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Frances Macken

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Frances Macken

“Few writers have articulated the intricacies of friendship with as much authority….a debut bursting with heart.”- Irish Independent

Frances Macken is from Claremorris, County Mayo.

She completed a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford, and also studied film production at the National Film School, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology.

Frances likes mysteries, twists in the tale, the supernatural, and the unexplained. She especially enjoys developing characters and creating fictional worlds. Her writing is creepy, humorous and experimental. You Have to Make Your Own Fun Around Here is her first work of literary fiction and was published by Oneworld Publications in March 2020.

Frances currently lives in Dublin with her husband and daughter.

Praise for “You have to Make Your Own Fun Around Here”

“This atmospheric debut looks like a rural Irish coming-of-age novel, but it’s cleverer, darker, more unreliable”

Daily Mail

“A fresh, clever look at the intricacies and jealousies of female friendship. This debut reads like a modern, mysterious version of Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girls”

Irish Examiner

“Hugely enjoyable, profound and humorous”

Mayo News

“Few writers have articulated the intricacies of friendship – the dependency, the uncertainty, the fragility of the pecking order – with as much authority….a debut bursting with heart”

Irish Independent

“You Have to Make Your Own Fun Around Here vividly captures life in a close-knit community, while examining the intricacies and anxieties of female friendship… Katie is a vibrant creation, whose insights are often fresh and startling… The ups-and-downs of going places is ultimately what makes the narrative come to life”

Irish Times

“This exploration of the seething hinterland of growing up, with its often unspoken passions, unrequited longings and intense jealousies, is melancholy, funny, dark and affecting”

Deborah Kay Davies, author of Reasons She Goes to the Woods

“A subtle, powerful debut novel. Quietly packing her emotional punches, never predictable, Macken’s prose is clear-eyed yet lyrical, and in Katie, she has created a truly touching (and at times very funny) protagonist... A new voice in fiction to celebrate”

Anna Beer, author of Patriot or Traitor

“Readers will be charmed by the picture of Katie’s circle of friends and acquaintances... Macken’s first novel will suit young adult and adult readers alike”


“Frances Macken’s You Have To Make Your Own Fun Around Here charts the friendship of three small-town girls from their childhoods through to their early careers, exploring envy and self-belief with consistent, natural humour and spot-on observations”

Caoilinn Hughes, author of Orchid & the Wasp

“It’s funny, dark and brilliant on toxic friendships. I highly recommend”.

Jackie Lyman, Dublin City Libraries

Rights Sold

Oneworld Publications (World)

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