Monday, November 18, 2013


If by any chance anyone is passing this page and happens to realize that I haven't posted a blog in quite a while please forgive me. It is very remiss of me but I do have some (what I believe are excellent) excuses to hand which I hope you will accept:

A) I am finishing a novel! The good news is that I am at the editing phase! Yeah. The bad news is I am way past my deadline so any spare minute I get goes into editing and rewriting.

B) My seven unruly children keep distracting me and insisting on having my full attention. The good news is there is lots of brilliant us time, the bad news is there is very little me time!

C) I am expecting another beautiful baby in May! The good news is that everything is going great and I'm soooo excited, the bad news is that the first three or four months is unbelievably tiring so I tend to fall asleep within minutes of my children going to sleep, usually over my laptop, which doesn't really give me much time for anything.

I could give more reasons about boring housework and tasty-ish dinners and exciting creative writing classes and more exciting school visits but I think you get the message. So hence my poor blog,  Facebook my twitter account (which for some crazy reason I have joined) are all suffering. I know you are too so please accept my humblest apologies, I will be back in the land of the living soon. For all you writers out there I hope you keep moving forward on your winding road. I will be adding more videos to my Creative Writing Series once my beloved book has flown the coop. Until then enjoy the journey.

Monday, September 16, 2013

"So much time and so little to do!"

"Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it." Yes, like good old Willie Wonka I've been snowed under a bit lately and my poor blog has suffered. On Friday the 13th of September I missed out on telling you about Roald Dahl Day and the 50 Scrumdiddlyumptious Ways you can Celebrate the fantastic books of this great author. Go on take a peek, make today your Roald Dahl Day.

It was also so sad to hear about the death of one of our own greats, Seamus Heaney. Paul Muldoon wrote a lovely eulogy on this great and gifted man. My favourite of his poems is Digging:
"Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it."
How genius to be able to say and make people feel so much in so few words.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam usual.

On a happier note my debut novel Flick has been shortlisted for the RAI (Reading Association of Ireland) Children's Book Awards 2013. I'm very chuffed about it all, especially as I'm among the following great short-listees:

Suzi Eszhertas with her book An Goraille

Sarah Garland with her book Azzi Idir Dhá Stól

Sheena Wilkinson with her book Grounded

Celine Kiernan with her book Into the Grey

Caitríona Hastings and Andrew Whitson with their book  Ó Chrann go Crann

Finally my next video will be up in the next week. Until then happy writing!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

One Busy Day!

Yes believe it or not it's me again! I have just uploaded my Creative Writing Tips 3 to YouTube (finally) Apologies for the delay but we've had the most amazing time away and I'm only getting re-acquainted with my broadband now, six weeks later! So yes I'm having a busy day. Kids I hear you ask? What kids? Ha, let's just say thank God for hubbies.
In Creative Writing Tips 3 I talk about character profiles. I've decided to put a rough draft of a character profile here in the hope that it will develop your characters. It is short but using the headings try to make your character profile as broad as possible. I'm sure there are other headings that I've missed out on so feel free to extend this. Happy Writing!!
                                    Character Profile

Character's name/s:

Character's Age:
Star sign:

Physical Description:
Hair color:
Hair Style:
Eye color:
Does s/he wear glasses? contacts?

Physical disabilities
Distinguishing Marks

What role have they in the family
Mother/father/siblings/extended family
If older is s/he in a relationship?
Have their own apartment/house/partner/car etc
Plan out a family tree (even a short one)

Where do they live? Country/County/ village/ City
Somewhere fantastical

School/College/Job/retired/unemployed/unable to work

What religion if any are they?
How does this impeach on their lives?


Good and bad
Why have they these characteristics? Hereditary/Learned/Brought on from a specific event

Type of people they hang around with. Why?
Why they have enemies?


