I’m back! Like Take That! (only without the Gary Barlow transformation. Sigh)

Hello to you. Hello! Hello!

It’s been quite a while since I managed to get a little blog action on. Truth be told, I’ve been actively avoiding spilling my guts here.

For one, I’ve been writing a novel and when that happens most things go out the window. Children. Husband. Eating. Weight. Skin. Sleep. Attendance to important appointments. Hygiene.

Okay not hygiene. Appearance then.

At this was book three, I’ve found that I have now developed a bit of a method. It involves a few months of research, about three months of writing solid, then another two to three of editing and polishing. The whole process takes less than a year, but the most absorbing part, getting that first draft down, sees me disappear a bit. Not bad for the soul to be honest.

I found parts of writing this book really hard and other parts easy. When I came back to edit it, it didn’t seem as bad as I expected. Whether I’m getting better at my process or I have a clearer structure before I begin, I’m not sure.

Overall, I felt I knew what I was at and I met the loose deadlines I gave myself pretty easily so that was all good and I’m happy so far. Not TOO much blood spilled on this one. We’ll see how it all goes when it’s released next year. (All going well!)

Now that book three is under the bed festering, stewing, I’ve turned the attention to book 2 which releases in just a few weeks. Eeeeeek. I believe the ebook will be available from 1 June and the print copies will be available from 1 July. Book launch is booked for Friday 5 July in Waterstones’s Drogheda, Co. Louth so if you’re in the vicinity, pop down.

Cover reveal and full details will all be available shortly but all you need to remember is

THE NANNY AT NO. 43 (and tell your friends!) ????

I’ll be busy planning PR around it all and I’m really looking forward to getting out and about and promoting something new. I understand now a bit better all that is involved and as I won’t be too stressed with trying to write book 3, I’m going to try and enjoy it.

Speaking of promo, I recently took back the rights to December Girl from Bombshell Books. They were very gracious in returning everything to me and it means I have full control over it now and in the future. The cover has had a revamp and it’s on sale at 99p at the minute, but not for long.

One of the avenues I wanted to look at for December Girl was an audio book and I’m really excited (like squeeeeeee kind of excitement) to say that it’s happening and should be ready for early June. It’ll be available on Audible. I have a fabulous Northern Irish narrator and I think it will really lend itself to the story. I had it in my head that I would like to read it, as Molly feels like such a personable character to me, but I had one go of reading a chapter into my phone and had to laugh at myself.

An acTOR I am not, which is what you need to be to be a good narrator. So I’ve spared you that ear-trocity!

What else?


This week I took part in a night of Spoken Word at the Drogheda Arts Festival. It was my second time ever taking part and it was a fantastic night, with lots of diverse and brilliant acts, who all had something individual to say. Top of the bill was Mark Gristo who is a rap battle artist and he was joy to listen to – like a comedian, telling the story around how he got involved in performance poetry.

I took a lot from the night – seeing that amazing things can happen if you open yourself up to opportunities and take a chance. I also saw that people are fallible and human and it’s ok to make a mistake or not be perfect. My performance certainly wasn’t perfect, but it was much better than last time. I edited the piece a bit and I was really confident it its delivery – it was weird, like the words were deep in my brain, a part of me, as opposed to something I had to learn off a page. I think because I was still writing the piece right up till I performed it last year, it was too fresh. Over time, it went into a bit of my conscious and it came out easily. I was still nervous as fluff though! Singing is so much easier than speaking!

Looking a bit fierce. Or terrified. Dunno which!

The only other writing craic I’ve been up to is a short sojourn in Cornwall, where I went to work on book 3. It was a Christmas gift from himself and it was just LOVERLY. I was a bit ill when I was over there so I had to take it handy, but I did manage to get out and about and drive round the rural roads. I’d go back in a heartbeat, I only saw a tiny dot of it. It’s one of those places where you don’t know what’s around the next corner – it could be a mountain rising out of the sea, or a hidden valley or a waterfall. It’s quite magical really and I can see how Arthur and the knights of the round table were born there.

Speaking of which, I did have quite an experience before I left where unbeknownst to myself, I ended up spending an hour with a prominent Scientologist and handing over most of my life savings. That was quite the story and something which I would probably need to tell you over a pint. (They’re probably reading, I’m too scared!) Still. Not. Over. It.

Beautiful sunny Cornwall

I think that’s all the writing news. It’s quite a lot to report, so I hope you will indulge me. It’s always an exciting time launching something new. So much of writing is spent mooching or reading or scratching around the surface. It can be hard too to watch other writers put work out there or hit best seller lists or just seem to be very active when you feel you haven’t moved off the couch or your arse in months. But it’s all part of the process. That lack of confidence, worry and fretting doesn’t go away about your writing. It just moves onto another anxiety.


Family wise, the girls are doing great. Bonnie has gotten really big lately and heavy and she’s become a right little madam. It’s hard to equate the sunny, smiley baby with this crazy, boisterous, MANIAC of a child. She is full of mischief. Full of it. I know all kids are, but I’m telling you, there is a glint in this one’s eye. She loves telling us what to do. Very bossy she is, altogether.

