Antoinette grew up just outside Edenderry. Her mother Bridget is from Edenderry and father Pat, who passed away over 14 years ago, was a proud Kildare man. She has one sister, Martina. She went to primary and secondary school in Edenderry, and studied English and History, followed by a post-grad in communications at NUI Maynooth.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST KILDARE MEMORY?
My earliest childhood memories are of being at home and always outside. We lived in the countryside so I always loved going for long walks with my family. Back then, the road we lived on was really quiet and we could play out on it all day. It was a fantastic place to grow up.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT KILDARE?
The countryside is still my favourite thing about the county. I now live outside the village of Broadford on a quiet little laneway, surrounded by fields and open countryside. It feels really remote and I love walking the laneways around where I live and breathing in the quietness and the fresh air. It’s great to have that feel of being removed from the hustle and bustle of life yet still be only 50 minutes from the capital city.
IDEAL DAY SPENT IN KILDARE?
During the summer, (if we get one like last year) my partner and I start the day with breakfast in the garden and then a nice long walk. I’d then fit in some writing and in the afternoon pop over to the Kildare Village for a bit of retail therapy. I love Kildare Village, it’s by far my favourite place to shop. Then home in the evening for a nice barbecue and more time spent enjoying the outdoors.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IN KILDARE?
I love Donatellos in Maynooth.
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOUR WORK AS AN AUTHOR?
Poolbeg offered me a three-book deal in 2018 and my debut novel, Home to Cavendish, was published in February. It is a work of women’s fiction, set against the backdrop of an Anglo-Irish country house. It tells the story of two women living in the house, one during the turmoil of the Irish Civil War and the second during the corruption of the Celtic Tiger. It is a story of female-friendship and regeneration for two women faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges presented by the times in which they live. I am currently close to completion of my second novel, out in early 2020 and explores the impact of illegal adoption in the 1950s on four Irish women.
Being offered a book deal was a dream come true.