Fiona Murphy McCormack is a writer from Northern Ireland. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Queen’s University Belfast and a BA in Creative Writing and English from Glyndwr University, Wrexham, Wales. She won a scholarship for the John Hewitt International Poetry School in 2017, and a Young Writer Delegate placement at the International Literature Festival in Dublin. She has given readings at Wrexham Carnival of Words, Waterstones events and The Session. She has had the following pieces published: ‘Sea Sonnet’ (Young Poets Future Voices, 2011), ‘Mona Lisa’ (Electric Reads Anthology of 2015), ‘Pigeon City’ (Germ Magazine, 2016), ‘Heavenly Bodies’ (Fearless Femme, 2018), ‘Ghosting’ (The Elephant Ladder Zine, 2018), ‘Silver’ (The Crossways Literary Review, 2019), ‘The North Is Next’ (Santa Fe Quarterly, 2019), and ‘The Armchair Traveller’ (Viva Voce Anthology, forthcoming 2019).
Q: Do you have a favourite quote?
A: ‘But just think what a dull world it would be if everyone was sensible.’ From Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery.
Q: Is there a book that you keep going back to, and if so, how many times have you read it?
A: I love rereading my favourite books. Probably the one I return to most often is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve read it. When I tell people that they usually either roll their eyes because it’s a popular, somewhat romantic ‘sick-lit’ young adult book – or it could be they think I’m some emotionless zombie to be able to put myself through that devastation over and over. But I owe a lot to The Fault in Our Stars. It’s because of this book that I met the author, travelled to Amsterdam and made friends with a lot of people who also love the book. When I want to learn how to develop character or write a hero’s journey – or when I just feel the pressing of an existential crisis – I turn to Gus and Hazel. I learn something new each time I read it. Overall, it still helps me navigate my thoughts and uncertainty on aspects of life, living, dying and death.
Q: If you could teleport yourself anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why?
A: So many places come to mind: Hogwarts, Pemberley, West Egg. But I’m going to pick Stars Hollow, Connecticut. It is the small town from the television show Gilmore Girls. It’s such a cosy, eternally autumnal place, where everyone is so witty and cultured. Most importantly, the food and the coffee are always in abundance!