As I write, there are a mere 95 sleeps to the publication of this beauty:
Original publication date has been shifted from June 7 to June 28 – bit disappointing to have to wait a little longer but I’ll have to assume the publishers in their wisdom know what they’re doing. I do love the cover though – hope you do too. I’m putting the final polish on it now before sending it off to be copy-edited, so we’re nearly there. I’m already thinking of the next, and wondering if it’s time for a return to Roone……..
In other news I’m off to the sun shortly with a trio of pals. Lots of walking, eating, wine and sea – really looking forward to the break, seem to have been writing this one forever!
Hope all’s well with everyone – and thanks to those who get in touch to say nice things about the books, always appreciated.
Be good, mind yourselves, here’s to a sunny Irish summer – we can dream!
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,
All done! Great night was had, usual loyal family, friends and neighbours put in yet another appearance – they must be blue in the face from my launches! Here’s an account from the excellent I Love Limerick people who always turn up too: http://www.ilovelimerick.ie/2017/the-street-where-you-live/
Next Saturday I have a lovely event coming up. An afternoon in Gallagher’s Restaurant at Bunratty, about 8 miles from Limerick city. Complimentary bubbly and nibbles, books for sale if anyone wants them, and a short talk from me about all things booky. Do come if you can, no obligation to buy, just come and chat. For destination info, check out here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1900506540218379/?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%22106%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D
And now it’s back to business. Book 15 is taking shape, growing slowly. From now till Christmas I’ll be aiming to put a first draft together – fingers crossed. All I can say at this stage is that it involves a couple who used to be married and their two adult children…..watch this space!
Enjoy the summer. Weather is beautiful in Limerick today, looking out at a clear blue sky and blazing sunshine. Long may it last.
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…….
So at long last I took delivery of my author advance copies of Two Fridays in April; two sneak-peek copies earlier in the week, direct from the publishers, and my official box of books from the printers this morning: GREAT feeling seeing it ‘in the flesh’; even though this is number eleven, it’s still as thrilling to hold it in your hands for the first time as it was holding my first baby, The Daisy Picker, back in 2004. The past week has been a flurry of pre-publication marketing thingys and setting up interviews and getting my new haircut to go with my new book (OK, that last one was sheer coincidence!) Here’s the box that arrived this morning:
– and here is the book, in its rightful place on my ‘wall of fame’:
– and in other very exciting news, I’ve been invited onto TV3’s Ireland AM programme on March 24 to talk about the book! My first telly interview as a writer! And a local shoe shop, Greene’s Shoes in the Crescent Shopping Centre in Dooradoyle, have kindly sponsored me a pair of shoes to wear for my telly gig!
So it’s all go – and in the meantime I’m ploughing away with the third Roone book, about a third of the way through and going well. The title has been sorted but I’m under STRICT INSTRUCTIONS not to say a word for a long time! Wonder will I manage to keep my gob shut!
And now I must dash, off to Lanzarote on Sunday for a three week writing break – just me and the laptop, and my running shoes – so I’ll miss seeing my new baby when it hits the bookshop shelves here, but I have a small army of faithful friends who have promised to let me know the minute they spot it! Do spread the word – I’d be delighted, and most grateful.
Hope everyone is well and happy. Remind me to tell you about the stuff I’ve been doing in connection with the random acts of kindness movement – no time now. I’ll leave you with the dedication page of Two Fridays in April, and I will tell all when I get a chance:
Yoo hoo everyone – apologies for the looooooong silence since my last post; I’ve been working frantically to get Two Fridays in April all done and dusted, bit complicated timeline-wise so lots to keep an eye on – and finally it’s passed out of my hands for the last time as a manuscript. Next time I lay eyes on it it’ll be a real live BOOK!! And I can reveal that the official publication date is March 5, so it should be appearing in an Irish bookshop near you around that date – or if you’re from further afield it’ll be popping up on Amazon and other online selling places. Dying to see it in its finished state – sadly I’m still waiting for the go-ahead from the publishers to reveal the cover, so for the moment you’ll have to take my word for it that it’s lovely, and the minute I’m allowed I’ll flash it up here, promise.
No rest for the wicked, though: I’ve already plotted and started the next – and I hope you’ll be pleased to hear that I’m following on from One Summer and After the Wedding and taking my third trip to the island of Roone (just can’t stay away). The difference with this one is that it’s set in the middle of winter – around Christmas actually, and it’s due to hit the shelves in the autumn, my first time to have two books out in one year. I’ll be ready for a nice long holiday after all this writing!
