Wednesday, 10 February 2016


I am Italy-bound again, which is pretty fabulous. If you know anyone in Florence (or its environs) who might like this event, please let them know. I can't wait. All I am thinking is A Room With a View, a book I fell in love with as a teenager. Will have to re-read it on this trip. Wheee!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016


I'm judging this year's Fish Publishing One Page Story Prize. 300 words. Closes: 28th February. More here.

Monday, 8 February 2016


Pic from the MtoS website
Dónal Ryan and I are appearing together at the Mountains to Sea Festival on Sat. 12th March at 1pm. Deets here.

Monday, 1 February 2016


Kilkenny this weekend to teach a novel writing course. It's sold out but there is a waiting list, I do believe. Contact Mary here.

Friday, 29 January 2016

A hen reviews *Miss Emily*

A hen has written a review of Miss Emily. A hen called Ms. Hen. It's an odd review, to say the least.

A sample: 'Ms. Hen thinks there’s a possibility Miss Emily would die many times over if she read Nuala O’Connor’s novel. But Ms. Hen doesn’t know. Nobody knows what Emily Dickinson would think because not much is known about her.'

See? Odd. Plenty is known about Emily Dickinson. Perhaps Ms. Hen should do her homework. And how exactly does one 'die many times over'?

The rest of it is here if you could be bothered.

Monday, 25 January 2016


Tins of shortbread in a shop window

I had a lovely Miss Emily event, with chairperson/interviewer Sasha de Buyl-Pisco, at the Central Library in Edinburgh on Thursday. Had a warm welcome from Bronwen at the library, the event was well attended, and the audience were very lively and engaged.

Edinburgh is such a fantastic city, so ancient and beautifully laid out and designed; I always love going there. Our trip basically consisted of walking, rummaging for glass, books and ceramics in charity shops, and eating cake. (We had Earl Grey Cake!) Heaven for me, pretty much.

We were midly cultural: we went to an exhib about diseases in the National Library, called 'Plague!', and another about famous Scottish people (mostly men, it must be said.) And we explored some churches. But it was mainly cake. And walking.

A few pics:

St Cuthbert's graveyard with the castle above

Swedish pastry in Peter's Yard, Stockbridge - yum...

Burns Night goodies, Stockbridge

This had us in stitches - the Ladybird Book of the Hipster - in a hipster café

Greyfriars Bobby - sat by his master's grave for 14 years. Patient dog.

Patisserie Valerie goodies - we had brekky here one morning

Sunlight on Bow Street

The Bow Bar - pub we adjourned to after the event, cosy and small

We stayed in the Grassmarket so were up and down Bow Street,
and in and out of its fab shops, a lot

Deacon Brodie's on the Royal Mile
Sasha and me, at the Miss Emily event in the Central Library

Smiling Sasha :)

It rained a bit, but when you are somewhere so lovely, it doesn't matter.