And I should know. Thirteen years ago, I gave up my job as a full-time lecturer in Japanese to rear my newborn baby and, three children later, I am still at it. (Ask me anything about tantrums, tears, and moods – and that’s only me!) I have also been to the edge and back with my wife. (See The Greatest Love I’ve Ever Known ). What’s more, I grew up in a war zone – Belfast – and you don’t survive that without your heart melting, and I once studied for the priesthood.
So, I know a thing or two about love – the nature of love, the power of love, the beauty of love, the relevance of love, God and love, people and love, men and love, romance and love, family and love, hatred and love, the shenanigans of love.
My wife often says to me, ‘Adrian, you are great at giving, but you hate receiving’, and she is right. To know love, you have to be able to receive it.
We in the West live in cultures that have been shaped by a version of Christianity that focuses on the service of others to the detriment of the self.
Such cultures typically overlook the value of the personal, relationships, intimacy, friendship, enjoyment, joy, fun and receiving – all things that manifest the beauty of love. These are primarily the aspects of love that I explore in my writing.
If it is the beauty of love in the everyday that interests you, in the body/mind/spirit vein, then click on God of the Tumble-Dryer above and find the introduction to the book by that name, or simply check out any of my blogs, on which the book is based, under BLOG POSTS above. (Alternatively, click on any of the THEMES on the right-hand side of this screen.)
If it is love in the family context that interests you, then check out my novel The Quiet Life in the navigation bar above. The Quiet Life is the story of a boy growing up during the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’, which Marian Keyes described as ‘brilliant, accessible, intelligent and enjoyable’. A download of The Quiet Life can be sampled or purchased at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/114093 and downloaded to your Kindle or iPhone. Alternatively, you can buy a paperback copy on http://www.lulu.com. It is also available from Barnes and Noble in the USA.
If you prefer love within marriage, then click on The Magic Pill above and enjoy a novel that Cathy Kelly described as ‘a deep, clever (also funny) analysis of modern marriage, written by a man’.
There is no doubt about it, love arrests us in a way that most other things, like work or achievements, fail to do, though these richly reward us at times. Essentially, when all is said and done in life, people want to know if they have loved (sufficiently) or been loved (sufficiently) simply because this is where they feel most alive, most fulfilled, most in touch with life and its beauty. That was my father’s experience as he lay dying. As he put it, the best time in his life was when he was immersed in his family when his seven children were ‘small’ and he was unemployed.
However, beauty’s shadow side is never far away, and it is this that readers say gives my writing its edge, for readers know the real thing when they see it. Love blossoms, like flowers, among weeds. Indeed, life’s ugliness only serves to highlight love’s extraordinary beauty.
Finally, if you wish to read something a little more specialised and are interested in why people worldwide get into conflict and how they might get out of it, click on Conflict Resolution above, which will take you to my book Socio-ideological Fantasy and the Northern Ireland Conflict at Manchester University Press, which MUP published as part of their New Approaches to Conflict Analysis series in 2007.
So, enjoy your visit, wherever it takes you!
Thank you for calling!