Sorry for the long silence, everyone – a lot of my time lately has been taken up with the hoo-haa (or however you spell it) surrounding the publication of The Reunion – doing radio interviews, writing newspaper and magazine articles, getting a new batch of publicity snaps done, etc etc. I was really thrilled with how well the book did – six weeks in the Irish top ten, and still selling steadily now, and on course to be in some autumn promotions too which is wonderful, so it’ll get great shelf life. Thanks to everyone who played a part – even if you borrowed a copy I’m happy! It’s great to think of it being read by lots of readers, particularly those who might not have read any of the others.
But exciting and hectic as it’s been, I’ve also had to find time to work away on the next book, number fourteen, which will be out in June 2017, all going well, and it’s quite a relief now to be able to put The Reunion to one side and get back to the usual routine of getting up and sitting in front of the laptop, and tapping away until I’m sick of it (nothing glamorous about writing a book!) I’m approaching the halfway mark – another couple of weeks should get me there – and I’m cautiously optimistic. It’s always a nerve-wracking process until the first draft is lashed down – particularly when you’re working with plots as sketchy as mine – and even then it might need serious reworking before it’s fit for public viewing……we’ll hope for the best! No title yet – I had a working one but I just heard that it’s got the thumbs-down at the publishers, so it’s back to the drawing board. I find myself thinking about it when I’m lying in bed waiting to go to sleep (and as a chronic insomniac this can take quite some time!) but I’m still not there with it. No worries, it’ll come (and if not, The Book with No Name has a certain ring…..!)
What else? I signed my Russian contract a few weeks ago – very exciting! Three books being translated, can’t wait to see them in the Cyrillic script….my sister speaks fluent Russian (she’s a total polyglot), so she’ll be able to translate the title and the blurb, and after that I’ll have to assume they got all the rest right – can hardly expect the poor woman to translate back the entire book for me! I’ll have a bit of a wait, first one isn’t due out till sometime next year, but I’m sure they’ll be worth the wait.
So that’s about it for the moment. Hope you’re all having a lovely summer despite the weather (if you’re Irish) and hope the sun is shining on you if you’re from further afield.
PS Here’s my favourite new publicity snap, courtesy of Diane at Angles Photography, Limerick – isn’t it gas!
So I can finally reveal the cover of my next arrival; I do hope you like it. Should be appearing on Irish and Australian shelves around the beginning of July, so not long to wait – and of course it’ll also be available on Amazon and other online sites, both in book and ebook formats. Can I recommend an Irish website, http://www.kennys.ie, which offers free worldwide postage, so it’s always worth checking out if you’re looking for a book? The Reunion isn’t featuring there yet – they may not do pre-orders – but they have most of my other books so I’m assuming The Reunion will be up in due course. This book is my thirteenth adult novel, and the third to travel to Australia and New Zealand, so I’m dying to see how it performs once it’s out in the big bad world….fingers crossed, as ever!
In other news, I’m working on a picture book for children. It’s long been a dream of mine to have a picture book published, since I do a regular storytelling slot for small children in my local library, during which I read from other people’s picture books – I would just LOVE to have one of my own to read from…I’ve submitted a few in the past with no success, but I have a good feeling about this one….my agent Sallyanne Sweeney is having a look at it and will come back to me shortly with her thoughts – more fingers crossed!
Exciting news recently was that I was offered a three book translation deal by a RUSSIAN publisher! They want to publish The Things We Do for Love, Something in Common and Two Fridays in April – so obviously I said yes please! Delighted to have the books travelling all the way to Russia – dying to see what covers they put on them, and to see the Russian writing! I might even have to pop over there when the first one hits the shelves….My sister is actually a fluent Russian speaker – she speaks lots of languages – so she’ll be able to tell me if they spelt my name right!
And more good news – I’ve been offered a new book deal by Hachette Books Ireland – this will be my sixth deal with them, so I must be doing something right! Will be signing along the dotted line soon – already I’m starting to gather characters and mull over ideas for the first book in the new deal, as the deadline for first draft is January 2017 – no rest for the wicked!
Can you believe it’s March? I can’t. January feels like last week. Time is skidding by.
So what have I been doing? Well, up to about a fortnight ago I was tweaking the skirts and shining the shoes of Something in Common before waving it off to the printers with a big lump in my throat (hate letting the babies go). I heard the other day that proof copies should be happening by the middle of the month. Can’t wait. I have a lovely parcel delivery man who says I’m his cheeriest customer. Of course I am – he brings my babies back, all dickied up with brand new covers. (By the way, there’s a fun marketing event in the planning for the launch of Something in Common – watch this space, particularly if you live in Dublin.)
