The Irish original fiction bestseller charts, that is! (Original fiction, for those of you not familiar, is what they term the large size paperback.) Delighted to report that after one week of sales (they work a week behind) The Reunion has gone in at number six! Which means that sales from the launch on Tuesday will feature in next week’s charts – fingers crossed they bump it up a few spaces!
A huge thank you to all who contributed in any way to this, and thanks so much to everyone who put up with my incessant bleating over the last few weeks – I promise to ease off a bit now……for the moment!
Launch was wonderful – over seventy faithful souls turned up to pack O’Mahony’s bookshop to the rafters. Here’s me and Mam in the middle of the madness:
I told everyone in my speech that she was going to be 88 on the 15th – she was delighted, loves the limelight! (Think I might have inherited a bit of that……!) Incidentally, the top I’m wearing was made especially for me by the wonderfully talented Caroline Mitchell, internationally acclaimed Irish knitwear designer based right here in Limerick. I approached Caroline when I was writing The Reunion and asked if I could pick her brains as I was planning to have a knitwear designer in the book (the fact that my character is called Caroline too is entirely coincidental, by the way.) The real Caroline agreed immediately, and was literally at my beck and call anytime I thought of a new question for her. Worth looking up – http://www.carolinemitchellknitwear.com/ – if you want a really special garment made (don’t go by me – I’m SO not a model, and the snap isn’t showing the beautiful beading detail, and the pants are all wrong with it – I’m a celebrity, get me a personal stylist!!!!)
Oh, and we had a Gospel choir at the launch (excuzez-moi) thanks to Caterina, a member who works in O’Mahony’s, and Gretta, the very generous choir director. They blasted out the tunes as I signed and chatted: don’t they look the biz?
Among the local celebs who attended was my pal and co-writer Judi Curtin. Judi has written about a gazillion children’s books (well, maybe not quite a gazillion, but watch this space) and we co-wrote one in 2007 called See If I Care, aimed at 10-13 year olds. We had a bit of fun with a few snaps at the launch:
So life is calming down somewhat now – although I have two more bookish events in the next couple of weeks – Saturday next, 16th, in Gallagher’s Seafood Restaurant at Bunratty, Co Clare, an afternoon (2-4) of chat, music and nibbles, (and books for sale at a special price!) and Friday 22nd July in the bookshop in Newcastle West, Co Limerick, 5pm for a reading from The Reunion and a chat: if you’re in the area for either of these do come along, I’d be delighted to see you.
No rest for the wicked: I’ve been working on the next book, tentatively titled The Choir, for the past couple of months, and so far so good. It’ll keep me busy over the summer, which has turned out pretty blah weather-wise, after three weeks of glorious sunshine in May/June. Ah well, the small price we pay to live in beautiful green friendly Ireland!
Happy summer/winter, depending on your hemisphere!
Whoop! The Reunion has gone on sale! Spotted today by eagle-eyed pals in the Ennis Book Shop and in O’Mahony’s in Limerick city – and I presume it’s in a few other bookshops around the country too! Delighted! As soon as I heard I ran into town – well, walked very fast – and snapped it in O’Mahony’s window, and on the shelves inside. Always great to get a first sighting of it on the bookshop shelves….and now the nail-biting begins, waiting for reviews and feedback from readers, and HOPING it’ll get into the bestseller list…….!!! FINGERS CROSSED, EVERYONE!!
Do let me know if you spot it in your local bookshop – it will be in selected UK stores, and of course in Australia and New Zealand too – and if you live elsewhere and want to buy online, the good people of http://www.kennys.ie tell me it should be up on their site in a few days. They don’t deal in e-books, just the real thing, but their prices are generally competitive and they offer free worldwide postage so they’re worth checking out.
