Watch the Video Pitch for WHO KILLED HONOR BRIGHT?:
Buy the Novel on Amazon:
Get to know writer Patricia Hughes:
1. What is your story about?
Authorities in the new Irish Free State harassed and murdered Honor Bright before maligning her as a prostitute and acquitting her assassin.
The newly founded Garda Siochana spread deceitful rumours and coerced witnesses to conceal Honor’s true identity and the real reason for her death.
False evidence, perjury and the silencing of potential witnesses led to huge public demonstrations, but newspapers were coerced into printing only authorised stories or else face the consequences from the Garda or Ministry of Justice.
Find out why political support moved away from the Free State towards an independent Republic from 1926, why so many were killed or fled Ireland, and what part William Butler and his wife George Yeats played in the process.
2. Why should people know about yourself and your story?
Patricia Hughes is the daughter of Kevin Barry O’Neill, William Butler Yeats’s illegitimate Catholic son, and the granddaughter of Honor Bright. That was the name Yeats gave to her to prevent her being murdered by his wife George – but he failed. Honor Bright’s real name was Lily O’Neill. She was Catholic, poor, about to emigrate to the USA and thirty-five years younger than Yeats.
3. How long have you been writing stories?
I started writing oddments many years ago, but had no idea what I wanted to write in general. Then in 1999 I wrote two educational reading texts for an autistic boy, realised who I was writing for and haven’t stopped since.
4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?
John le Carré movies about the Cold War, like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy; Jackie Brown by Quentin Tarantino; and The Straight Story by David Lynch.
5. Who would you like to collaborate with on a creative project?
David Lynch, or someone who shares his way of presenting the reality of what happens.
6. How many stories/screenplays have you written?
I’ve always read plays and started to write screenplays in the early 90s, but never finished them. In terms of stories, I’ve only written two, though I’ve always had a few in my head. Most of my writing has been factual, recording events that actually happened and working out why and what made them happen.
7. What motivated you to write this story?
Who Killed Honor Bright? Is fundamentally about my father. After I realised that William Butler Yeats was his father, I put together all the facts I knew about him, then I compared it with everything known about Yeats. Lots of people contacted me to tell me things that had never been written down, like the involvement of the Irish Free State government in the form of the Minister of Justice, Kevin O’Higgins. I just wanted to tell everyone what I’d found out.
8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?
I try to have a set routine, but it gets deflected very easily. Ideally I start writing first thing and have the afternoon off to think, but sometimes I have the urge to keep writing for a couple of weeks, and sometimes I need to think things through before I can carry on.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Cooking fascinates me and gardening because I love eating, but I do have to keep these passions under control. Mostly I’m passionate about my friends and family.
10. What influenced you to have your story made into a video pitch?
It suddenly appeared on Twitter, a new concept I’d never previously thought of – so why not have a go?
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Yes – first of all, believe in yourself. Second, get started writing somehow, any way will do. Thirdly, save all your ideas, don’t throw them away, no matter how silly they appear. Finally, just carry on writing! That’s the way to become a reliable, experienced writer.