Mary McClarey

About Mary McClarey

Mary McClarey is the author of three novels: Long Road, Many Turnings, Time for a Change and Another Mother’s Child. 

She was brought up near Coleraine, in Northern Ireland, the eldest of nine children, and she led an adventurous, if somewhat unusual, childhood on a small farm miles from the nearest bus stop.

Her grandmother was also a country-dweller, living on a small farm, in West Cork. At least, that’s what the 1900 census told her! There are plenty of similarities between these families and Mary enjoys imposing herself on relatives in both parts of Ireland. The first and the third of her novels were inspired by, and feature, West Cork, ‘Time for a Change’ focuses on Northern Ireland.  

She was a student nurse in Belfast, in 1968, where the civil rights marches and “The Troubles” formed the backdrop to her life and work. As a young woman, she became adept at dodging bullets and any form of authority.  She has used many of her experiences  as  nurse, midwife and health visitor in London, Jersey ,Belfast, Derry, Oxford and Plymouth to enrich her work.

The mother of two millennials, Mary now lives in Devon where she dedicates far too much time to writing short stories and flash fiction, alongside her novels, when she should be out enjoying cream teas. 

She has had two poems published in “Turning of the tides”, by Forward Foetry , and won a short story prize on Writers Billboard, in November 2015.  She was Flash Fiction prizewinner in the 2020 Fish Flash Fiction Award and is published in the Fish Anthology. Her flash fiction ‘ behind the mask’ has recently been accepted for publication and will feature in the Bath Flash Fiction Anthology 2023.

Mary is passionate about people, their emotions, their motives, what makes them tick. Her novels and short stories not only reflect the experiences her life has offered, but she creates characters that trigger a response, a recognition and an understanding of how life can be lived through the eyes of another, and she lays great store by a sense of humour.


Mary McClarey's Bibliography

Long Road, Many Turnings (2018)

Another Mother's Child (2021)

Time for a Change (2022)