Books, puppies and tiny pills – my life right now

Bloody hell, it’s all happening! What a mad two weeks. A great two weeks. Full of ups and downs, like life. Is this living?

I am so conscious of banging on about myself now that I’m nearly afraid to put this blog up. I think it’s my biggest fear at the moment – hearing this tiny voice squeaking, jaysus would she ever stop going on about her book!

And we’re only two weeks in. Book promo can last for months. Can you stick me?!

Still, this is really dream come true stuff and I’m just trying to enjoy it and not worry too much about what other people think.

Alongside all the book promo, life, as it does, has been heading on day by day too, so it’s not all books just so you know. (I still have kids, although I don’t know who has been rearing them recently).

Here’s a little run down on everything that’s been happening. I think I’m writing this more for me than for anyone else, so I can try to catch a hold of it all.

  1. Meeting herself

On 4 July I headed up to Poolbeg Offices to meet the Nanny and sign copies to go out to reviewers and booksellers. Myself and himself made a day of it and went for lunch afterwards in Malahide. It was lovely. On December Girl I didn’t have a day like this, so it felt really special. It is so strange so see the words you typed up on a word document flicking on paper in front of you. They’re so familiar, but it’s weird to see them in a book.

Myself and Margaret Madden who did a fabulous job of hosting at last minute after Colin O’Donoghue unfortunately had to pull out for work reasons. Not unfortunate for him mind, he’s gone to play an amazing role!

2. Launching herself

We originally planned to launch the Nanny on 5 July but ended up moving it forward to allow us a bit more space for distribution and media promo. This worked out really well as there were TONS of people at the launch and I think the extra bit of time allowed me to get more word out. Waterstone’s were fab and had a great display running up to the launch. The place looked fab on the night too and it all felt so well organised. I have all the photos back now and will do another post with them as there are so many.

3. Going local with herself

As the Nanny is set in Drogheda, there is a great local interest, so I was delighted to get into LMFM to chat with Gerry Kelly all about her. You can read what Drogheda Life had to say here. I had great coverage in the Drogheda Leader and Drogheda Independent too and have a few more local radio slots lined up. Are you ready midlands Ireland, are ya?!

4. Going national with herself

It was with great joy that myself and fellow writer Jane Ryan were invited onto Ireland AM ahead of our Dublin Crimson Writers event. I’ve been on TV before but not as an author and not in a formal interview setting. I was nervous, but I learned a lot from the experience. Hopefully it won’t be my last time on tv, huh?! This week I’ll be on the Pat Kenny show on Newstalk on Tuesday 23 July just after 10am.

Margaret Madden playing host again. Here we are having the laughs as always! Even got onto a few raunchy topics as you do!

5. Eventing with herself

Hot on the heels of my own launch, I was thrilled to take part in a Poolbeg writers’ event, where four crime authors (myself, Andrea Mara, Jane Ryan and Maria Hoey) came together to discuss crime in the past and present at Hodges Figgis on Dawson Street in Dublin. I really enjoyed the discussion and feeling part of a team, while also holding my own, given the setting and topics I am writing about.

During all these events and promotion I am in touch with friends old and new. I’ve seen people I haven’t seen in years – people I worked with ten years ago, people I went to writing classes (also ten years ago) friends who have moved away, friends who I’ve only met online.

It has been so. much. fun.

I have been completely overwhelmed by the support, by the goodwill and the collective hope from everyone that I will do well. I have also, at times, been overwhelmed by the expectation, by the pressure and by the hope, that I will do well. So much of a book selling is how it’s received once it goes out. I feel like I have done the hard work in the writing, but the hardest part, seeing will it stick, is pretty much out of my control. As they say on our daily mass programme, It is what it is. (Love Island ref, if you don’t watch daily mass).

What’s next…

I am expecting things to calm down a little now that the Nanny is digitally and physically launched and I will continue with the promotion in lots of other ways.

I have a ton of articles to write and I want to get out and about to book clubs, book shops and festivals. I’m taking it handy enough though as I realise from the last time, that books take a while to settle in, they need to be read, they need to be reviewed, they need time to nestle into the world. It’s ok to do more interviews and articles in a few weeks time – the book will still be out there.

