Mick Donnellan completed the MA in Writing at NUIG in 2004. Since then he has worked as a novelist, journalist, travel writer, teacher and Playwright. He completed his first novel, El Niño, in 2005 and immediately secured a literary agent. He left Ireland soon after and went on to live in Spain, Australia and Canada. While traveling he worked as a travel writer and Journalist and co-founded the Arts Paper – Urban Pie – in Vancouver. Upon returning to Ireland he went on to work with Druid (2009) and RTE (2010).
Later, he established his own theatre company, Truman Town Theatre. All Truman Town Plays are written, directed, and produced by Mick. The company exploded on to the theatrical circuit in 2011 with their hit Play – Sunday Morning Coming Down. Following a national tour, they went on to produce (and tour) two more hugely successful Plays Shortcut to Hallelujah and Gun Metal Grey. These dramas eventually became known as the “Ballinrobe Trilogy.”
Taking a quick step back into the fiction world, El Niño was published in 2012 and Mick is currently in negotiations to sell the film rights.
Moving slightly from rural settings but not themes, the company toured a fourth Play, Velvet Revolution. An intense two hander set in a stark urban landscape, it created interest in Mick’s work among the film industry. He followed Velvet Revolution with his fifth Play – Radio Luxembourg and it was immediately optioned by London Film Company Dixon/Baxi/Evans and adapted for the screen.
While the film was in development, Mick’s second novel – Fisherman’s Blues – was published to great acclaim. As it rose up the ranks, and enjoyed positive reviews, Mick was taken on board as screenwriter on the Radio Luxembourg project.
After some months commuting to and from London, the script was locked down and a shoot organised in the Jordanian desert.
Titled Tiger Raid and Starring Brian Gleeson, Damian Molony and Sofia Boutella, it was accepted into the Tribeca film festival (New York) and was also seen at Cannes and Edinburgh, and the Irish Premiere was screened at the Galway Film Fleadh.
Most of 2017 was spent working on the exciting screen adaptation of Shortcut to Hallelujah with Florence Films. Hot off the press, the screenplay is titled Sam and is based around the gypsy curse supposedly set on the Mayo Football team as they returned home as All Ireland Champions in 1951. Set in the present day, Sam is drenched in Irish lyricism and modern day dark humour. The script has been been met with keen interest by film producers and actors throughout the industry.
Mick also enjoys lecturing writing at the AIT (Athlone Institute of Technology) in County Westmeath. The course has enjoyed an exponential increase in numbers since its inception in September 2017. April 2019 saw the release of the critically acclaimed Tales from the Heart which was a collection of creative work from the students. It was launched at the college by bestselling author and esteemed politician Mary O’Rourke. The course is scheduled to commence again in September 2019 and is already enjoying high demand. As always, early booking is essential to avoid disappointment.
Mick has also worked as a lecutrer at NUI Galway and his third novel – Mokusatsu – was published in May of this year.
You can contact Mick using the form below:
Novel – El Niño (in Paperback).
El Niño is the exciting debut novel from Mayo man, Mick Donnellan. Slick, stylish and always entertaining, the story is a rollercoaster of drama and tension that hasn’t been seen in Irish fiction for a very long time. Charlie is our protagonist, the pick pocket that steals El Nino’s wallet and then falls in love with her. She’s the wild femme fatale, beautiful; enigmatic and seductive. She rocks Charlie’s world with her smoky wiles and drinking ways and her tough girl ideals. This is Noir at its best. Dark and edgy with crisp fresh dialogue and a plot that engages the reader from the first line and keeps them up all night – right through to it’s powerful finish.
Mokusatsu – A Novel by Mick Donnellan.
(Includes Worldwide Delivery and Postage) Charlie’s out on bail and back on the sauce. Still devastated over the events of El Niño, he drinks to kill the pain and robs all he can to feel alive. But the past won’t give him peace. The police want him in jail. Kramer’s old crew have a price on his head, and his new employer has big plans to carve out his own niche in the criminal underworld — with Charlie at the helm. Roped into a series of audacious heists and ingenious schemes, he finds himself involved with illegal diesel in Westmeath, stolen cash machines in Mayo and violent debt collection in Galway. Couple that with his regular income of stealing wallets and robbing shops and you have a cyclone of a man roaring down a path to destruction. And bringing everybody with him. And then there’s Karena. The beautiful girl that may save him — but maybe she should know better? At times dark, others touching, and often comic, Mokusatsu is a fiction readers feast of Irish Crime Writing.
Tales from the Heart – New Writing from Athlone Institute of Technology.
Buy “Tales from the Heart” here and have it delivered in Paperback Directly to your Door! * Tales from the Heart is a recent publication from the AIT Writing Class, launched by Mary O’Rourke in early April of this year. Here you will find a striking array of Prose, Non-Fiction and Poetry that can have you laughing out loud in one story and bringing a tear to the eye in the next. The prose is always lyrical, the poetry always profound and the true stories are drenched in observational brilliance. From interviews with Maeve Binchy to hard boiled Noir and beautiful memoir, this is a mouth watering collection that will be devoured by readers from all walks of life. The Writers The contributors come from varied backgrounds and professions and provide a unique and creative insight with their stories and poetry. Hailing from Athlone and the surrounding towns of The Midlands, each student has drawn deep to put their life experience on paper. While some have experience in the creative industry, the majority of the writers are making their publishing debut here in exemplary style. The idea behind the publication is to take writers to the next step. They started the class with the imagination and moved to the written word but there was always a question of how to migrate these stories and ideas to the published form. Tales from the Heart was the perfect opportunity to make that happen. After ten weeks of teaching, experimenting with form and style, and developing each entry to perfection – we now have the finished product. Read more on http://www.mickdonnellan.com
Fisherman’s Blues (Paperback)
Fisherman’s Blues is the hilarious new novel from Mick Donnellan.Dark and audacious, written in a distinct West of Ireland vernacular, it covers a myriad of genres from Crime Noir to comedy and an odd bit of religion. Fresh in its language, vivid in its descriptions, the book sings with the signature style of all Donnellan’s previous work, and a bit more. Delving into the lives of drinkers, lovers, thieves and scam artists, the story weaves a web of intrigue and curiosity that ends with an unforgettable bang. Not without its poignant moments, the plot hinges on the chaotic consequences of three unlikely comrade’s attempts to save their lost relationships, while unintentionally ruining the plans of a rising criminal’s efforts to take over the city. The question is: Can they succeed? And if they don’t, what then? And where have the women really gone?