Tuesday, 22 February 2011

School Visit - Milford NS

Last Tuesday I spent the day in Milford National School in Castletroy.

I did readings for 5th and 6th classes and we discussed where ideas came from and writing in general. Both sessions were followed by an excellent Q&A session with lots of good questions.

In the afternoon, I spoke with the school's book club who were reading The Third Pig and I Am David.

To round off the day, I visited 3rd Class where we spoke about book covers, and how they were designed. I tried to convince them that Chelsea were the best Premiership team and why everyone should support them. I don't think they bought it though!!

Overall it was an excellent visit and the school looked after me superbly and kept me filled with coffee. Thanks to Siobhan Fenton for organising the day and Colm Ryan who did an awesome job as my minder (bouncer, security etc.)

The Good News for Modern Man/Woman

Various writing friends/acquaintances/colleagues (delete as appropriate) have been receiving some good news over the past few weeks and, being the good-natured soul that I am, I thought I'd share it with you.

Declan (no relation) Burke, he of the excellent Crime Always Pays blog, has just been given a deal for his latest book, currently titled The Baby Killers.
'So what?' I hear you say.
Well, not only is Dec a might fine writer (check out 'The Big O' if you don't believe me) but he has decided that any profits from the new book will be donated to charity - more than likely the children's wing of a local hospital. A mighty fine proposal, yes?
Congrats to Dec on both the deal and his altruism - and of course you'll all go out and buy it when it comes out, won't you?

I've banged on in the past about the online critique site YouWriteOn, where The Third Pig received its first serious critical airings. Eventually it was placed third in the 2007 Children's Book of the Year competition on the site.
Yet another 'so what?', I hear you say.
The winner of the competition that year, Justine Windsor, has just landed herself an agent so great things will happen. Watch out for her.
Congrats Justine, it was only a matter of time.

Vanessa O'Loughlin of Inkwell Writers' Workshops has just launched writing.ie, an online resource for Irish writers. It's chock-full of articles, interviews, news, links, events, blogs and more information than you could comfortably shake a stick at. If you're starting out in the writing game, it's well worth a look - and, if you're not, it's still well worth a look!!

Finally, another YWO winner that I've parped on about before, Guy Saville, has finally seen his first novel The Afrika Reich, hit the bookshelves - and it's picking up boffo reviews. My own copy is being clutched in my grubby little fist as I speak (actually it's not, it's difficult to type and hold a book at the same time, but you know what I mean) and I'll post a review as soon as I'm done with it.

So then, much good news to report.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Aaaand he's back

Wow, what a busy few months it's been. IT work sort of took over for a while, Christmas came in the middle and writing was relegated to the back seat until things settled down (as was blogging).

So, what's been happening?

The Ho Ho Ho Mystery was finally published on 28th October and I'm led to believe that sales have been good...which is nice. The week of publication Hughes & Hughes in my home town of Ennis asked me to do a signing, which went off pretty well. Credit to them for putting a bit of imagination into the event and setting up the desk like that of a PI (including a trilby, some crime scene tape and a themed mug). They also managed to lay their hands on pig-shaped sweets (don't ask me how) which the kids loved but most adults seemed to be less enthused by!

As part of Children's Book Month I did a series of library visits in both Limerick and Clare. Again, I was back in Ennis and was delighted that the visiting group was from my old school (now co-ed and requiring a uniform!). All visits, in a variety of different types of library, were a blast and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves - or did a very good job of pretending they did anyway. Kudos to the staff at each event who looked after me, made sure I had lots of coffee and water and were an all round pleasure to deal with.

As part of a Book Club visit in the Granary Library in Limerick last month I previewed a chapter of The Curds and Whey Mystery and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive - which did my ego no harm at all.

Now I'm back to writing again. The first round of edits for The Curds and Whey Mystery have come in from the publisher so I'm working on those at the moment. I'm also starting work on an urban horror story that people seem to think has potential so that'll be interesting.

Hopefully I'll be able to blog a bit more regularly too.

Oh and Chelsea signed Fernando Torres, which is nice.