Bio (Long)

Bio (long)

A.S. Mink was born in Groessen, near Arnhem in the Netherlands.

She is the middle child in a family of five, with an older sister and younger brother. When her father was a teenager, he emigrated to Australia. He was the first emigrant to fly over the North Pole instead of travelling the long way around by cruise ship, as was the norm in the 1950s. The story proved unique enough to be reported in a local newspaper. Working various manual jobs, he enjoyed his newfound independence, having left the constraints of being the youngest of nine siblings.

He met his future wife, A.S. Mink’s mother, and after courting for only three months the couple got married in 1960. They returned to the Netherlands, where Mink’s father set up a copper and brassware factory. Wanting to expand, he moved the family to Ireland at the beginning of the 1970s. The Irish branch proved successful, and the business grew to three branches in southern Ireland.

The first seven years the family lived in a bungalow overlooking Limerick City. According to local folklore, their fellow countryman, William of Orange, besieged the city from that exact location back in 1690. The local stories started Mink’s love for history which continues today. After primary school, Mink attended Laurel Hill, a convent school in the city centre.

In 1975, the IRA kidnapped a Dutch industrialist who lived nearby. The family moved to the countryside, leaving the repeated bomb scares and the daily threat of political violence behind them. They moved into a beautiful Georgian house with a Gothic entrance and 144 acres of woodlands and fields. After stumbling on a mysterious graveyard, Mink wondered about the history of the estate. She discovered a treasure trove of local folklore, which many years later inspired her to write her first novel A History of Love and Now.

In 1980, the family moved back to the Netherlands where she attended Art College in Arnhem. Mink remained in Arnhem and still lives there with her husband in a nineteenth-century Dutch townhouse. Working as a visual artist, she also teaches painting to amateur enthusiasts in the evening. Mink published a story in the Dutch national newspaper The NRC called Vriendschap (Friendship), which stimulated her to keep writing. After completing various Coursera courses, e.g. Plagues, Witches and War, the World of Historical Fiction, she started the Faber Academy course ‘Writing a Novel’ in 2015 and graduated in 2016. 

Since then, one of her flash pieces was longlisted in a Retreat West Flash Fiction Competition. She was shortlisted with her novella Dog’s Cottage in Mslexia’s Novella Prize, and she won a Twitter competition at Grindstone Literary with the opening of her novel A History of Love and Now. A Limerick based literary magazine Silver Apples published a short memoir, Wild Children in their issue, Oxymorons. In Wild Children, Mink reminisces about her first weeks in Ireland when everything was strange and new. 

She painted a watercolour, which was published on the cover of Shooter Literary Magazine; issue seven, titled New Life. Her second longer work of fiction, a speculative novel with magical realism elements set during WWII in Arnhem, is planned to come out in 2024.

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