Friday, August 31, 2012


This day next month, all being well and places being filled, we'll have had our first session of The Anatomy of Writing Successful Fiction - Plots & Plans in Carysfort Campus on Wednesday 26 September. It's part of UCD's Adult education programme

The more I think about this course, the more pleased I am that over the year from September to May we will have the opportunity to complete and self-edit a work of long fiction. Of course, that's for those attending who wish to achieve that. Others may just want to write short pieces or short stories and feel their way along the many pathways of writing.

One aspect of these Wednesday mornings I'm sure of is that the combustive power of the group will benefit anyone even remotely interested in writing. You can' get but be caught up in the heady joy of creating...

So until the 26th of next month at 10 o'clock....

Thursday, August 23, 2012


There's little more pleasant than discovering an on-line connection, espectally if it comes unexpectedly and out of the blue.

Today I came across Kirsty Stonell Walker, art historian, based in the UK with a fascination for 19th century artists and their women. She's particularly interested in Kathleen Newton, of course the subject of my last book titled A Type of Beauty, the story of Kathleen Newton who lived from 1854 to 1882, now available as a Kindle edition.

Kirsty has a great blogsite, with wonderful illustrations but it was quite impossible for me to prove I wasn't a robot - those letters are completely indecipherable!! And so I couldn't leave a complimentary comment.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


These days there's little good publishing news on the writing grapevine. Money is tight; agents aren't taking on new authors and publishers aren't willing to gamble on sales from unproven writers.

But writers are still writing and unknowns continue to polish their skills.

Out of the blue comes Irish Penguin flapping excitedly. The publishing giant suffered all summer when sales of their 49 bestsellers plummeted while erotic best seller Fifty Shades of Grey and its follow-ups dominated the holiday sales market. Here it has to be said that Penguin's e-book sales have grown by  a formidable 33%. Basking in that success it determined to capitalise on the lucrative Christmas market. With this in mind it commissioned blush fiction writers Eileen Gormley and Caroline McCall to pen a blockbuster that would knock Fifty Shades... off its perch.

The two Irish writers who are primarily published in e-format by USA publishers holed up both together and separately. They wrote and wrote. Within a few weeks and on time they delivered the 95k manuscript which is due out in November. The title is believed to be The Pleasures of Winter...

What more could we want??? - Writers' Blog: E-BOOK JOY, AT LAST - Writers' Blog: E-BOOK JOY, AT LAST:   A Type of Beauty, the story of Kathleen Newton  is now available in a Kindle edition that I'm proud of, not that I can take much credit as...


 A Type of Beauty, the story of Kathleen Newton is now available in a Kindle edition that I'm proud of, not that I can take much credit as its professional look is thanks to, the company run by Diana & Matt Horner.

Having self-published A Type of Beauty - well with the help of a UK publishing consultancy, the next logical step was to have it available as a Kindle edition. I duly adapted the pdf version and downloaded it and the cover. Inside it looked a mess and didn't sell well, whereas I am consistently delighted with sales of the paperback.

But now...e-hope is riding high as both mobi and epub editions make it available even more worldwide than previously.

Friday, August 10, 2012


It's that time of the year again. And I've never known it to come around so quickly.

On Monday, yes that is Monday 13 August booking for UCD's Adult Education courses opens. So for anyone interested in writing that novel that has been running around in your head for as long as you can remember, now is the time to book the course titled: Anatomy of Writing Successful Fiction. 

We're in Carysfort Campus on Wednesday mornings. We're going for the three terms: autumn term covers Plotting & Planning; in the Spring we're refining People & Places and best of all we've a few golden weeks in the summer term to edit and get the completed - yes, completed - novels of course participants out to agents, publishers, e-book conveners, whatever. But out there and being read is the name of the writing game.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


UCD's Adult Education Programme 2012-  arrived today  in the post, with 'Opening Worlds' as its tagline. It's thicker than ever, crammed with all sort of wonderful courses that will open participants' minds to unlimited possibilities. That's what I love about adult education - truly the syndrome of lifelong learning.

This year I've a new course titled Anatomy of Writing Successful Fiction with focus over the 3 terms interlinked and complimentary, running from September to May. My idea is that those attending Carysfort Campus on Wednesday mornings from 10 o'clock to noon - coffee break too - will end the year with a book, if they so wish.

Yes, a completed book. But participants will have to work as novels don't write themselves!!!

Over the first term we're looking at Plotting & Planning, the current trend in publishing being away from primarily character-led fiction and into page-turning plot. But as writers we can't get away from Characters and setting various scenes in the right Locations adds immensely to any story; so over the second term our title is People & Places. And I am delighted to be able to tell all of you who so often ask - we've a few intensive weeks of Editing in the third term.