-Niall O'Dowd, Irish Voice newspaper
Mike Farragher is back with ‘A Devilish Pint,’ a collection of personal essays and short stories that offer a funny, poignant take on faith, family, and life. At the start of 2015, Mike Farragher stepped away after 18 years from a job any Irish American would envy: writing the music column for IrishCentral.com.
“Writing a whole page each week provided fantastic discipline necessary to write my novels on the side,” he reasons. “On the flip side, the steady paycheck makes you a bit comfortable and that familiarity can be the kiss of death for the creative process. I felt it was a good time to take some risks.”
Those risks jump off the page in this provocative collection of short works of fiction and personal essays entitled A Devilish Pint. The title story is a long conversation between a struggling writer and an otherworldly devilish character who appears in the church parking lot following Sunday Mass and offers a round of drinks at the nearest pub. They begin a conversation about how life really works , which encourages the reader to measure their beliefs while laughing along with the characters at the same time."
“I had read Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God on a transcontinental flight and in the haze of jetlag, I had this dream about sitting at a barstool with a devilish character who challenged everything I had just read in that book,” Farragher explains. “I woke up in the middle of the dream laughing, which is a good sign and told me I might be onto something! I scribbled a few notes with the pad and paper the hotel gives guests and went back to bed. I understand Keith Richards wrote ‘Satisfaction’ while half-asleep in a hotel, so I am in good company!”
Mike Farragher’s first book, Collared, was published in 2004 and is a suspense novel set in the church sex scandals. In the essay from the new book entitled “The Collared One,” he reveals the truth that is stranger than his fiction. “The release of Collared started some dialogue amongst the alumni in our high school about a bad apple that preyed on the students, including me,” he reveals. “There was an investigation into what happened last year and it opened up some old wounds that had to be healed. It was a tough process but immensely rewarding all the same. I’m proud that Collared was the linchpin for the truth to be revealed.”
In “Waking Mammy,” Farragher tells a hilarious tale of a siblings coming to death with their mother’s death under the wheels of the church bus while fuming over a brother’s decision to cremate the body to save money. “I used Facebook Messenger to trade lines with some very funny people in my life and the dialogue from those exchanges inspired this story,” Farragher says. “It was a fun way to work!” The writers had so much fun that there are plans to develop the story into a one-act play sometime for off-Broadway in 2016
Farragher will embark on a nationwide “rock and read” book tour this Fall with some of the musicians he’s covered as a music writer over the last two decades. “Pubs have always been a cultural mecca in Ireland and we will be bringing literature and music to those pubs willing to turn off the big screen TVs for a few hours,” he jokes. “It’s been fun sharing our audiences with one another. It makes for a much more lively discussion that what you see on C-SPAN’s Book TV programming!”