Maeve Binchy/www.shutterstock.com

Write as you talk – and write about what you know

Novelist Maeve Binchy’s warm and often humorous stories about life and love in small-town Ireland, became best-sellers around the world.

An author, journalist and playwright, Maeve was a born storyteller and encouraged others to tell their own, saying: “The most important thing to realise is that everyone is capable of telling a story…It doesn't matter where we were born or how we grew up.”

She was born near Dublin and grew up in a happy family, her father a barrister, her mother a nurse.

She worked as a journalist before moving to London, but after receiving a record breaking advance for her first novel, Light A Penny Candle in 1983, she wrote novels continuously for the next 30 years.

Her books sold more than 40 million copies in 37 languages and led to two Hollywood films, Circle Of Friends, starring Minnie Driver and Chris O’Donnell, and Tara Road, with Andie McDowell.

Her Dublin funeral was attended by hundreds of people. “Wise, generous, funny and full-hearted, she was the best of good company on the page and off it,” her friend and fellow writer, Anne Enright, said.