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.
Well, I’ve been asking around, and so far I’ve found out that Australian readers should be able to pick up a copy in their local bookshops on and after November 24, or from Booktopia.com.au from the same date. Canadian readers will get it from Amazon.ca from December 8. If you’re in the US, Amazon.com have the kindle edition right now, and the paperback will be available on January 1 here. (Seems a shame that they’re not releasing it until January – I’ll have a word with my publishers and see if that can be brought closer.) So wherever you are, I do hope you can find it – it might even turn up in a library or thrift store near you!
In other news, my voice has gone, six days before the launch – I may have to do my speech in sign language!! Interesting times!
So it’s finally (nearly) here! I’ll Be Home for Christmas is one week away from hitting a bookshop shelf (or internet site) near you – and the great news is that this one will be joining Two Fridays in April on Australian bookshop shelves too! I’m delighted that Hachette Australia are taking a second book – particularly as the story features Tilly, who is travelling from Australia to Ireland for Christmas: and the cover they gave it made me smile: a beach scene for a Christmas book!
Apparently readers in Australia (and maybe further afield?) who might not find it in their local bookshop can purchase the book or the e-book online from Booktopia.com.au. The Irish cover is still showing there but I’ve been told it will soon be changed. My fingers are tightly crossed that this one goes down well; this is always an anxious (ie terrifying) time until the reviews come in … but please do get in touch and let me know what you think – all feedback is valuable.
In other writing news, I’ve begun working on the next (number thirteen – eeek!) which has a school 20-year reunion as its theme, and which features two sisters who ended up in the same Leaving Cert year, and whose lives have taken very different turns to the ones they’d envisaged as schoolgirls. Early days yet, but so far so good. It’s always a relief when you feel you’re getting to grips with a book, when you begin to bond with the characters and they start to shape the course of the story…and I feel I’m just getting to that stage with this one now. Watch this space!
On the home front, my lovely 87 year old mother got a knee replacement in August – she’s been crippled with arthritis for the past two years – and so far so good. She’s getting the second one replaced in November, so hopefully all will be well. She’s a born optimist, and is coping with this challenge bravely, bless her.
Hope you’re all well and happy, and have enjoyed summer (or winter, if you’re reading this on the other side of the equator!) Summer in Ireland this year was certainly …. interesting, which is putting it kindly, but so far autumn has been lovely, so we’re living in hope of a mild winter. Always a lot of guesswork involved with our weather!
Hello everyone – I promise I’m not going to mention the DIRE phenomenon that is the Irish summer of 2015. Nope, not a word about the grey skies, daily torrential outpourings and typhoon-like gales, and virtually complete absence of sun. (Deep sigh.) Instead, I shall direct your attention to a much happier topic – the arrival yesterday of my box of advance copies of the wonderful thing that is the paperback version of Two Fridays in April! And here they are in all their beauteous glory:
The eagle-eyed readers among you may notice that while the cover hasn’t changed in essence from the trade paperback incarnation which appeared in March, it’s been given a pinkish hue, just to ring the changes a little I suppose. Will be heading into the local bookshops tomorrow to sign whatever copies I might find there…..and in September I shall be taking a trip across the border into Northern Ireland to spread the news about the books in libraries in Belfast and Carrickfergus – more details closer to the time. I was delighted to be invited there, as it’ll be my first time ever in both places, and the fact that I’m going in my capacity as a writer makes it doubly special. Looking forward to meeting a whole new gang of readers! I’ll be coming home via Donegal – specifically Letterkenny – where I’ll do another library visit and I’ll also meet up with a class of Transition Year girls to chat with them about all things bookish – will be a lovely trip all told (although I’ll probably be heartily sick of driving at the end of it………….)
What other news? I’ve handed in my second draft of the upcoming book, the third in the Roone series, whose title I am at last allowed to reveal……drum roll…….I’ll be Home for Christmas. Hope you like it. I do – although every time I opened the manuscript to work on it, and I caught sight of the title, I started to hum the song, and now I’m rather allergic to it. The song, not the book. I’m quietly pleased with the book. Hope you will be too, in the fullness of time. Should be published around mid October, but I’ll give a more definite date as soon as I know. Should be seeing a cover for it soon, dying to see what they come up with – and I will of course flash it here as soon as I get the green light.
Right, I think that’s quite enough news for one blog post. Now to get back to enjoying the Irish summer…….
