Monday, 5 August 2013


There is a lot happening in my world these days and I am torn between this, that and the other, busy as busy can be(e). I am having fun reading the stories sent in for my guest editorship of The Stinging Fly. 330 flash stories and 262 longer stories were subbed for the issue so there is a ton of reading to do. There are some absolute gems among the stories - my 'YES' pile is enormous and it is going to be very difficult to trim that down.

I fly out to Delaware in the USA in 10 days or so for a writers' conference run by writer friend Billie Travilini whom I meet at the International Short Story Conference every two years. I have been to lots of cool places in the States and, much as I love NY etc., it is always fascinating to visit smaller, more obscure places like Lewes,a sweet coastal town dubbed 'the first town in the first State'. And it's wonderful to experience these places in the company of other writers.

Other than that I am finishing Novel #3, editing  Novel #2 and prepping for the publication of Of Dublin and Other Fictions - my chapbook of short-shorts/flash that is being published in the USA in September. Cover art has now been secured - I can't wait to reveal it. It is by a Donegal-resident Spanish artist and it is both witty and pretty. The chapbook launch takes place in San Francisco at the American Conference for Irish Studies.

I also had a very productive meeting with the New Island team last week to discuss Novel #2 which will be out next spring. We still haven't locked down the title - I want to use an adapted quote from a poem as the title so I am awaiting permission from Harper Collins in the USA. I got a friendly email from them last week (from an Irish employee!) so I have all fingers crossed that it works out. Again, I hope to reveal the title for that shortly. As the novel is mostly set in Scotland, I have been planning the launch - think whiskey and shortbread and lots of tartan :)

Novel #2 features a paperweight that becomes central to the plot. I own that paperweight and today my friend the photographer Úna Spain is going to photograph it with a view to it being used as cover art for the book. I can't wait to see the images and send them on to New Island to consider.

Also Salt, who published my story collection Nude, have given me permission to digitize the book. I thought it would be a very simple process (it's not really - lots of formatting issues) so my lovely husband has taken over that task and is working on it. Nude for Kindle available very soon! And at a special introductory price.

It's all good.

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