June already, heading towards the longest day…..amazing. As I write this it’s a hot, hot evening and I’m home – or rather back at my rented room – after attending the opening ceremony of Listowel Writers Week 2023. I don’t know how they manage it, but Writers Week is usually sunny. I’ve been attending the festival for years and I think maybe twice the weather didn’t oblige. I love coming back to Listowel – even though we moved out of Kerry when I was six months old I feel like I’m back to the roots. To get here today from Miltown Malbay I took the ferry from Killimer in Co Clare to Tarbert in Co Kerry, a short 20 minute crossing on the Shannon that cuts miles off the road trip. What a beautiful day, an absolute scorcher. I’m very wary of the sun after my brush with melanoma last year but I still love to see that blue sky and feel the warmth. Puts everyone in better humour too. Stephen Rae was presented with the John B Keane Lifetime Achievement Award tonight – always had a soft spot for him.
On the books front I sent back the edited version of the next on Monday, so now I have a few weeks rest while the copy editor does her thing. And tomorrow – ta-dah – is the paperback publication day of Life Before Us, so I’ll be swanning around any bookshop I can find, checking to see if it’s on the shelves. I like the pretty colours on the cover. I’m waiting to see a cover for the next – always dying to find out what it’ll look like.
Look after yourselves, enjoy the sunshine and the great outdoors – and as Baz Luhrmann says, wear sunscreen (and a hat).