Catch Up

What is a writer without her letters?

I’ve had a very literary couple of months. Real writing-life highlight stuff, but then my laptop had to go away and get fixed for weeks (it wasn’t fixed!) and when I eventually got it back it gave up the ghost for good.

What is a writer without her letters?

I haven’t blogged in ages. So lots to catch up on!

I got a new Chromebook. Yes, I did not do my homework and it is really fiddly working in Word. If you know an easier way, please let me know. I beg you.

Chromebook frustration realness

But good news, and there’s lots of it, so I have to count my lucky stars! I managed to finish Nanowrimo 2019 with a week to go, even though 3/4 of The New One (working title) was written in Notes on my iPhone. Ahhh!

I’ve finished my school workshops, and loved every minute! I gave a workshop on Prose Poetry at Community Arts Partnership a couple of weeks ago, which helped me refresh my knowledge and got me writing a few new poems.

For the last year or so I’ve been working on a collection that is close to home, about my experience being a carer.

Autism Mum and Proud!

Oh, and among the shed-load of rejections – yes, let’s recognise them too – I got an acceptance from Eavan Boland at Poetry Ireland Review. Happy moment indeed!

It is great to be able to move from one form of creative writing to another. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

Then, a few days ago I read my children’s story Feeding Time at Zoo School at the CS Lewis Festival with the wonderful folk from Women Aloud NI. So that’s a wrap for my readings for the year. Back to the bread and butter.

But there is still so much to tell you… Let’s rewind.

She has a face!

I can now reveal the cover for my next book which will be published by Friday Press.

Do you like it? I am delighted with it.

The Sleeping Season also has a date for publication now. Drum roll, please…

27 March 2020. Save that date 😉

If you can’t wait for that, and you’re a fan of ebooks, then you can pre-order your copy HERE, which is great because then the publisher will know to print loads of copies.

There will also be a paperback, of course, which you can buy on launch day.

It was great to talk to Una Kelly from Radio Ulster lately about Crime Fiction in Northern Ireland. We covered some really interesting topics, and I know she has been speaking to a few other local writers, so I can’t wait to hear the whole feature.

Keep an ear out for that documentary airing on 1 January.

I’ve come down to earth with quite a bump after Boston Book Festival, last month which I had planned to blog about before the laptop drama.

(Check out Sharon’s fantastic blog about it.) It was an unforgettable time!

Sharon Dempsey and I had a packed room for our Emerald Noir event. The audience was so engaged and asked great questions. David Leonard was a brilliant host! It was a pleasure to be involved with the festival, the city and surrounds were gorgeous, with stunning architecture, and in the autumn, blissful.

Boston Public Library
Photo credit to Jessica at Boston Book Blog

I’m writing a book at the minute that is set mostly in Boston, so of course it was a perfect tie-in to get a feel for the place while we were there.

And a hundred thank yous to Arts Council NI for their support with that Boston book. I have been given a SIAP award to buy me time to write it. Very grateful.

Not only that, but my local council, Ards and North Down Borough Council, has granted me an Individual Artist’s Award that I will use to go back to the River Mill and put the final touches to the third book in the DI Sloane series. (I know, I’m nothing if not organised. Saddo.)

As a carer, and mum of four, bursaries and grants have been the best lifelines for me.

Till next time! x

Bye for now!