Only a year before we moved in, the site of the Dublin house that I grew up in was a field. Down the road, after the house was built and the developers had moved on, there was a scrubby patch of trees. They've disappeared now, under concrete and more housing. But when I was a child a spring rose in the scrubland, flowing briefly between two oaks and disappearing again among their twisted roots. I remember hours spent swinging out over the water on a rope tied to a branch, and
letting go at the crucial moment to land in squelching mud on the other side.That survival of the countryside, hemmed in by two roads, was a favourite playground for us local kids. We called it St. Bridget's. And at the time I never asked myself why. I don't know now if Bridget's name survives there. But I know that for thousands of years before I swung out across that water, people had come there to pray. It was the site of a holy well. Wells dedicated to Bridget are found all over the country. Sh…
Well, look at this. My North American debut. When I was an actress I thought that word only applied to performance but, no, it's what publishers say about books as well. Actually, the dictionary definition is as follows:-
A person's first appearance or performance in a particular capacity or role.
Synonyms: first appearance, first showing, first performance, launch, launching, coming out, entrance, premiere, beginning, introduction, inception, inauguration. informal:kick-off.
I love "informal:kick-off".
I may substitute it for "debut" in conversation from now on.
I've always been a sucker for synonyms and dictionary definitions, which is one of the reasons why working with my US editor on The Library at the Edge of the World has been such fun.
The book, the first in my "Finfarran" series of novels, is already available, with two others, across Europe, and in Australia, China and South Korea. In the case of the latter two, the covers are stunning but I…
One result of a lifetime of writing in different genres and media is that you end up with transferable skills and systems. Now, with the third novel in my Finfarrran series about to appear in the bookshops, I can see just how useful that process of transfer can be. Much of what I've learned in my career has been passed on to me by other writers, so here are some hints that I thought I should pass on myself.
#1. I started out as a freelance writer in radio and television, where deadlines are paramount. Whether you're writing scripts for dramas, documentaries or features, the bottom line is that it must be delivered on time. A reputation for reliability is one of your greatest references, and that applies to print publishing as well. #2. Because novelists work alone at a screen, it's easy to feel that writing your book is a private enterprise. But if you're working on a series commissioned by a publisher, it's not. Just as plays or projects for broadcast media, books …