The past 365 days have been a particularly great year for me.
There are all the obvious things that most of you already know. I’ve had my first book published to critical and public acclaim. It was even shortlisted in the BGE Irish Book Awards – (that was a shocker!) Because of the book, I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of new and fascinating people, including several fellow writers who have had nice and encouraging things to say. But the real joy has come from my many visits to schools and libraries. Meeting the children to have read or are reading my book is a pleasure incomparable to anything else. The enthusiasm kids today have for books is infectious and makes me want to go home and read/write even more.
I’ve spent a lot of the time in the past year learning how to be a writer. When I wrote the book in 2010, I kind of just stumbled into everything, feeling my way blindly. But at the start of 2011, I set myself some writing targets and got into a habit that I keep to today. Right now, I have the first drafts of the next two Arthur Quinn books complete and am working on a whole other story that I hope people will get to read one day.
My friends and family have been so supportive to me all year long that I can’t thank them enough. The same must be said for my publishers, Mercier Press, fellow authors and all the kids book enthusiasts I’ve met along the way.
But what else did 2011 mean to me? Well I thought I’d have a look back at some of my highlights. What were yours?
This is the first time I’ve met a book club who have read my book and it was a very fun experience. The members had some really great insights into the book, noticing the tiniest of things that even I hadn’t! They were full of questions, asking me to clarify certain parts or to give them hints for the rest of the series. A couple of them even took guesses about where the story would go… (I tried dodging these as much as possible!) Read the rest of this entry »
A few weeks ago I got a missed call. When I listened back to the voicemail, it was from a teacher in Navan telling me how much her class had been enjoying ‘Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent’ and how excited they would be to have me visit. I, of course, promised that I would visit them and on the 30th of November I was true to my word.
Like the Hunt School, this was one of the first school visits where the class had read most of the book and had questions prepared. As soon as I was in the door, I was asked for a few high fives! After talking about the book and writing for a bit, I discovered that the class had drawn pictures based on their favourite scenes. (A few of them are below!) They had also studied the history of the Vikings and their myths in great detail. Read the rest of this entry »