Although I’ve written for film and been fortunate enough to enjoy success with it, Pins and Needles is my debut novel. It began life as an idea for a film but, when I tried to write it I realised that my characters started off with more thoughts than dialogue. A disembodied narrator seemed contrived so, thanks to the advice of a friend who knows about these things, I decided to write the story as a novel instead. The result is Pins and Needles, available in ebook and print-on-demand through Amazon or, from mid September, in certain bookstores in Ireland (there’s a menu here on the sight which tells you which ones).
The book follows the tales of several characters with little in common but that they are all at crisis points in their lives. The novel unwinds against the backdrop of the Camino de Santiago – the ever more popular pilgrim trail that lead’s to the historic city of Santiago de Compostela in the northern Spanish province of Galicia.
It took me about four years to complete the novel. This was largely due to the death of my father in November 2014. My heart wasn’t in much for quite a while after that but getting stuck back into the book and returning to study in Trinity were two of the things that lifted me out of the bereavement. Dad was always a keen supporter of any artistic endeavour we put our minds to. Because of the lengthy writing spell I had to frequently revisit the Camino, between Valença and Santiago on the Portuguese way where the book’s protagonists walk, to remind myself of the lay of the land and to ensure that the final novel was up to date with any changes that had taken place. These trips became much more than research. Every time I walked the Way I met people who, thanks to the marvels of social media, I’m still in touch with today.
If you haven’t got hold of a copy of Pins and Needles I do hope you’ll do so. This has become more than telling a tale that was supposed to be a film. My aim is to continue to write. While lying in hospital after surgery following my recent accident the only part of my body that was able to move was my brain and I put the hours to good use figuring out the intricacies of the sequel Sticks and Stones. I’m rather excited about it so my hope is not that I’ll sell books but that I’ll grow as a writer and that my work will find an audience for my books which have been called ‘Celtic magical realism’.
The phrase was coined in the Dublin People newspaper from whose review of Pins and Needles I have this to offer:
“I thoroughly enjoyed Pins and Needles. Cassidy is a writer that I expect to see more from. A mystical journey full of wonder, wisdom and self-discovery, this superbly-crafted novel introduces an exciting new genre in literary fiction – Celtic magical realism. Buen camino, readers.”
You can preview Pins and Needles here: