As celebrity books boom, professional authors are driven out of full-time work
Novelist Donal Ryan is the latest name forced to seek an income outside books, while children’s writers complain that stars from other media monopolise advances
Despite scoring three bestsellers in five years and a clutch of awards, The Spinning Heart author Donal Ryan has been forced to return to his day job in the Irish civil service in order to pay his mortgage.
Ryan has become the latest casualty of tumbling incomes for writers. Despite receiving advances and signing a deal to write three more books with his publisher, the Irish novelist said he had found it impossible to earn a living wage as a full-time writer. “You need to have something else on the go,” he told the Irish Sunday Independent. “You could take a chance and scrape a living through bursaries and writing books, but I’d get too stressed out. It just isn’t worth it. I have two kids in school and I have a mortgage to pay.”