Three Book Deal
As I sit at my desk and reflect back on 2016, I can honestly say that it will be a year that I will never forget. 2016 was the year that my dream of becoming a published author became a reality. It all began in March when I was offered a three book deal with Poolbeg Press. Finally all my years of hard work had paid off and my debut novel “The Ghosts of Magnificent Children” was released in October 2016.
The book was launched in The Gutter Bookshop Dublin, “The Wild’s Enniscorthy, in conjunction with Byrne’s Book store and The Wexford Book Centre. I had a few sleepless nights wondering if anyone would turn up but I was not prepared from all the people that came to support me. Thank-you to all my friends, family and writers who were there for me, you will never know how much I appreciate it. A special thanks to my best friend Clare who came from England to be with me and to E.R. Murray and Michael Fortune for launching the book and to my friends at Enniscorthy Choral Society for providing the beautiful music. I was delighted to discover that “The Ghosts of Magnificent Children” became an Irish Times best seller that week.
Battle of The Book
As if being offered a three book deal and three fantastic launches wasn’t enough “The Ghosts of Magnificent Children” was selected for the exciting “Battle of the Book” Reading Programme. This was launched by Deputy County Mayor, Cllr. Eithne Loftus in the beautiful surroundings of Swords Castle. The programme is a collaboration between Fingal Libraries and six primary schools within the Fingal area, it is kindly supported by the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA). The aim of the programme is to get children reading, and to foster a reading for life culture by using a multi-disciplinary interactive approach, with art, an author visit, creative writing and an active competition element between the different schools and their local library. Children are encouraged to read and gain confidence by discussing a common book, which provides a shared experience of reading. As well as reading “The Ghosts of Magnificent Children”, students will be participating in different activities organised by Nora Finnegan from Fingal Libraries surrounding the themes presented in “The Ghosts of Magnificent Children”.
Reader in Residence – Wexford Public Library Services
Anyone who knows me, is aware that I have championed children’s books and literacy for many years. Therefore I was delighted to be offered the role as Reader in Residence for Wexford County Council Public Library Service. As Reader in Residence I will delivering a programme of activities designed to promote literacy and enjoyment of reading and library usage in children and young people. The residency will involve engagement with children through community groups and schools and their local library. It will also provide opportunities for parents and children to explore and enjoy reading and other family literacy activities together.
It is an honour and a privilege for me to be working alongside library staff in their wonderful libraries and out in the community over the coming months. As Reader in Residence I will be working to complement the amazing literacy work that is currently being carried out by Wexford County Council’s Library Service. The first event was the “Tell Me A Story Festival” which ran during the month of November. 2017 will involve more engaging events in Wexford Public Libraries.
Wexford Literary Festival
2016 was a busy year for Wexford Literary Festival. We held the inaugural Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award and our festival this year was a huge success. We have lots more exciting events planned for 2017.
Book Festivals and Tours
October was the Children’s book festival as I visited schools and libraries up and down the country to deliver workshops and to talk about “The Ghosts of Magnificent Children” I met so many dedicated teachers, librarians and booksellers who have made me feel so welcome. Another highlight for me this year was being invited to participate in the “Dublin Book Festival” in November. The Dublin Book Festival is one of Ireland’s most successful and vibrant book festivals, running since June 2006 and I was delighted to take part in it. December was a busy month for me “The Ghosts of Magnificent Children” went on tour to Dublin. I got the opportunity to visit the schools taking part in the “Battle of The Book” so many children had read the book and created art work to accompany it and they had so many questions for me as they all want to win the final battle of the book in January!
I have lots of thinks planned for 2017. My second novel “The Girl Who Ate The Stars” is in the hands of my publisher and will be released during the year. I will be extremely busy as the Reader in Residence with Wexford Public Library Services. I have also been invited to participate in book festivals next year the first is the Ennis Book Club Festival which takes place in March.
Oncemore, I would like to thank you all so much for your support and kindness this year, and I hope that all your dreams come true in 2017 x