Tag Archives: Little Island

Launching Keepsake

This week sees the launch of my new book Keepsake, published by the lovely Little Island crew!.  It will be launched in Stonehouse Books, courtesy of bookseller extraordinaire Liz Walsh, on Thursday 25th May at 7.00 pm.

It is hard to describe your own book (at least I think it is), but I will try.

It is a tale set in Ireland (in a fictional town called Carrigcapall) and concerns a boy and his horse and a girl and her granny. There are other characters (both human and four legged) who wander in and out of the story – but these four matter most. Three of the characters love horses and that’s a pretty lucky turn of events for Storm, the horse, whose life is in danger.

As I work from character maybe I will leave the description at that for the meantime. Mary Esther Judy, children’s bookseller at Charlie Byrnes Bookshop in Galway, was the first person to review the book in her brilliant blog Fallen Star Stories  and you can find it here.

I have been lucky enough to have a primary school down the road from me reading the book pre publication – St John’s Senior in Kilkenny. They selected the book as their One School, One Book project and have been doing mighty work on it for the past few weeks. One of the teachers at the school, the inimitable Orla Mackey, prepared a Keepsake workbook for the students with all sorts of wondrous and creative ideas in it. These notes will be available on the Little Island website as well as on Seomra Ranga, and I will put up a link to both on my own website.

Here is some of their work!

Artwork 3Art Work St Johns 1Art work 2

An author with opinions – on writing and storytelling

I don’t often re-post things in their entirety but want to post this – as I think it says such a lot about writing and it says it so elegantly. It comes from Tom O’Neill’s blog on his book Old Friends – take a look 

Disturbing fiction


An author has to keep an eye on the reader as the storyteller always did, just with the disadvantage of being a step removed.

You have to keep an eye on them because you have a job to do for them. You have to amuse them and keep them amused. That’s all.

Luckily, there are various ways in which you can do this. Like every storyteller understood, you must always have characters more interesting than anyone present and you must have disturbing things happening to them. You should have excitement, treachery, loyalty, loss and if at all possible, revenge. You have to have a laugh with the characters and another one at them. You should have layers of hidden story for the more alert reader to dig up.

There must always be love. Nothing moves without it. Every good story is embedded in it, even where it is never spoken, even where it is contorted.

And of course you should disrupt the reader’s afternoon.

I hope Old Friends amused you.