Wednesday 19 May 2021


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Friday 14 May 2021

Words, more words, and then a few more words #writing #crimefiction #books #writingstories #writinglife

 So here's what my writing life looks like.

I sit at the dining table, on an ancient laptop and throw words at an empty screen. It's a very public space; my ten and seven year old want snacks, help with homework, or to show their latest artistic masterpiece. 

My mother is 89, and would like to show me the latest cute dog video she has discovered on Facebook or Instagram. My 90 year old father wanders through; he thinks this is his workroom or that I am teaching from the table or that perhaps I am someone else entirely. Often the narrative of his imaginings takes over and an hour or so is lost to making sense of time and place. I am, largely, at everyone else's disposal. 
Eventually when people are fed, watered, praised, reassured, redirected and occasionally asked to refrain from treating their little brother like a puppy, I get to address that empty page again.

I sprawl words across it, sometimes in neat rows like soldiers - well trained and well disciplined - and sometimes in drunken lines like a rioting crowd. It's hard to impose order without breaking the magic of their connection. Often, I give up because neither discipline nor magic is winning. Then I start again, because I know I'm in a race between filling empty page and a fresh round of children, cat videos and confused parents. 

A paragraph is wrestled into shape and some pattern emerges. I think the cat videos may have found their way into it. Certainly some of the confusion has leaked in. With a sigh I re-write. It begins to read more like the story in my head, the characters a little less shadowy and a little more real. Less cat videos. Still some confusion.

I push on, because time enough to edit and rewrite and hone it but the story will be lost, thinned to wispy feathers and set aflight into the grimness of reality unless I keep writing, keep throwing words at an empty page filling it line by line and trying to remember that these people laugh, and chat and have lives. Have to keep the dining table and the noise and the markers and the mess and the need to make dinner and the no this is not the workroom, I'm your daughter, You're at home, that's your grandson out of the story. 

Try to remember what dinner out feels like and weekends away and banter with people who talk politics and books and suddenly it's a natural end to the chapter and I can say
I got something done, I made it through another part of it. 
The things I left out, the clumsy phrasing, the mistakes - but I got something done, a little more done.

And tomorrow, another empty page.


Thursday 6 May 2021

The Body Politic....UPDATE May 2021 #crimewriting #fiction #irishwriters #crimefiction

 It's been a roller coaster !

Firstly my little book has been more successful than I dared dream, with solid sales and great reviews. I also learnt a lot from the process, made a lot of mistakes and have had to revise the manuscript to catch several mistakes (and deepest thanks to everyone who pointed out the errors, the kindness and constructive way in which readers did so made it easy to learn those lessons :) ) 

So The Body Politic is now out there, and holding its own. We launched it online and had a great night, and my website has signed copies with merch for sale, as well as it being available on Amazon, Kindle in both paperback and kindle ebook. 

If you ask for it at your local bookstore and they don't have it, ask them to order it (tell them there's excellent wholesale rates ;) ) will get me!

Now I'm hard at work on Book 2 - and it's already a better book for having been through this process. It's tighter, the plot is more original, the characters are established now and are becoming more and more real. It's still hard work, but there's a sense of having grown a lot, and of avoiding many pitfalls. 

If you bought it  and/or reviewed it, THANK YOU. If you haven't but you're going to, thank you too in advance!