And since there is no rest for the wicked writer, the sequel to One Summer is well underway – 20,000 word mark passed the other day. Plot not fully sorted – I’m going to try letting this one do a bit of growing all by itself, so we’ll see how that goes. Great to be revisiting the island of Roone and catching up with all my pals there.
This week I won’t get much writing done though – on Tuesday I’ll be paying a visit to a local school to chat to classes about the readathon they’re currently running to raise funds for their new gym – they’re getting sponsorship for each book they read, and they also earn skipping ropes to use in the gym. How clever is that? On Wednesday I’m travelling to Tralee in County Kerry to meet second year girls and talk books with them as part of their arts festival. On Thursday, which is World Book Day in Ireland, I’ll be flitting around Limerick city leaving books in various locations – park benches, hotel lobbies, cafes, window sills – for people to pick up and bring home. I had a box of author copies of my US publications, and I thought it might be a good way to spread them around. Keep an eye out if you’re a Limerick native. And on Friday I’ve been honoured by an invitation to officially open the library in my old primary school – is that not wonderful?
And on a non-book related matter, I’m about halfway through my lenten fast. I’ve given up chocolate, wine, desserts, crisps – basically, anything that constitutes a treat, until Easter. Ostensibly it’s to atone for my many, many sins (!!!) but I figure it might also do some good in the area of achieving my perfect beach body in time for a flit to the sun in May. We can only hope.
Happy spring, wherever you are.
Well, it’s begun – my sequel to One Summer is underway. I’ve sketched a plot and now I’m plunging into the story. It’s more than a little daunting starting off, knowing you’re about 100,000 words away from your goal! But with each day you get that little bit closer…I usually aim to write between 2,000 and 3,000 words a day, but it takes a while to get into the stride with a new book, so it’s normally much less than that for the first week or so, while I’m still grappling with the plot and establishing the storylines. Of course I’m hoping the fact that this is a sequel will make it easier – surely knowing most of my characters has to make a difference? I’ll live in hope!
In other news, I’ve been told by my editor that the publication date for Something in Common is May 1, which seems very auspicious to me – first day of summer for a new book just feels right! Fingers crossed that it does well; it’s always a bit nerve-wracking setting another of my babies off on its journey, putting it out there for everyone to see and judge – wak! Be kind, everyone!
PS Still awaiting permission to show the cover of Something in Common, haven’t forgotten!
Happy New Year to all, hope 2013 brings all you hope for and more. I’m a happy bunny today – just sent off the final version (I think) of Something in Common, my next Irish publication, due out in April or May, AND my editor Ciara let me have a first peek at the cover she’s proposing for it, and I really like it. I’ll flash it when I’m allowed – she’s checking that they’ve got clearance on it or something, so watch this space!
Next up is a few days of non-writing, to give my brain a chance to catch its breath, and to give me a chance to clean my house, which is well overdue. Tomorrow I’ll be arming myself with vacuum cleaner, feather duster, polish, mop and bucket, in an effort to become a domestic goddess….never happen! But hopefully it’ll look slightly less disgraceful by the end of the day… And when I sit down at the laptop again it’ll be to begin my next book, which looks like being a sequel to One Summer, my last publication. I loved writing that one so much, and so many people asked if I was going to do a follow-up, that I really think it needs to be done. I’m looking forward to revisiting Roone, my make-believe island, and meeting all my friends again!
I’ve said this before but I think it bears repeating – thank you so much to all who have left messages in my guestbook or contacted me privately to tell me you enjoyed one of my books. It really means so much to get a message like that, and I’ve got some lovely ones over the past week or so. Thanks a million for taking the time, it’s REALLY appreciated.
Well, better get an early night in preparation for my day of house-cleaning – groan!
Well, it’s the day before the day before Christmas, and my house is like a bomb hit it, unwrapped presents, dust balls, cat hairs, grubby floors, clutter, the lot….so a day of cleaning and wrapping awaits – great! I’m cooking turkey for my parents and two brothers, a nice small crowd, and hopefully I won’t poison anyone – my culinary skills are sort of limited to baking; it takes me a day to produce any kind of an edible dinner!
On the writing side, I’ve completed the second draft of Something in Common, just need to give it a final read-through before sending it back to my editor in the New Year, and then it’ll be time to start thinking about the next – always a scary time, trying to nail a plot, create characters etc…..nothing as terrifying as a blank page, or screen! Fingers crossed that I’ll be inspired. I am considering a sequel to One Summer, which would make life a little easier in terms of characters, but which of course would still require a brand new plot…..we’ll see!