Her speech is pretty good, she copies you like a parrot and she imitates us all the time, hand on the hip, finger wagging. She loves to give out yards, enjoys it even. (Wonder where she gets that from?!)

She loves to get outside and run, but she also loves her cuddles and tablet and watching TV with her blankie. She’s a little dote and we just love being around her.

She did bite her sister though yesterday. I mean full on, full set of teeth marks in the arm. She likes to throw food, scream, tantrum and have a good moan. Spreading yoghurt on windows is another favourite. And lipstick. She has a soft spot for lipstick.

Nuff said!

We spend most of our time just cleaning up the trail of destruction she leaves and trying to wipe her down so that she doesn’t look like a neglected child. But she’s happy, I think.

August is doing great too and looking forward to going to school in September. Eeeek, it’s a big step, but she’s ready for it. Her speech too has come on leaps and bounds and there’s been a few moves away from some baby habits, like boppies and night time nappies, that seem to have happened by themselves naturally.

I have never really pushed or enforced removing baby things from my girls just because they’ve reached a certain age. (Like the age of one for example – I think they’re still tiny and it’s mad to take boppies off them, but I know people will argue with me on that one!)

They love their doddies and blankies and while we’re trying to cut down drastically, I still like that they look for their comfort when they come home and they can curl up on the couch and truly relax. You should be able to relax at home, shouldn’t you? Especially when you’re two and four!

I made the realisation today that come the summer when we potty train Bonnie, we’ll be free from nappies (all going to plan!) That’s a big step. And I think it will feel wonderful. I have slowly been getting rid of all our baby things too and am so looking forward to the next stage, which should involve a lot of exploring, playing, crafting and painting, getting messy and learning.

It’s a lovely time in parenting I think. Everything is a wonder. We have a set of fairies who have moved into the stairs and they get prayed to most nights. (What God?!) Going to the playground is enough excitement in a day. Playing outside on bikes and discovering the joy of co-play with neighbours is setting them alight. I feel lucky to be able to spend all this time with them as a stay at home Mam and even though they wont’ remember any of it, I will.

Having said all that, I am looking forward to getting back to work soon and have been actively interviewing for new roles. I hope something will come of it soon. I’m very ready to throw myself into new projects and get back to the marketing work I love. And I feel ready for a new challenge and a new routine. Watch this space!

Finally, I’ve made some fantastic progress with some health issues I blogged about here. I don’t want to go into too much detail – I think I’ll save that for another post and I want to see how things progress after treatment has run its course. What I can say is that I finally, finally got to see a fabulous consultant and we have a preliminary diagnosis of what seems to be a rarish auto immune illness. I have been round the houses with tests, exams and scans, but it seems to fade into the background now as I’ve started to feel well again and it looks like everything is manageable and treatable.

Smiling and full of energy after long bout of illness. Ready to rock the world again!

I am so relieved, but most of all I feel vindicated in following and pursuing an answer to all the troubles I had. I will talk about it more in a future post, but for now, all I can say, is, if you don’t feel well, but your tests keep coming back clear, don’t give up until you get answers. It can be easy to dismiss tiredness, aches and pains as just being a stressed out mammy or daddy, but sometimes there can be something else going on. Trust your (leaky) gut and your instincts. (I don’t have leaky gut lol).

That was a very long update, but I hope you managed to read till now and are still interested in following what I’m up to in whatever capacity. All interaction is greatly appreciated in our busy busy worlds.

Till next time, ciao bella.

(Dreaming of holidays in Italy. Hey Netflix, how is your Nanny catalogue looking? I’ve heard of a great new book coming out this summer….)

December Girl is now available on Audio. Visit Amazon or Audible or click on the cover below to download.

December Girl audiobook

5 Comments on I’m back! Like Take That! (only without the Gary Barlow transformation. Sigh)

    • Ha, I think so! How is your system coming along? Working for you I hope. Book 1 is the hardest I think. Definitely : )

  1. Really excited for The Nanny at No. 43! December Girl drew me in from page one and I couldn’t put it down. The thought of leaving the world you created was too much, so as soon as I finished the last page I went right back to chapter one. When I finally emerged to rejoin the three dimensional people, I admit to being a little disoriented at finding myself in my same old living room. I dunno…maybe I was expecting to be standing alongside the River Boyne or something.

    I’m so very glad you’re feeling better. The symptoms you described all sounded like what a young mom might dismiss as being part of the parenting experience, but could actually be far more serious. Alarm bells went off in my head, so hearing that you’re proactively pursuing health care is wonderful. Fibromyalgia, lupus, Guilliane-Barre, and other autoimmune issues frequently go undiagnosed at first because they’re tricky to pin down. You’re smart to recognize that something other than motherhood is going on. Keep at it! And make sure that each of your doctors has a list of every medication (OTC and Rx) and supplement you’re taking, even vitamins. Yes, free advice is worth what you pay for it, but we moms never seem to stop giving it anyway.

    Your girls are beautiful, and they sound like hilarious little characters. If Little Bonnie Bossy Boots had ever played with my daughter Louisa the world would have probably shattered. Lulu was a force to be reckoned with at two, and at 19 she’s even more headstrong. One day we’ll ALL be working for Bonnie and Lulu. I only hope they offer better terms of employment than they currently do…

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