I’m delighted and excited and thrilled and any-other-happy-adjective-you-can-think-of to reveal that I have signed to an agent! His name is Ben Illis and he’s an Associate Agent at A.M. Heath. The agency has been around since 1919 and include such luminaries as George Orwell, Flann O’Brien, Hilary Mantel and the late, great (and neighbour of mine) John McGahern. Ben himself has a really exciting client list with a couple of books due out this year that I personally can’t wait to read.
Anyway, this is a big step for any writer and I’m overjoyed by it. I can’t wait to get working properly with Ben and to continue bringing lots of exciting, adventure-packed stories to bookshops near you!
One year is coming to an end and the other is right around the corner. Time to look back (and look forward.) So here are some things I liked/disliked over the last 12 months and things I’ve planned for 2013.
Highlights of 2012:
Being chosen for the first ever UNESCO Dublin City of Literature Childrens reading project
Meeting so so SO many Arthur Quinn fans and forgetting about any earlier book events nerves
Matilda: the Musical
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
Locke & Key: Clockworks by Joe Hill
City of Bohane by Kevin Barry
The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Croc & Bird by Alexis Deacon
ZomB by Darren Shan
Argo, Looper, Paranorman, Skyfall, Cabin in the Woods
Boardwalk Empire Season 3
Finally watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer from start to finish!
Lowlights of 2012:
Prometheus, Dark Knight Rises
Homeland Season 2
HHhH by Laurent Binet (didn’t live up to the hype at all.)
Plans for 2013:
The release of Arthur Quinn and Hell’s Keeper (I’ve been looking forward to this one coming out since before book one! There are some big surprises coming and I can’t wait for them to be finally revealed.)
I have a VERY rough idea for a short film that I’d like to make. It’s been a few years since I wrote/directed anything so it’ll be nice to get behind the camera again this year.
There are some books coming out in 2013 that I’m really looking forward to. Neil Gaiman and Joe Hill’s new works are top of the list!
Author Joe Hill posed an interesting question on his blog earlier. What 5 things have you never done as a writer that you would like to try? It got me thinking so here are my 5.
1.Write a graphic novel
This is an easy one. I’ve always loved comics and have a pretty decent collection. I also love art and have studied fine art, graphic design and film in college – all of which work nicely with the medium of graphic novels. It’s years since I made any art on paper properly and I’m sure I’ve lost whatever talent I may have had in that area so I wouldn’t be able to draw a comic but I would absolutely love to write one. If any comic artists or illustrators out there want to collaborate, give me a holla! Read the rest of this entry »
I’m appearing at some fun and interesting events over the next couple of months so I figured I’ll list them here.
CBI Conference 2012
19th – 20th May
This is one for children’s book enthusiasts everywhere. The annual conference from CBI takes place in the National Library. This years theme is Weaving a Shared Story and I’m taking part in a panel discussion on childhood influences. Other panelists include Paula Leyden, Geraldine Meade, Denise Deegan, and Debbie Thomas. I’m really looking forward to this as, not only is this my first time as a participant of the conference, it’s my first time attending! There’s a great line-up including a host of children’s writers for all ages. Have a look at the flyer here and book your tickets soon. This one usually sells out! Read the rest of this entry »
As I mentioned previously, I’m writing again. This time it’s a Young Adult novel. It’s quite dark and grim at times with a seventeen year old narrator. Oh, and it’s all written in the present tense.
The more I write it, the more I’ve been thinking about the present tense. It seems to have become very fashionable these days. Half – (if not all) – the YA novels I read are written in this tense as are a huge amount of books that turn up on award shortlists. In fact, a couple of years ago, Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials, wrote a piece in The Guardian bemoaning what he saw as overuse of the tense. It’s an interesting read and, as much as I admire him, I don’t fully agree with him here.
I’ve used the present tense throughout all the Arthur Quinn books – but sparingly. In each book, Arthur experiences strange dreams/visions of Asgard, the land of the gods. I wanted these visions to read differently. Switching from the past to present tense acts as a sort of lingual key for the reader; it takes them away from Arthur’s world and brings them to the world of the gods, a time where time itself acts differently. It’s jarring but it’s supposed to be. Read the rest of this entry »
I know I haven’t posted in weeks and for that I apologise. But I honestly have been so busy since Children Save Dublin started in January that this is the first time I’ve had to write a new blog.
So as a lot of you will know by now, my book ‘Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent’ was chosen as the featured book in the first ever ‘Children Save Dublin’ reading campaign from Unesco. From January to March children in city were encouraged to read the book and engage with it through web games, discussion, acting, art and meeting me. There were so many highlights that I really wouldn’t be able to write them all down here!
I visited 25 schools, libraries and bookshops in Dublin and a further 10 around the country – nearly all in four weeks! I met hundreds of young readers, dozens of teachers, librarians, booksellers and parents. In that time, I answered countless questions, read from the book so much that I know certain passages by heart and signed a cramp-inducing number of books. I even got the pleasure of watching a play based on the first five chapters of the book! Read the rest of this entry »