Hello to all – just checking in, a while since I wrote. The good news is that the next book, The Anniversary, is taking shape; I’m about two thirds of the way through the first draft so there’s still a long way to go but it’s heading in the right direction. Still not sure where everyone is going to end up, but I’m trusting that they’ll let me know at some stage! I’ll soon be seeing a cover, always a scary prospect…..hopefully I’ll breathe a sigh of relief when I see it! And of course I’ll share it here as soon as I’m allowed. The Anniversary is due on the shelves next May or June, all going well. Hard to believe it’s number 15 – where do the years go? I do hope anyone who was kind enough to read The Street Where You Live enjoyed it.
In other news I’ve been laid low since April with some muscle condition – doctors are still scratching their heads to give me a diagnosis but I’m on steroids so hopefully it’ll go as quickly as it came. I’m stiff and sore all over – I suspect I need my dose of miracle drugs upped – but I’m able to write, thankfully. The mixed bag of an Irish summer was a little disappointing but I’m off to say hello to the Spanish sun for a week soon, and I intend to do serious battery recharging as I lie on the beach and lap up the vitamin D, or pretend I know how to swim in the sea!
Hope all had a good summer (or winter, if you’re from Down Under). Till next time, take care and mind yourselves,
…and what do you know? It’s been pretty fine in Ireland for the past few weeks. Now when I say pretty fine you must bear in mind, if you live outside Ireland, that our standards are quite low when it comes to judging the weather. For us, a day in summer that’s tolerably mild and rain-free is a pretty damn good one – and lately it seems to me that we’ve been seeing a fairly respectable proportion of days with blue skies (blue skies!!!) and bursts of sunshine (!!!) and temperatures for the most part have been a little better (and occasionally a lot better) than we’ve come to expect in June. So hopes are high – well, mine are anyway – that the Irish summer of 2014 will deliver the goods and turn out not too bad at all. Fingers tightly crossed – because I’ve already had my ration of overseas sun (Lanzarote a few weeks ago) and now I’m tethered to Ireland till September (another little trip planned then – shhhh!)
Weather apart, life has been busy. Both parents, mid-eighties, have had health problems over the past several weeks. Thankfully, nothing too life-threatening, but worrying enough to have me tossing and turning at night even more than usual (if you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that I occasionally enjoy a good night’s sleep, in between other nights of counting sheep and thinking up the next bit of the current plot). But thankfully things are looking a little more hopeful now, and life is returning to something closely resembling normal. Now that I’m no longer needed on a daily basis in Limerick I’ve migrated to my mobile home in County Clare and am currently putting a shape on book number eleven, due for publication in February 2015. Sneaky preview: story is set over two days in April, four weeks apart, and the voices that tell it are five female ones. It’s a tricky one to write – a challenge to keep the pace up when there’s so little time to play with – but one I’m enjoying. Let’s see how it turns out.
In other news, did you see my last post about my fraught relationship with running? If you missed it, scroll down and have a read, I’ll wait…………well, I’m currently psyching myself up to have another go, what with the good weather and all, and meeting a few running-friendly writers at Hachette’s recent summer party who fired up my enthusiasm. I’m going back to Limerick tomorrow to dust down my running gear and bring it back here – and off I’ll sally again. Wish me luck. I’ll try and be honest about how successful (???) I am this time. I’m on the coast here, so running along the side of the Atlantic will be inspiring, right? All that gorgeous salty sea air….watch this space. I’m also doing a little Pilates in the mornings to counteract the sitting-around-writing-all-day business. I try, I do try.
Another writing bit of info – I’m thinking of sneaking back to Roone again. Yes, this would be the third time, and my first trilogy. Gosh. The thing about Roone is it just won’t go out of my head. Every so often I find myself back there, wondering how everyone is doing. I may have to hop on the ferry and pay another visit…..Hachette wants a Christmas 2015 book – what do you think? Christmas on Roone? The other two have been set in the middle of summer; might be interesting to see what it’s like in mid-December. All I need is someone running a B&B there who decides to offer a Christmas and New Year break……..hmm.
Happy sunshine, wherever you are – and even if it’s not sunny, I hope you have some in your heart. And thank you so much for the continued lovely messages I receive from satisfied readers on a daily basis. They make my day, they really do, and I am truly grateful.
