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Africa transforms a reluctant accountant into a passionate storyteller

Sometimes, if you grow up in a house full of books, writing and travelling become your secret passion. This is what happened to VANESSA PEARSE, who studied business and reluctantly became an accountant but immediately looked for opportunities that would take her abroad. When the opportunity to volunteer in Sudan presented itself she didn’t think twice. It was 1989, the year of the Sudanese coup, and the country was hot, dusty and lacerated by conflict. After Sudan, before returning to Ireland she spent some time in Kenya because she did not feel like travelling back just yet. Her experience in Africa had changed her life forever and, many years later provided, the backdrop for her first novel.

Back in Ireland, Vanessa spent many years working as an accountant but also writing poems and short stories in her free time as a means of responding to events and things that happened to her. At the age of fifty, she retired from accountancy to focus on her writing. And she has many things to say: her first novel is Deniable Memories, a fictional novel set in Sudan drawing inspiration from her own experience that came out in the middle of the pandemic. Her second novel Beneath the Image, to be released towards the end of summer 2021, deals with topics such as domestic violence and menopause that Vanessa feels have been long suppressed in Irish society; and a third novel is no the way.

Vanessa spends her time between Clontarf and beautiful West Cork, where she finds inspiration to write in the tranquillity of the landscape and the views of Roaring Water Bay and Mount Gabriel. She thinks that books should challenge your thinking but also be “warm and compelling”. Her leading question is “what makes people who they are” and this is precisely what shines through her work.

Deniable Memories is published by Vulpine Press, an independent publisher set up in 2017 to “publish high quality, innovative and stylish books”.

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