Children's Books Ireland are all highs and lows at the moment, or lows and highs to be more precise! On the one hand they are saying a heartbreaking goodbye to their AMAZING Director Mags Walsh but on the other they are welcoming the equally amazing Elaina O Neill as their new Director. I have the privilege of saying that I was Chairperson of Children's Book's Ireland when we employed Mags, initially as Programme Manager and later as Director. I have to say I think it was the best decision that Children's Books Ireland ever made. She was and still is an amazingly charismatic, friendly, outgoing, clever, brilliant, creative, hard-working director and manager. CBI has grown considerably under her care and management and that of her team. I wish her every success and good wish and know she will make as marvelous an impact in her next endeavor as she did in this! 
I have also had the pleasure to know and work with Elaina O Neill as she is the Managing Editor of Little Island, whom I am published with. I know that Elaina is an excellent choice for CBI's next stage. She is another amazingly talented, charismatic, hard-working and generally superb person. I have absolutely no concerns for the future of this great organization and I know it will grow and thrive in the capable hands of Elaina and her team. Well done to CBI on choosing such a worthy person to follow in Mag's footsteps. Wishing both Mags and Elaina every success and happiness in their new roles.  

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Today is a great day for the ducks! Yesterday was too and the forecast for tomorrow is looking pretty dodgy but for the most part July has been one fantastic month. I got to enjoy the beautiful weather in the even more beautiful County Clare, so apologies for my lack of blogging but  I had no internet for the month! I definitely suffered withdrawal symptoms for the first few days but I recovery quickly and have coped rather well.

So now that I'm back I wanted to tell about a brilliant competition for all you budding writers out there A.M.Heath Literary Agency are looking for New Irish Talent and it could be you. So check it out now.
My next video on Creative Writing will be up in the next week too so until then happy writing!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Say it with Pride!

Yes love, live and be proud is the theme for this year's Dublin Pride Festival, the fun has already started but there are events going on all day as well as a few tomorrow so if you're around Dublin get down there now! Love this photo that my friend sent on Facebook! Happy Pride Everyone!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Just found that link. Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll: Controversial Themes in Young Adult Literature
The Journey Continues...

You might be glad to know that I'm improving at this old technology malarky! It has taken me hours rather than days to figure it out. OK yes I did start trying to download or upload this morning which I know is approximately thirteen hours ago BUT in my defense there was the small matter of seven kids, school, tidying, dinner, homework, more tidying, swimming, tea, bedtime still more tidying and a few tantrums thrown in for good measure (not all mine, I promise) On top of that my phone died but I won't bore you or frustrate myself more with those details, let's just say AAAAGGGGHHHHHH!
So where was I? Oh yes, my   Creative Writing Tips 1! I'm not sure if you got to see them or what you thought of them but if you're interested here's Creative Writing Tips 2! I'd love to get some feedback on the videos, so please leave a comment (I'll ignore the bad ones, ha!) and if you've any suggestions or areas you'd like me to focus on I'd be happy to do so.
I'm also extremely excited about IBBY Ireland's Event next Wednesday night (26th June) upstairs in the Workman's Club. It'll be a discussion on Controversial Themes in YA Literature. OK yes I am honoured to be one of the speakers but the other speakers include, Sheena Wilkinson multi award winner for her books Taking Flight and Grounded, Siobhan Parkinson, writer, editor, publisher whom I am constantly in awe of and award winning author Anna Carey, who I'm dying to meet. Sine Quinn, a children's Book Editor and one of my favourite people will be chairing the meeting. So if you're around we'd love to see you!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I know it's been a while since I've written and I've rounded a few bends on this winding road since then. I've also picked up another passenger, yes our seventh baby Cúán arrived safely some months ago. While away I've written a lot but I've also had the opportunity to visit lots of schools and groups around the country so I've decided to do a series of videos full of creative writing tips which I've picked up along my way. I hope that they motivate, inspire, educate, help you on your journey (or at the very least make you laugh!)
Four days later. . . Aaagghhh! So I'm still technically challenged! And my video wouldn't upload. Apologies for the delay but you can find it here at Creative Writing Tips!

 Video two will be up in the next ten days! Enjoy!