Sorry for shouting, but with fifteen days to go till I see The Reunion on the bookshop shelves, I’m like a cat on a hot griddle! Book number thirteen, and I have myself convinced that this will be the one that breaks all records! (And yes, I did think that about all the others too, but I was wrong, OK?) At any rate, do let me know if you spot it in your local bookshop, could be a few days before the official publication date of July 1 – first sighting, complete with photo, gets a chocolate reward! And if you’re in Australia you should be seeing it soon too, my Irish publishers tell me it’s got the same publication date of July 1, but something tells me it might be slightly later…..and UK readers, I’m told that my books go into the bigger bookshops like WH Smith and Waterstones, so you may not find me in your smaller local bookshop (but you could always ask!!) I’ll be in the Irish and UK libraries in due course, so you can hunt me down there – and as usual The Reunion will be on sale in book and e-book formats on the usual online sites in the hopefully not too distant future – don’t forget to try http://www.kennys.ie which offers free worldwide postage (not sure if they do e-books though). And that’s the end of the business talk!
I’ve moved on. Writing books is like working in the fashion industry; you always have to be thinking ahead – and since I sent the manuscript of The Reunion back to Hachette for the final time (there is NOTHING like the sense of relief when that happens) I’ve been trying to come up with a plot and a structure and characters for the next. I recently signed a new three book deal (thanks Hachette!) and the first draft of the first one has a deadline of January ‘or sooner if possible’ (ed) which doesn’t give me a lot of time. But I think the plot is almost there, so (deep breath) I’m about to begin writing the narrative. Always a daunting time, with a word count of zero, and all those as yet unwritten sections and chapters stretching out ahead, all the hours and days and weeks of head-scratching and tentative paragraphs and scribbling out and rewriting and sleepless nights while I work out the next part….so I try not to think too much about what hasn’t yet been done, and focus on what has. I have a main character, a woman in her 50s, and I’ve pretty much formed her fully, with a history and a family and a sort-of storyline…I say sort of because I like my plots to be loose, with not too much decided. I have an idea of the ending but I prefer the story to find its own way as I go along, rather than have it set in stone from the start. So – fingers crossed that number fourteen comes out right!
My wonderful mother gets home from California today, after two weeks of holidaying with one of my brothers who lives there. We’re currently waiting for another brother to collect her from the airport. Mam is nearly 88 with the outlook of a 20 year old, so we’ll be dying to hear all her news from across the Atlantic. Hope I’m that lively when I hit my eighties! Dad will be 90 in September, and while his health is very good considering his age, he doesn’t have nearly as much get up and go as Mam, so he happily stayed at home and enjoyed the peace and quiet while she was away!
And finally . . . an invitation to anyone close enough to pop into O’Mahony’s bookshop in Limerick for the big celebration:
All are welcome, the more the merrier – and I’ll organise some nibbles in a nearby hostelry afterwards. Love to see you there!
Forty-three days to go! Official publication date for my thirteenth novel is July 1 – on that date (or shortly before it) copies will be putting in appearances in bookshops throughout Ireland, and as far as I know it should be coming out in Australia and New Zealand around then too. It SHOULD also be available online from the usual sources, both in book and ebook formats (don’t forget http://www.kennys.ie which offers free worldwide postage) but I know some online sellers have their own rules about when books become available, and unfortunately I have no control over that. Do let me know if you have problems getting hold of a copy – I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to help but I’ll certainly try.
And if you’d like a little preview….
I really enjoyed writing this one – I love stories that span a fair bit of time, so you can let your characters grow and change, and you also have great scope for storylines to develop.
In other news, I’m thinking about the next book (as you do) and a character is taking shape. I’m heading to Lanzarote at the weekend to fluff her out a bit as I lie on the beach for a week or so….tis a tough life!
Happy summer (or winter, if you’re from the other half of the world!)
Hello all, it’s the first day of March and I’m currently sitting on the patio of the apartment I’m staying in on the island of Lanzarote, and it’s FREEZING! I came here last month to put the finishing touches to The Reunion (which I’m happy to report has been done, and my editor is currently reading it – wak!) and the weather has been mostly dire, I’m afraid. Didn’t bother me much while I was working – although I would have preferred to be looking out at sunshine) but now, with time on my hands, I’m a little put out that the sun has got its hat on, or off, whichever means it ain’t visible to this naked eye. But in the grand scheme of things it’s a small problem, so I won’t complain (much)…
Sad news from home the other day, a young cousin of mine died. It hadn’t been unexpected – poor Olivia had cerebral palsy, and was very debilitated, but she had been a much loved only child, and we’re saddened that she’s no longer with us. Her Dad John, a wonderful man, died suddenly himself a few years ago, only in his forties. He’d had a congenital heart condition and so his early death, while shocking, had always been a possibility too. I like to think Olivia is with him now, as he was devoted to her. His widow Mary, Olivia’s mother, will be devastated at having lost both of them. Some people get very raw deals in this inexplicable place in which we find ourselves.
