Friday, October 1, 2010


There’s something rather nice about autumn, the days growing shorter and the nights longer – more suitable weather for writing and reading than the long hot days of summer.

As well as starting back into the season's schedule of writing workshops with UCD’s Adult Education Programme, I’m involved in INKWell’s day long seminar on Self Publishing later in the month and when I leave Killiney Castle I've to hotfoot it to the airport to catch plane to Manchester for Historical Novel Conference. Oline writing courses and editing is going well.

All in all writing life is good. But if only I could get more time to work on my latest novel! I'm not complaining - so glad to have work rolling in and in these dire economic times, work that pays. The administration for this of necesity has to take precedence. Daily, I just about manage either this 2 hours that I promote or the 1000 words.

I am particularly delighted that UCD’s three courses which run until April will facilitate anyone who seriously wants to work on a full length work. The autumn course: The Nuts & Bolts of Writing is a start-off course for beginner writers and a continuation for those with little or large experinece; also it will give general information on writing, avoiding pitfalls and keeping manuscript moving. Spring 2011 has two titles: The Plot Thickens and Building Story People – Creating Characters. So there is ample opportunity to have a completed draft! Stephen King says that no first draft should take longer than a season to write. further info: or (

While having a glorious few days break in Villefranche, I read Molly Fox’s Birthday by Deirdre Madden – the structure put me in mind of Joyce’s Ulysses in that it takes place over one day; and The Secret Life of Bees which I’d resisted for months despite receiving presents of two copies. Why had I resisted reading an international bestseller? Simply because I wasn’t hooked by the title. What’s in title? A lot. Booksellers look for draw-in titles and kerb appeal covers. Molly Fox is wonderful – a must read.

The biggie in tomorrow's diary is Jonathan Franzen’s reading and interview by Hugo Hamilton (a perfect choice as interviewer) of Franzen’s latest book Freedom. Caps off to Bert Wright, Events Curator DLR Library Voices Series for the making international writers accessible to Irish audiences. Kevin Power reviewing Freedom in The Irish Times says, it might be even better than his breakthrough novel The Corrections. I bought Corrections as a Christmas gift for my brother, started flicking through it and stayed up a whole night to gallop read - the hair stood up on the back of my neck as I read that scene about forced feeding.

Enjoy these golden autumn days...

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