Oh boy, sorry for the long silence – didn’t realise how long it had been until I checked the date of the last entry. In my defence I’ve been working on the edits for the Roone Christmas book (nearly there, another week or so) and I’ve also squeezed in a sneaky week-long break to the sun. Temperatures were in the mid-thirties – phew! Although I hate to complain about the heat, since we’re usually so starved of it in Ireland, I did feel a bit wilty now and again! There was a swimming pool in the complex where I was staying, and a beach within walking distance, but both were too warm to be truly refreshing – I’m used to the chilly Atlantic when I swim, and unless I GASP with the cold getting in, it doesn’t feel like a proper dip! Pity about me. Anyway, I’m home now and back to work, and it’s nearly there. Haven’t got a publication date yet but I do have one for the paperback version of Two Fridays in April, which has this lovely pinky version of the bigger size cover, and which will hit shelves in or around August 6 (do let me know if you spot it in your local bookshop): And now I must get back to the edits – my dear old mother was 87 on Wednesday and we’re all heading out to dinner this evening, so I need to get my page quota done before that. Hope you’re all having a lovely summer (or winter) and hope you get an occasional look at the sun, at least! Take care, Roisin xx
Greetings, everyone – hope you’re all in fine fettle and looking forward to the summer (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere). I’ve been busy since I last wrote, mainly writing the next book, but also training hard for the half marathon event in the annual Great Limerick Run, which happened last weekend. The good news is that I didn’t expire, but boy did I feel every one of those thirteen miles…and I have to confess that the last three were a mix of brisk walking and slow running. I seriously ran out of puff – and it didn’t help that the rain came down in sheets and totally drenched us. But I made it across the finish line in 2 hours and 8 minutes, which was roughly what I’d been expecting, and duly collected my medal. (Think the half marathon boys got the pink ribbon too – nice equality there!!) And then I had a medicinal glass of red wine at the nearest hostelry, where a few runner pals had gathered. (MEDICINAL.)
But back to the new book. It’s pretty much there – I’d say I have less than 10 pages to go – and then I’ll go back to the start and trawl through it again, tidying up any messy bits and making sure it all gels together properly. Then it’s off to my editor and a few weeks of a break before the verdict comes back. It’ll be lovely to have the break – feel like I’ve been writing since the year dot! This next one, to remind you, is the third story set on the island of Roone, and it takes place in the middle of winter – it spans eight days around Christmas – so it’s very different in flavour from the other two midsummer Roone ones. Hopefully you’ll like it! It should be hitting shelves around October/November – and of course Two Fridays in April will be putting in an appearance in September as a smaller size paperback (also available in Tesco in this size), so it’ll be all go in the autumn.
Right, better get back to it – this won’t get those last pages done and dusted! Look after yourselves, thanks for your lovely messages and feedback; you honestly don’t know what it means.
Yoo hoo everyone – been mad busy since Two Fridays in April hit the shelves, but all good. I took myself off to Lanzarote if you don’t mind for three weeks of work on the next baby (more later). My timing was a bit weird, I left Ireland the day after I spotted Two Fridays for the first time on the bookshop shelves of Limerick, but I did what I could from Lanzarote to shout about the book on social media, and I wrote pieces for a few book bloggers, and I generally kept annoying whoever I could about the new book. Well, the great news is that Two Fridays went straight into the Irish top ten at number nine after less than a week of sales, and it currently stands at number five, and is still going the right way (seven last week), so fingers crossed, and huge thanks to all who helped to get it there! I was barely home from Lanzarote before I was invited onto the TELLY for the first time, the Ireland AM programme on TV3 wanted to interview me about the book. I was really nervous beforehand but thankfully the interviewers were lovely and didn’t ask any hard questions – will post a link here in the hope that you can access it if you didn’t catch it live:
– and I had hardly recovered from that before I was invited onto Arena, RTE Radio I’s arts programme, to talk about the book all over again, so I was thrilled, and that also went fine. Here’s that link:
So I’ve just come down to earth after all the flying around – was also whisked around the bookshops in Dublin by Ruth, one of the sales people at Hachette, to sign whatever copies of Two Fridays they had in stock – and now I’m back at the laptop and about to return to my new baby, which is about three quarters grown. It’s yet another return to the island of Roone: I just can’t seem to stay away from that place. It’s coming up to Christmas, so the tourists have pretty much gone and the island is left to the locals – but storm clouds are gathering on the horizon, and a stranger is on the way who will bring about some changes….it’s got a title but I’m sworn to secrecy for the moment. As usual, you will be the first to hear when I get the green light!
And check out one of my new publicity shots – just taken yesterday so I haven’t seen the others yet, but the lovely photographer, Vig Gleeson of Wonder Works Photography (http://wonderworks.ie/) sent me this as a taster:
Must say I really like it, if that doesn’t sound too big-headed! I told Vig not to spare the airbrush, so I’m sure she helped it along! And now must head back to Roone and get that word count up……
Be good! Keep in touch, love getting your messages!