Friday, 26 June 2009

The Ego has Landed

What a crazy few weeks it's been! Two frenetic weeks holiday in Orlando for the theme-park junkies (recommend Manta, Kraken, Hulk and Simpsons rides) followed by a jet-lagged return to Ireland to discover The Third Pig Detective Agency had already gone on sale. I was so out of it I walked past the local bookshop, saw something in the window that struck a chord in my befuddled mind and went back for a second look. The (badly-taken with phone camera by tired jet-lagged individual) is below.

In the window I'm (not literally) sitting beside John Connolly (a huge fave) and in the shop itself I'm sitting alongside Darren Shan (another fave). Very exalted company indeed.

My son had blagged copies of the book for his school class when we visited The Friday Project in May, and these arrived the following day. I was asked to visit the school and say a few words. Two hours later I came out after a fantastic reading, Q&A sesssion and my first set of autographs (followed by tea and chocolate with the teaching staff). A great day was (apparently) had by all.

Late last night I got a request to revisit Clare FM and do some PR (including a quick reading from the book) on their morning show. After a quick straw poll, consensus was that the poo section was the most appropriate extract to read (which says something about the readers, but I'm not sure what). The show and reading seemed to go ok and feedback was good.

Two local newspapers have expressed an interest in doing an interview also so I'm waiting to hear back from them too.

All in all, a hectic few weeks where I've been making it up as I go along.

I need a holiday.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Normal Service Will Be Resumed

As I'm on hols right at the mo, opportunities for blogging will, I suspect, be limited - especially when they're up against all the attractions Florida has to offer.

That having been said, I got to read (The Artist formerly known as Colin) Bateman's latest, Mystery Man, while waiting in airports, waiting on planes etc. I'l stick up a proper review in due course but in the interim, it was an hysterically funny detetctive story with the fictional owner of a real-life Belfast bookshop (No Alibis) as the protagonist (hero would be stretching it a bit!). I got many strange looks as I giggled, guffawed and laughed quite a bit as I made my way through it. Definitely a huge improvement on his last, Orpheus Rising

How Bateman can write such funny stuff and, balance it with a clever and engaging plot I have no idea (and can only look on enviously) but I'll have whatever he's having.

Bateman back on form again is no bad thing at all.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

You Vill Answer Ze Questions

Crime Always Pays, brainchild of renaissance man and criminal mastermind Declan Burke (no relation) keeps tabs on all aspects of Irish crime writing. Occasionally, Dec will strap someone into a chair, attach electrodes to sensitive areas, beat them with some rubber tubing and shine bright lights in their eyes while brutally interrogating them about their writing*.

I was lucky to survive such an inquisition recently and, from my hospital bed, I can the reveal the results here.

Thanks Dec, the medical bills are in the post and you'll be hearing from The Boys sometime soon, just when you least expect it.

*Some of this may be untrue or slightly exaggerated.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea

The sequel to Tom Reynolds Blood, Sweat and Tea, his memoir of his experiences as an inner-city ambulance driver is now available. Friday Books are also making it available to read here:

Do have a look, bet you'll like it.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

And the hits just keep on coming....

Following on the school visit yesterday, I got a call from Scott at The Friday Project this morning. He told me that the advance copies of The Third Pig Detective Agency had arrived in the office and that they looked fab. More importantly, a copy of the book was winging its way to me through the miracle of the postal system as we spoke.

As news goes, this was as exciting as it gets. Hopefully I'll have it in my sweaty hand before I head off on holidays next Tuesday.

I Am Harry, Hear Me Waffle

Yesterday I got an opportunity to talk to a class of 9-10 year olds at a local Gaelscoil (for the benefit of those of you watching in black and white, a gaelscoil is a school where education is carried out via the Irish language). The school itself is very forward-thinking and the original plan was to talk to a group of students about how to add flavour and characters to virtual worlds that they were developing but when we arrived one of the teachers asked would I mind talking to her class.

The talk itself went fine. There were lots of questions following my on-the-fly delivery of bits about me, the book and how I came to write it. Apart from one boy who seemed to have an obsession with films in which people are dismembered via the skilful method of chainsaw, the class seemed interested in the book and the process around how it came into existence.

After we were done, I got to talk to the boys devloping the virtual world - which in itself was quite impressive - and hopefully gave them a few ideas about how to embroider their creations to give them both a distinctive look and feel.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable day, especially as it was my first time in front of a group of children to talk about my book. Thanks to James and Keith of daynuv for setting it up.