News

The Road to the Audiobook: Part 1

The Road to the Audiobook: Part 1

I am about to begin recording my audiobook edition of 'Just One More Drive: The true story of a stuttering homosexual and his race car'. I thought it would be a good idea to chronicle this adventure as it will be a totally new experience for me. As a stutterer, reading from text (even if I wrote it myself) will be a challenge and I am wondering how I will sound and perform in the studio over the 10 hours or so it will take to record.

All that being said, the dates are booked and I will post more short videos as I complete the project and launch the finished audiobook in 2023.

Posted by Robert O'Brien in Media, News
Belfast Men’s Health Group Podcast: Stuttering & Mental Well-Being – Live!

Belfast Men’s Health Group Podcast: Stuttering & Mental Well-Being – Live!

A huge thank you to Paul O'Kane and the Belfast Men's Health Group podcast for featuring me on their latest episode.

Paul and I discuss issues around stuttering and homosexuality and the implications they can have on mental well-being. I get to share me story and experience and what I have discovered for myself around resilience and acceptance.

Link to the podcast episode:

https://www.podbean.com/ea/pb-mdmne-1301af2

You can hear more podcast episodes around men's health by checking out the group's website at:

https://belfastmenshealthgroup.podbean.com

Posted by Robert O'Brien in News
‘Being Seen, Being Heard’ – Speaker Series with the Irish Stammering Association.

‘Being Seen, Being Heard’ – Speaker Series with the Irish Stammering Association.

I have been invited by the Irish Stammering Association (ISA) to speak as part of their Speaker Series this Friday October 21st on the topic of 'Being Seen, Being heard'. This is to help mark International Stuttering Awareness Day 2022 and highlight the importance of people who stutter being seen and heard in society.

This invitation has been a wonderful opportunity for me to connect with the ISA and share my story. A huge thank you to Stephen Greene, Jonathon Linklater and Naill Walsh for making this speaking event happen and for the two very favourable reviews of Just One More Drive: The true story of a stuttering homosexual and his race car. 

Our conversation will take place online this Friday from 7:00 - 8:00pm Irish time and 11:00 - 12:00pm PST. It is free to join and you can register at the following link:

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/isad-speaker-series-tickets-397003196247

Review by Stephen Greene - Current Board member and past Chair of Irish Stammering Association.

"Robert’s book was an excellent and engrossing read. His account of his life of coming to terms with and understanding of his identity as a gay man who stutters was an honest and authentic exploration.
What stood out was the effect of suppression and masking of these identities could have on one’s life and the need to make up for lost time after coming out and how is one equipped mentally and emotionally when they are immersed in the communities of stuttering and LGBTQIA+ and wider society. 
Another stand out from the book was the theme of love and support Robert had from his family and allies. As a person who stutters I am very thankful that Robert has shared his story with us and that allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and embracing our identities can lead to happiness in our lives. Thank you Robert."

Review by Niall Walsh - Current Board member and Company Secretary of Irish Stammering Association.

"I was so entranced by this book, it is a wonder I can drag myself away from it for long enough to write this review of it!
Yes, it’s very subject matter (and book title) is a draw in itself, but that hardly guarantees anything.
This book guides the reader through Roberts personal journey from child to adult with all the ups, downs, blockages and stutters in between.
Robert writes with a brutal honesty about what it’s like to have a stammer in Ireland as a child (we’ve all had that one teacher, regrettably!..) to young adult life struggling with self-confidence and identity which, as I would imagine, resonates with many readers.
This book is told through the eyes of a young stuttering gay Irish man with a disarming honesty and a wicked sense of humour. However, under the relatable sci-fi references and wit, the author gives us so much more: he explains, educates, inspires, and shares his stuttering story."

Posted by Robert O'Brien in News
Drop in  workshop to celebrate International Stuttering Awareness Day 2022.

Drop in workshop to celebrate International Stuttering Awareness Day 2022.

To mark International Stuttering Awareness Day 2022, Dan Dumsha, Wendy Duke and myself will be running a free drop in workshop of 'The UnBlockables' from 1-3pm PST on October 22nd. This will be online and is a great way to celebrate stuttering with improv games, fun and laughter.

For anyone who is interested just resister by emailing rosemary@tightropetheatre.com

We hope to see you there.

Posted by Robert O'Brien in News
Straight Talking Mental Health Podcast: Now Live!

Straight Talking Mental Health Podcast: Now Live!

Recently I had the opportunity to connect with psychotherapist Allan Clarke and arranged to appear on his podcast ‘Straight Talking Mental Health’, which he co-hosts with his partner Aisling. I have to say it was a challenging and confronting conversation for me, but also cathartic.

