed his delight at being nominated for such an award and admitted that it was a complete surprise for him. “It’s just fantastic I’ve managed to have this much success. It’s been such a surprise,” said Mr Power. “Up until recently publishing a book was the limit of my ambition so it’s just wonderful when things like this happen.”
Kevin Power is currently tutoring in UCD while working on his PhD. “I’m slowly completing a PhD in Modern American literature”, he explained. “It’s the most fun kind of literature, in my own opinion.”
In addition to being nominated, the rights to the novel were recently sold to a fi lm studio, Element Films, which was responsible for fi lms such as the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner The Wind that Shakes the Barley. Mr Power said that the fi lm has yet to go into production but was hopeful that it would go ahead next year.
“There’s nothing in production yet. They just optioned it,” stated Mr Power. “They were hoping to go into production later this year but I don’t know whether or not they’ll be able to as of yet.”
Mr Power also expressed his intention to write again saying that he would “like to try and write a second novel later this year… at least get one started.” However, he admitted that he would have to wait until his academic workload lessens explaining, “I’m going to have to wait till term ends so I can be free of my tutoring duties.”
Overall, Mr Power was in disbelief over how well received his debut novel was, saying “fi lm rights, awards and all kinds of things. It’s such a surprise.”
Bad Day in Blackrock chronicles the aftermath of the death of a young man outside a nightclub and is loosely based on the manslaughter of Brian Murphy in Dublin on 31st August, 2000. Mr Power was shortlisted for RTE Radio 1 Francis McManus Award in 2007 and his short story The American Girl was nominated for the Hennessy Literary Award in 2008.
The winner of Best Irish Newcomer of the Year award and other winners in the Irish Book Awards will be announced as part of the Black Tie Awards Ceremony and Gala dinner, taking place in Dublin’s Mansion House on May 6th.
The Irish Book Awards are run by the Library and Publishing community in Ireland.