Peter Hollywood was born in Newry at the tail-end of 1959 and
began writing at an early age. He began
typing a little later when, in Paris, one of the French people he was sharing
an apartment with, returned home having purchased an Olivetti manual typewriter
on which to complete her PHD dissertation.
Hollywood’s eyes lit up at the sight of it and, albeit in the owner’s absence, he appropriated this marvellous machine and began to type out some of the stories he had been accumulating in a favoured spiral-bound, ruled BS5 Baberton notebook.
The first of these stories, ‘The Accident’, he sent off to David Marcus in the Irish Press, who accepted it; overjoyed though Hollywood was to receive the acceptance letter, he was still new to this publishing game that he panicked at the reference to a ‘fee of £30’ which he thought he was going to have to pay the Irish Press in order to print the story.
Fortunately this misunderstanding was put to rights
before Hollywood disappeared to the nearest marché de pûces with an Olivetti
typewriter tucked under his arm.
The story was subsequently short-listed for a Hennessy award. Marcus went on to publish a number of Hollywood’s stories and in 1987 his first collection was published by Pretani Press entitled JANE ALLEY.
Then, way back in 1990, in an
essay with the title ‘Here and Now – Literature and the North’, in the, sadly,
defunct magazine KRINO, a certain Patrick Ramsay made the following reference:
‘If poetry is in the doldrums, other fields of endeavour seem to be thriving –
prose: Robert McLiam Wilson, Glenn Patterson, Peter Hollywood…’ True to his word, Patrick, as helmsman of
Lagan Press, subsequently published Hollywood’s second collection of short
stories, LEAD CITY AND OTHER STORIES in 2008.
Hollywood is married with three children who are erroneously convinced that they are the models for the siblings in the stalked and harassed family at the centre of Hollywood’s first novel, LUGGAGE, published by Lagan in 2010.
Having read this short account of his creative history, it must not be assumed that Hollywood is much given to illeism, and this despite the fact that ‘Birds’, the opening tale of the LEAD CITY stories, is the only story he has ever written in the first person. Having worked in a wide range of jobs, Hollywood currently plies his trade in the field of education and literacy.
A brand new collection of short stories, to be named HAWKS AND OTHER STORIES is due out in April 2013.