Just realised I haven’t posted anything up here since March 5 – good lord, apologies to anyone who was wondering what’s happening with me. I’m home from Italy – home a long time at this stage, it’s almost a distant memory – and After the Wedding was well and truly launched two weeks ago – pic above of the night, me in full flight in O’Mahony’s Bookshop. The good news is that After the Wedding has just entered the Irish top ten at number nine – barely in, but hopefully it’ll climb higher – and I’m catching my breath now and moving on with the next masterpiece – AHEM! This one will be accompanying me through the summer, most of which I hope to be spending at the coast in County Clare, where I’m lucky enough to own a mobile home. Fingers crossed for a summer like last one – we’re still pinching ourselves that we got several weeks of very decent sunshine….can it come again? Maybe if we’re very very good…….
Apart from writing, not much to report. My parents, both of whom are in their mid-eighties, have both been having a few health problems lately. Nothing too serious, but enough to put them out of sorts a bit, poor things. We’ve had a few trips to the A&E department of our local hospital, where the conditions are challenging to say the least, but the staff are wonderful in their efforts to be cheerful and reassuring – don’t know how they do it under the circumstances.
My poor old cat has disappeared. She went awol while I was in Italy, and when I heard, I imagined she was just lying low, out of sorts a bit maybe that I wasn’t around, and I assumed she’d reappear when I came home, but not so. She’s been gone now for well over a month, so I’m beginning to suspect that she ain’t coming back. She was an oldie, about fifteen or thereabouts, so maybe she guessed her time was up and went off somewhere quiet for the occasion….I must say I miss her about the place, although she never made much noise. I might look for a kitten or two in the autumn, when I’m finished gallivanting for another year.
Look after yourselves – I’ll try not to leave it so long next time,
Well, I’m a happy camper today, because yesterday – ta-dah – I sent off the finished manuscript of my tenth book, the sequel to One Summer (which if you’ve been paying attention you’ll know was my eighth adult novel, published in Ireland in 2012), so I have a bit of a breather now until it comes bouncing back from Hachette with a gazillion ‘suggested’ changes…..! This book wasn’t the easiest to write – maybe because it was my first sequel – but I loved going back to the island of Roone and reacquainting myself with all the characters. It’s two years later, and again the story takes place over the summer months. It’s due for publication here next spring, and I do hope you like it! But in the meantime I’ve had some ideas for new plots, so I’ll be mulling over them for the next while, putting a few storylines together, creating characters etc. Cue lots of sleepless nights – I can’t seem to switch off when I’m plotting – but I don’t mind, all part of the fun of being a writer.
Today, to celebrate my temporary freedom from the editing business, I went on a long. long walk in County Clare, There’s a new off-road trail between Liscannor and Doolin that hugs the coast pretty much all the way, and takes in the majestic cliffs of Moher (see pic). As you can imagine, the views are stunning, and today the sun obliged and shone for the six hours I was walking, so it couldn’t have been a better experience. I had a restorative sandwich when I got to the tiny village of Doolin, which holds many happy memories from my teens and twenties, when I travelled there regularly with pals for weekends. For those of you who don’t know it, tiny as it is, Doolin is practically world-famous for its rich traditional Irish music culture – you can’t go far without hearing a fiddle or a bodhrán – and every summer it attracts music-loving visitors from around the world. It was buzzing today as usual, and I relished the atmosphere as I sat on a barstool giving my feet a break and listening to the myriad languages all around me. If the walls of O’Connor’s pub could talk…….! And Doolin pier offers regular boat trips to Inis Oirr, one of the beautiful Irish-speaking Aran islands, so there’s plenty happening there.
On the European front, my second Italian translation hit the shelves in May, around the same time as Something in Common was published here in Ireland. Cose incredibili che facciamo per amore is a translation of The Things We Do for Love (which was published in the US in 2012 as Life Drawing for Beginners – all very confusing!) I hope it did well in Italy – sadly, the writer is the last to be told if sales are good!
Well, I’m off to soak my feet in some bubbly water, and maybe reward my exercise with a glass of some other bubbly liquid……..happy summer to everyone, hope the sun is shining for you, Will keep you posted on the sequel – (title still up for grabs; if anyone has a suggestion, feel free to run it by me!)