Voting is now open for the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards 2017 – and among the nominees you can vote for is Ardee author Ruth Fitzmaurice, in the running for Newcomer of the Year on the back of the huge success of her debut ‘I Found My Tribe.’
Ruth (pictured above with Maia Dunphy) is among five nominees in the category of Newcomer of the Year, sponsored by the Sunday Independent. She joins Lisa Harding, Sally Rooney, Karl Geary, Blindboy Boatclub of The Rubberbandits and Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen.
I Found My Tribe was released during the summer and was the number one bestselling book in the country for a number of weeks, whilst it also garnered critical acclaim upon it’s release. It’s success has been underlined with Ruth’s nomination at this month’s Irish Book Awards.
The book is romantic, honest, dark and funny too. It tells the story of how Rith coped with the decline of her husband Simon’s health – having been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2008, he passed away last month – her family life and her coping measures when faced with the challenges it all brought. She would eventually find her tribe.
I Found My Tribe finds Ruth explaining what life is like in her most unique situation and how her family and swimming in the Irish Sea with her friends – they call themselves The Tragic Wives Swimming Club – keeps her an escape and a release from day to day.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie at Thursday’s Irish Book Awards nomination launch, Ruth said, “It’s nice when you put it out there and people go ‘oh we like it’. You go: ‘Oh they like me, they really like me’”. I’m lucky people weren’t really mean to me, so I’m grateful for that.”
“I’d been writing just journal entries in my diary so it all came from that. It was a real intense process really, it flowed very well, there wasn’t very much editing involved at all. The chapters were just coming out of me,” she added.
The awards themselves take place on Tuesday November 28th. Voting in all categories remain open midday on Thursday November 23rd. The public help to decide the winners in all 15 categories (alongside a specialist Academy vote) and votes can be cast online, by clicking here.