Ross O’Carroll-Kelly is on his way to do the Camino in Paul Howard’s latest stories of Dublin Southside legends.
“It’s the 23rd novel in the trilogy,” Author Paul Howard told The Anton Savage Show.
“I started writing and I just couldn’t stop.
“When I started ross back in the late 90s, he was a 17-year-old wannabe rugby player and now he’s a 40-year-old man with grandchildren, so it’s half a lifetime.”
Camino Royale sees Ross and his friends walk the Camino de Santiago to escape all their middle-class worries.
Mr Howard said he is a “voracious reader” of news and culture, keeping an eye on what people like Ross are up to.
“I rang one of my friends who had done the Camino and told him it’s time ross and his mates did the Camino,” he said.
“I asked if he could give me any steers and he said, ‘but didn’t you read my blog about it?’.”
Dublin Four stereotypes
Built out of every Dublin Four stereotype imaginable, Mr Howard thinks there’s a certain timeless accuracy to Ross O’Carroll-Kelly.
“The first Ross book was launched in Blackrock Rugby Club, and I remember they partitioned off the bar where the launch was happening,” he said.
“Someone was being given a wedgie – this cruel rugby club punishment where they pull off your boxers.
“I was mid-speech talking about Ross and why I invented the character, and these boxer shorts came flying over the partition on the ground.
“I said, ‘This. This is what I’m talking about!’.”
But while Mr Howard has spent over two decades making fun of middle-class Dublin, those residents are too offended themselves.
“A lot of Southsiders, trying to delicate, don’t really have any embarrassment gene,” he said.
“They're quite happy to openly talk about things - people send me tales about themselves and their friends, and I mine those for stories.”
'These must be the actual fields of Athenry'
While he used to seek out stories by going to Avoca or hoping on the DART to Blackrock, Mr Howard has realised he simply needs to wait for these stories to come to him.
“I was on a train to Galway and there were these four Leinster guys across from me for a Leinster-Connacht match,” he said.
“Everybody was listening to them and laughing, and they weren’t even aware.
“The voice announced, ‘Ladies and gentlemen we will soon be arriving in Athenry’.
“The guys gasp, they look at each other and they look out the window... then they say, 'These must be the actual fields’.”
Camino Royale was published on August 17th and is available to purchase in stores and online.
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