December Girl

In the midst of all the talk on the Nanny, Ive been doing quite a lot of work on December Girl too. I was bowled over by the amount of people at the Nanny launch who told me they’d read it and loved it. I just wasn’t expecting it – it’s strange, knowing that something you were promoting two years ago is still in people’s minds.

We are hoping to have the audio book ready to go very soon, I’ve heard it and loved it and it was a totally different experience hearing it spoken out loud, rather than seeing it written on a page. I have completely gotten into audio books lately, as I was testing the audible app ahead of December Girl’s audiobook release.

I’m currently listening to Eleanor Oliphant and I am just swept away as soon as I stick those headphones on. I don’t have a commute anymore so I don’t get to listen as much as I like, but I’ve found carrying my phone around while doing housework is surprisingly easy.

I also hope to have December Girl paperback up for re-order on Amazon soon and back in some selected shops. I will likely have more copies to sell too, so just let me know if you’d like one.

(We won’t talk about the publishing and audio technical difficulties, let’s just say they’re included in the downs of life at the moment!) Oh and at the moment I have an idea for book 4 and it’s a sequel to December Girl, so we’ll see how it goes. I need to start it this autumn.

Book 3

Speaking of new writing, I got a chance to reveal the premise of book 3 at the Dublin Crimson writers event and it got a really good reception. I now have to finish it completely, as it’s drafted but needs more edits. I’m excited for next year to launch it too, but for now I’m enjoying the nanny and all that she brings. When it’s time, I’ll blog about that too, as I have a lot of (glamourous) content to show about the character in book 3.

I think that’s everything that’s been happening in the book world. It has been fun, hard work, a few tears along the way, but far, far more smiles. I’m still on a high about it all to be honest. I know so many writers who dream of getting published and visualise their own book launch and what it will all be like when it happens. There was no way I wasn’t going to enjoy it all. I was not going to let nerves and insecurities get the better of me this time.

Meanwhile…

Three rather major life factors have been happening in the midst of all the book launch madness.

One, I started a new job. Yep, right in the middle of it all! I’d been looking for the right job for a while and I feel that this is it. It’s in my hometown, offers good hours and flexibility and I really like the work. I’d been at home for nearly a year and a half and I was soooo ready to get back to the working world. It’s early days, but already, I feel like a new person, rather like the ‘old’ me. I still firmly believe, there is no harder job than being a stay at home Mam. And childcare workers, creche workers and childminders are saints!

Two, I had another appointment with the specialist I’ve been seeing about the auto immune disease I got diagnosed with at the start of the year and I will be starting long term immunno suppressant treatment in the coming weeks. While I’m hopeful I’ll get great results I’m conscious of all that it brings, right down to the rule that you cant really drink on the medication. (Eh, wha?) I have probably been at the worst pain wise so far in the illness and I’m having a few mobility issues now – stairs kill me and any sort of exercise or walking floors me, so it is something I have to do.

Three, we got a new dog.

Yep, a real live, furry, dog.

Her name is Lola.

Here she is….

I mean… LOOK

I am feeling very mixed emotions about the new dog, especially a sense of guilt for our poor little Lucy that we lost only recently. I feel like it’s not long enough since her death for us to be getting a new dog and that she would be peed off at us for not waiting longer! Also there is so much going on, I thought it was bad time in general.

BUT, this little doggy was in need of a new home and after myself and himself initially said no way, we could not stop thinking about her and it began to feel right. Since bringing her home (only yesterday) she has been a breath of fresh air and she has settled right in! She is the opposite type of dog to Lucy, full of energy and bounding around – our kids didn’t know this is what dogs do!

Seeing them play with her and cuddle her and how happy she is making them is what it’s all about. And, it’s nice, having a warm heartbeat on your lap, when the kids are in bed. (I mean the dog, not the husband, obvs).

Here’s to creating new memories with our new doggy as family, work and book life continues. How lucky are we?

The answer is ‘very’.

You can purchase The Nanny at Number 43 in all good bookshops and online here. If you’re read it and would like to leave an Amazon review I would be most grateful!

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