I wish everyone a very happy and peaceful Christmas, and thanks so much for your support, it means more than I can say. All the very best for 2013, let’s hope it’s a good one, as poor John Lennon once sang.
Ah no, I don’t really mean it – crafting the second draft is fine, the hardest part is already done, and what I need to do now is develop areas that need developing, fine tune character traits, tighten up plotlines, polish dialogue, take out unnecessary description….come to think of it, a second draft isn’t that easy at all! But it’s all part of the wonderful process of creating a new book, and I love it. Title-wise, I think it’s sorted – how does ‘Something in Common’ sound? Briefly, it concerns an unusual friendship between two women – that’s really all I want to say at this stage, in case I’m accused of spoiling anything later!
In non-writing news, I’ve been having my house renovated – well, phase two of a process that began earlier in the year – so things have been a little unsettled. In fact, I spent most of October living with my lovely parents, who thankfully still allow us kids to crash there when the need arises!
And of course Christmas is coming….not a thing done to prepare, and I have five (yes I said five) cakes to bake this year for various relatives and friends; have earmarked this coming weekend to make them, so hopefully that will happen. Then it’s just a matter of buying presents, decorating the house, hosting the usual little get-togethers – can’t wait! And I’ve just realised that today is Thanksgiving, so a very happy one to all my friends across the Atlantic…
Well, I’ve just got back from a very busy week travelling around the libraries of Cork and Kerry, meeting young people to talk about writing books and to tell stories, two of my very favourite occupations! I’ll be killed if I don’t say hi to the girls of St Mary’s school in Dunmanway, who demanded a mention, or else! So bossy! But they were lovely, as were all the classes I met – hi to everyone, and hope to see you sometime in the future. Lots of future writers with lots of questions for me, I really loved all the sessions. And the fact that my car broke down on day one and I was forced to hire another car to get me around for the rest of the week was a minor blip! The accompanying picture to this blog post is of me in full flow in Cahersiveen library in County Kerry!
On the adult writing front, I’m getting back into the swing of it, revisiting a book I’m in the process of writing, in the hope that some publisher in the UK will fancy it. I feel it’s high time I broke into that market – most of my books are travelling to other European countries at this stage, and of course two of them have gone in the other direction to the US, but for some reason I’ve failed to get published just across the Irish Sea – well, I have plans to change all that: watch this space! And my next Irish book is on the way too, it’s currently with my editor who will be chatting to me this week about it. Publication date sometime in the spring, more information when I have it.
Nice autumnal weather here, leaves covering the paths, crisp mornings and evenings with a gratifying amount of blue skies and sunshine in between, and blessedly little rain – just the way we like it! Hope you’re enjoying the season, wherever you are.
Good news – handed over first draft of my new book last week, big phew after months of work. Waiting now to hear what my editor thinks of it – fingers crossed everyone! All going well, it’ll hit the shelves next spring (title under negotiation – I’ll give it out when it’s been decided) so between this and then I’ll be editing and fine tuning it, and of course making a start on the next fairly soon too. No rest for the wicked writer!
Spent the weekend on the Isle of Man, in the middle of the Irish Sea (the image is their flag). They were celebrating their first ever literary festival, and I was lucky enough to be invited to take part. It was a great experience, lots of writers, journalists, poets, publishers and agents from Britain and further afield. There were four of us who travelled from Ireland, and we were made very welcome. We’ll be back, whether they want us or not!
Very autumnal weather here in Ireland right now – my neighbour’s trees are shedding leaves merrily into my garden! I love autumn, like I love all the Irish seasons (well, maybe I’m not that mad about our ‘summer’!)
Good news – Cupcake Club, my Italian translation, is number six in the Italian bestseller list of foreign titles this week, still hanging in there! Did I mention how much I love Italy? I got four copies in the post today – first time I’d seen it in the flesh – and it’s just gorgeous, all hard cover and chunky and just fab. Now all I need is to find three Italians living in Ireland who’d each like a copy, because I only need one for myself….tell you what – first three Italian immigrants to get in touch can have ’em!
In other news, still busy on the next book, hope to have first draft finished in the next few weeks, watch this space. And wouldn’t you know it, the schools have just reopened after the summer holidays (which were pretty much a washout here in Ireland this year) and the sun is shining. Typical! Hope it’s shining wherever you are too.