In other news I’m back at the running lark – and this time I might even stick it out. I started in November and have been following weekly schedules that Patrick, a running-mad friend, has been setting for me, and so far so good. I’ve worked my way up to 6 mile runs, and in a few days I’ll be taking part in my second official race. The first was on St Stephen’s Day and was a 5 miler (I think I came 4th last), and this next one is 6 miles. I’m working up to a half-marathon in May, already registered for it so I can’t back out – having slight palpitations at the thought of running over 13 miles without stopping, but I’ll give it my best shot!
Now it’s late and the bed is calling – I have a 3 mile run to do in the morning – so I’ll say goodnight, and hope 2015 is treating you kindly thus far. My two resolutions for this year are to commit more random acts of kindness and to succeed at the running. Fingers crossed on both fronts, particularly the first. We need more kindness in the world…….
Oh dear, oh dear, I’ve neglected you all unforgiveably…..do try and forgive me though, because in my defense I was busy with the next book, which hopefully you’ll enjoy when it finally sees the light of day next March! The good news is that I sent off what I’m HOPING will be the final draft last weekend – phew. Of course it’s not the last I’ll see of it – it’ll go to the copy editor who’ll cast her beady eye over it, and in a couple of weeks it’ll come back to me with her input, at which time I’ll have to go through it again and see what she has to say, and what changes if any she’s recommending. When that’s done it’ll be sent to the proofreader (who just happens to be my brother, a freelance copywriter whom Hachette use!) and back to me again for the last time. I swear I nearly know the books off by heart by the time I’m done with them! I usually think ‘thank God that’s the last I’ll see of it’ when I’m handing it back for the final time – and then when my box of advance copies arrives a few months later I can’t wait to open it!
Really hope you like the new one – I’m quietly pleased with how it’s turned out. The challenge I set myself at the outset (I always try to make a new book a little more challenging than the one that went before) was to confine myself to just two days, two Fridays to be exact, both of them in April. I have four main characters, all connected in some way with one another, who tell the story in turn. And now that it’s all done (bar the checking as above) I’m really dying to see it on the shelves, and to see what reaction it gets. March seems like a lifetime away, but it’ll come eventually. And I know I promised ages ago to show you the cover – I had seen it and liked it, and was waiting until it was officially signed off on before going public with it – but I just heard a few days ago that it’s being totally changed – and the good thing is I really love the new one, I think it’s much stronger than the old one, so I’m a happy bunny. It’s still being tweaked, but I’ve been promised a final version VERY soon – and you’ll be the first to see it, I swear! (Well, maybe after my parents!)
By the way, in case you’re wondering what the snaps have to do with anything (and apologies for the quality – I’m a writer, not a photographer!) they’re different views of what I was looking out at from my bedroom window each day last week. I was spending the week in the wonderful writers’ and artists’ retreat that is the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in County Monaghan (www.tyroneguthrie.ie) where I go from time to time to get a bit of intensive writing done (and get a bit pampered too!) As ever I had a great time and was very productive – got the book finished there, which was the objective. All the rooms are gorgeous but I was lucky enough to be put into Lady Guthrie’s room, which is one of the best in my opinion, being located at the front of the house with a view of the lake. The weather was mostly good, but we got two foggy days when the lake literally disappeared! I’m a big fan of fog, though – I love the magic of it, the other-worldly feel it gives to a place. And I met a really interesting group of people, from storytellers to musicians to artists and other writers. Every week I spend in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre is different, but none is ever dull…. And then of course there are the magnificent evening meals which are provided by a posse of extremely gifted local women…..it’s a real treat to go there, and I consider myself blessed to be able to.
Oh, one other thing – I’ve taken up running again. If you’ve been keeping tabs on this diary you’ll know I’m a very sporadic runner, keep stopping and starting (literally) but this time I might just last because I’ve enlisted the help of Patrick, a friend and enthusiastic runner himself who has sort of taken me under his wing. He’s making out weekly schedules for me, and I’m now on week 3, and so far so good. I’m running between 3 and 4 miles when I go out – and would you believe I’m quite liking it! I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m loving it – not yet – but I don’t dread it, which is a major step forward for me. I’m quite slow but that’s OK – it’s enough for me to get to the finish without having to stop and walk. Watch this space – apparently I’m aiming for the half marathon in the Great Limerick Run next May – help!!!!