Thursday, 27 March 2008

Oh my oh my

It is a cruel fact of my life that I regularly get ignored when it comes to the major literary awards - each year I wait by the phone, but always the Nobel or the Booker or the Orange Prize for Women's Fiction passes me by. But swell to report I'm in at least with a shout of a rather nice one - The Bisto Book of the Year Awards shortlist was announced this week, and my Titanic 2020 is one of ten books selected by Children's Books Ireland to be considered. They are presented annually in recognnition of excellence in writing and illustration, at least that's what it says on their website. Rather exciting. The winner is announced towards the end of May. The very night I heard that I'd been shortlisted I was making the dinner, opened the larder door, and a container of Bisto fell out, hit the deck, and spilled everywhere. This is surely a sign? But a sign of what? And if I do win, will I have to turn the Titanic into a gravy boat?

Friday, 14 March 2008

UTV Life!

.....and so the whirl surrounding the publication of a new book continues. Well, it's not quite a whirl, more like a stiff breeze. Or just a breeze. Or maybe just some cool air. Nevertheless, whatever it is, it continues. I'm appearing on UTV Life tonight on (naturally enough) UTV sometime between 5.30 and 6 pm, making this news item totally irrelevent to those of you who have proper jobs. Anyhoo, that's where I'll be, in my new suit, 'n all. Also due to appear on Ireland's TV3 on or around March 25th.


The first film I ever wrote, and still possibly my favourite, was a short called 'Jumpers'. It was directed by Konrad Jaye and produced by Mark Huffam and starred Jimmy Nesbitt in a tale of suicide and Santa Claus. This was an incredible.....what, 12 years ago? Anyway, the film has now resurfaced, and if you have Itunes you can actually download it to your computer, Ipod etc. Only costs a couple of dollars and it will give you hours of wonderful fun, or indeed, minutes.

Waterford bound

If you're in the Waterford area, or indeed in the Ireland area, and are extremely bored, I'm appearing at the Sean Sunne Writer's Festival in the town on April 6th. Sean was an acclaimed poet who died tragically young.

Orpheus: We Have Lift Off

Many thanks to all those who turned up to toast the launch of 'Orpheus Rising' last night at No Alibis in Belfast. My, that Stella beer is rather strong. I didn't actually read any of the book last night - it's hard to find a passage that makes sense in small chunks - so instead read from the NEXT book, which is 'Mystery Man', and which I literally finished yesterday afternoon. Those who have been following these reports will know that I'm actually setting the book in a mystery book shop called 'No Alibis' - a FICTIONAL version of the real place. Nevertheless it's great fun to watch owner David Torrance squirm as i read! The new stuff seemed to go down well and it was good to see a lot of familiar faces. And some new ones. 'Orpheus Rising' is in many ways a much more serious book than normal; 'Mystery Man', I suspect, will give a new meaning to the term 'politically incorrrect'. But you'll have to wait and see.....

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Orpheus Rising .....published!

The new novel, Orpheus Rising, was published this week folks. The one with the big pink shark on the cover. Hard to miss. Although you will if you order books through due to an administrative foul up the book has failed to appear there at all. Hopefully this will be rectified in the very near future.
Meanwhile, if you live anywhere near Belfast, you're invited to come and help launch the blessed thing at No Alibis bookstore in Botanic Avenue on Thursday, March 13 at 7 pm.