Carnmore writer to launch first book of interviews next week

Dylan McLoughlin, author

Dylan McLoughlin, author

They say the universe is a joint product of the observer and the observed. Those who are watched and those who watch. One provides the material for the other. Fascinating lives fascinate people. The story of how one half of the world performs and the other half of us absorbs that and records it.

For writers such as Carnmore’s Dylan McLoughlin, he has made an art form out of observing. For some years now, his in-depth interviews of personalities have asked the questions we all want answered. His probing of the how and the why and the where have produced a series of interviews for many publications, including the Advertiser; and online.

They provide a fascinating insight into people from a wide variety of lifestyles and professions. There are sports people and politicians and musicians and others who have honed a life for themselves with a story that is worth telling.

Dylan has always been fascinated by people’s lives and what motivates them. Most of the time I meet him, he is at the side of a hurling or camogie pitch documenting the stats of his beloved Carnmore. And when those stats are looked at and examined, they paint a picture of the match just gone. Human nature is the ingredient for his curiosity and creativity.

Next week, Dylan’s work will appear in his first full-length book Dylan Meets — a collection of some of his many interviews. When I catch him this week, he is putting the final touches to the publication, along with his friend Paul Byrnes who is advising him. It will be launched at the Galmont next week in front of hundreds of supporters and friends.

Determination is key

The determination with which he secures interviews is not lost on the subjects. A wheelchair user all his life, he says attitude helps you overcome a lot of things that life throws at you; and that this insight has been put to good use in the interviews.

“I have been a wheelchair user all my life, so to me, it gives me my freedom and independence and a way of getting around,” he tells me. “I do not let my disability define me and using a wheelchair has given me a unique perspective on life.

“Life can be hard but life can be hard for everyone, it all depends on one’s attitude. My wheelchair has taught me how to meet new people, ask for help, be creative and enjoy my life,” he said.

That creativity has resulted in this book Dylan Meets... and next week sees his dream come true.

“My dream from the youngest age was to write a book. I always loved writing but never actually thought it would become a reality that I would publish my own book. The generosity of all those people interviewed adds to it, fills it with rich material.

“I have an avid interest in sport of all kinds, including autobiographies, T.V., comedy and documentaries. I always dreamed of holding my own book one day and I cannot believe this is becoming a reality next week.”

So are the interviews borne from an innate curiosity?

Innate curiosity

“I think so. I have always had a fascination with people and I wanted to learn more about why they chose their particular paths in life.

“It was so lovely also to connect with people that I have always admired and to get to interview them is a dream come true.”

So how fulfilling is the completion of the book?

“I suppose the most important lesson for me is that I put my heart and soul into this book and that is incredibly satisfying; to know that when I see it on the shelves, that it is the result of such a commitment in terms of time and energy.

“The task in the beginning was daunting, but sheer determination got me there in the finish. It was totally worth it. It took a determination to seek out the interviews first and then to do them justice on the pages, and I think I have.

“There has always been something inside me that has driven me to be determined and overcome all the odds. I have a great zest for life and nothing stops me.

“I play wheelchair basketball and go hand cycling regularly. If anything, being a wheelchair user has made me more determined to achieve my goals, hence writing my first book.”

“I have met so many people throughout my life and that is essentially how Dylan Meets came about. I hope people enjoy reading it.

“I thoroughly enjoyed every single interview throughout the book. The participants were so willing and generous with their time. I quickly became more experienced and learned the act of ‘nagging’ if I was not getting answers quickly enough, so my inbuilt determination saw me get this work completed.”

Dylan is a great chronicler of the performances of Carnmore hurling and camogie club. What does the club mean to him?

“Carnmore Club means everything to me. It is such a part of the local community and I thoroughly enjoy attending as many matches as I possibly can in both hurling and camogie.

“I am involved in this year’s Minor hurling team as a statistician and I am known to have written a few match reports also, something I intend doing again once my book is launched,” he said.

Four years ago, Dylan hit the headlines when a picture of his aftermatch hug with Carnmore minor keeper Torin Finnerty won a GAA MacNamee award for Tuam Herald snapper Ray Ryan. So Dylan has become an integral part of the club, giving him a confidence and belief that anything is possible and that it’s just a matter of keeping asking.

Is he happy with how the book has turned out?

“I am so incredibly proud of how the book has turned out and am really looking forward to the launch on May 24 in the Galmont. I am indebted to so many wonderful people who have assisted me on my journey, they will remain friends for life.

“There is a lot to it, and I have learned so much. Hopefully there will be another book in the future. But let’s see how ‘Dylan Meets’ gets on first,” he laughs.


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