With the focus being on mental health and straight talking, Allan and I had a frank discussion around my experiences with stuttering , coming out and my failed suicide attempt. Talking about these topics was a chance for me to revisit those memories and discuss my emotions and mindset at the time. Allan was a wonderful host and despite the topics, we certainly did have a lot of craic (Irish slang for fun!).

The podcast is now live and the various links are listed below:

 

Posted by Robert O'Brien in News
Some Stutter, Luh! – Podcast Episode Now LIVE!

Some Stutter, Luh! – Podcast Episode Now LIVE!

A huge thank you to Greg O’Grady and the Some Stutter, Luh! team for having me on their podcast recently. Greg and I got to chat about stuttering, homosexuality and my inspiration and experiences writing  ‘Just One More Drive’.

Some Stutter, Luh! is Newfoundland and Labrador’s first podcast about  about living with communication differences. Greg and his team speak directly to people living with speech and language challenges, and others such as speech language pathologists, researchers, educators and family members. They use inclusive language and aim to rebuild confidence and hope by dismantling myths, stigma and stereotypes.

You can view our video episode below:

 

You can also listen to the podcast episode on various websites. The links are below:

Some Stutter Luh! website: https://somestutterluh.ca/2022/09/04/S03E13.html

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6dOls1a7HTqxP6AuiPjkDg

Apple Podcasts episode link: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/interview-with-robert-obrien/id1554770147?i=1000578315260

Posted by Robert O'Brien in News
“An Evening With” – Stuttering Awareness and Mental Well-being Ireland

“An Evening With” – Stuttering Awareness and Mental Well-being Ireland

I am excited and honoured to be invited to take part in Stuttering Awareness and Mental Well-being Ireland’s ongoing “An Evening With” series. I will have the opportunity to share my insights about stuttering with two other authors who wrote their own memoirs on the same topic. See the event summary below along with information to attend.

Tomorrow the 20th of July at 7.00.pm we continue our platform of verbal opportunity as we present “An Evening With” Mr Robert O Brien, Mr Darren Benham, Mr Michael O Shea, and our host for the evening Ms Mary Moorehead. The evening will be unique, we will be in the company of four people with verbal differences they all “Stutter” Three of them are authors of books on their own lives and experiences of Stuttering, three different reasons, three different perspectives, three different experiences of putting pen to paper and publish. Mary, our host for the evening is now an accomplished presenter, interviewer and supporter of the Stuttering Community, Robert is the author of “One More Drive” Darren is the author of “Stammer” Michael is the author of “Why I Called My Sister Harry” This is a unique opportunity to connect and learn as they share what they did, why they did it, what they learned along the way, why they are willing to share their generous time and experiences with us.

NOTE: Due to Covid-19, Darren Benham is unable to attend tonight and another author, Mary Wood will be in attendance. 

The Zoom Details are Meeting I.D. 704 682 8814. Passcode: Fpzd2f. More information on all the author’s books is readily available on many social media platforms.”People Who Sutter, Helping And Supporting Each Other, About As Good As It Gets”

Posted by Robert O'Brien in News
Irish Book Launch: July 10th 2022

Irish Book Launch: July 10th 2022

Coming home to Ireland after years of lockdown was thrilling and rather emotional for me. It has been a long time coming, as has the launch of Just One More Drive: The true story of a stuttering homosexual and his race car in Ireland.

July the 10th will be the 'official' launch and the venue is the Eden House in Rathfarnham. This will be a family friendly event and run from 3-6pm. Finger food will be served and there will be a raffle to win a ride in a helicopter. That sounds rather random, but believe me, it brings my story full circle.

All are welcome, and if you have already bought a copy of my book, feel free to come along and I will happily sign it.

You can check out the promotional video below and I hope to see you on July 10th.

Posted by Robert O'Brien in News
I’ll be presenting at StutterFEST this Saturday (May 7th 2022)

I’ll be presenting at StutterFEST this Saturday (May 7th 2022)

I am very honoured and excited to be presenting at StutterFEST this Saturday!

Starting from 6:20pm PST, I will be joined by Dan Dumsha and Wendy Duke as we demonstrate how to bring improv skills to people who stutter through the "Laughter Lab" and then from 6:40pm PST, I will look at the idea of cultivating a "Mighty Mindset" around stuttering and how shifting how we think is an access to true freedom.

This is a global, day-long event and is run by the World Stuttering Network. For more information on this organization and the event itself, check out their website at World Stuttering Network

Posted by Robert O'Brien in News