On a happier note, I’ve just completed a picture book for young children – well, I had to do something after I’d sent off The Reunion, particularly as the sun wasn’t luring me out onto the sunbed. I’d been working on and off on the picture book for a while, in between the adult stuff, so this is my latest draft. I’ve sent it off to my agent who will read and give me her feedback, but I have a hopeful feeling about this incarnation: I think I might have finally got it right…watch this space!
So I’m heading back to Ireland in a few days, where apparently it’s even colder than here – wonderful! I’ll be dying to meet my little kittens, Fred and Ginger, again – they went on their holidays to the home of a lovely couple who had kindly agreed to take them in while I was gone, and who I know are spoiling the kitties rotten…I’m terrified they won’t want to come back to me! But it’s always good to get home, isn’t it, even if the holiday’s been wonderful? Back to the comfort of your own bed, and your own kitchen, and your own slippers…..Lord, I sound about ninety!
Better stop – I see a tiny patch of blue in the sky – must make a dash for the bikini before it disappears again!
Have a happy March, everyone! Roisin xxx
Hello all – it’s about time I wrote another blog post; I see the last one was at the beginning of November, gulp. I do hope you all enjoyed Christmas, and managed to emerge from it without having gone completely bankrupt! Isn’t it gas how we always manage to find an extra bob or two for the sales…..
On the book front I’m delighted to report that I’ll be home for Christmas sold very very well indeed – publishers are delighted – so many thanks to all who played a part in that. I was lucky enough to get a TV slot on RTE the week before Christmas – I had a little chat on the couch with Daithí and Maura from the Today show – which I’m sure helped. I’m bracing myself for sales to tumble now though – the trouble with a Christmas-themed book is its relatively short shelf life – and I saw to my dismay that Amazon.com wasn’t making it available until TODAY, January 1 – hard to see the marketing logic behind that timing! But I’m only the writer, and I get no say at all in sales dates, so I’d better suck it up before I’m blacklisted!
Of course I haven’t been idle since my last blog post. I’ve been cracking away on the next – number thirteen, lucky for some – and if I say so myself, I’m quietly pleased with how it’s shaping up. Title is The Reunion, and it’s centred around two sisters who have just been invited to their 20-year school reunion (apologies if I’ve already told you this – my memory has become scarily bad). Anyway, I’m about two thirds through it, and it’s due to be published in June, all going well. Waiting to see a draft of a cover in the next few weeks – always exciting to get the first glimpse.
So that’s about it, except to wish you and yours, in the infancy of 2016, the very best of health and happiness for the coming year and beyond. Thank you again for your kind words and support – I can assure you it means more than you can possibly know.
Stop the presses! I’ve just discovered a new way for readers to get their hands on I’ll Be Home for Christmas. If you live outside Ireland, or are having trouble sourcing it here, I’m going to direct you to this wonderful website, which is based in Ireland but which will deliver a copy of the book anywhere in the world for free. Now, don’t say I don’t look after you!
In other news, I’m beavering away on the next, and so far I’m happy. I’ll shortly be taking myself off to the wonderful Tyrone Guthrie Centre for a week of intensive writing, interrupted only by gargantuan home-cooked meals and brisk countryside walks to inspire me for the next 1,000 words. When I get home I expect to have made GREAT inroads, so wish me luck.
Christmas is just around the corner – can you believe it? I only have two of my SIX Christmas cakes made so far, very late this year, and not a present in the world bought. Blame the books! But I do love the festivities, hope you’re all looking forward to them too, and in the meantime, take good care of yourselves.