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Castlederg writer Tish Delaney on her debut novel, Before My Actual Heart Breaks

Six years ago, Castlederg-born journalist Tish Delaney left behind her job at the Financial Times in London and moved to the tiny island of Alderney. She tells Audrey Watson how her childhood and a desire to escape small town attitudes shaped her life and her debut novel

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Born in Castlederg, Tish Delaney now lives in the Channel Islands.

Born in Castlederg, Tish Delaney now lives in the Channel Islands.

Tish Delaney's debut novel, Before Actual Heart Breaks.

Tish Delaney's debut novel, Before Actual Heart Breaks.

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Born in Castlederg, Tish Delaney now lives in the Channel Islands.

First-time novelist Tish Delaney isn't sure if she ever really wanted to write a book. She seems genuinely bemused that national magazines, newspapers and veteran authors such as Roddy Doyle are praising her debut, Before My Actual Heart Breaks, which has just been published.

"I used to write short stories - I've written hundreds of them," she says, chatting via Zoom from the home she shares on the Channel Island of Alderney with her partner, artist Neil Paterson.

"One day, Neil said to me, 'All these short stories… you do know that what you're actually doing is writing a book?'


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