Friday 1 June 2018


I've decided to wind down Women Rule Writer after 11 years of blogging. It's been lovely but, as blogland has become a bit of a graveyard, I'm done here, at least. Thanks to all my readers and commenters across the years.

I have a new website and there's a blog there which I will update from time to time. It's here.

Ciao. Slán. Farewell and thank you 😗

Sunday 27 May 2018


Cover reveal! The UK and Ireland edition of Becoming Belle.. It is now available to order on Go here.

Sunday 22 April 2018


Busy doesn't even nibble at the edges of where I am just now, so here's a round-up of where to find me this week:


Monday 23rd, Cabra Library, 6.30pm: The Long Gaze Back One City One Book event with Eimear Ryan, Susan Stairs and Sinéad Gleeson.


Tuesday 24th, Town Hall Theatre, Galway. Reading my flash 'Pearl' at the launch of ROPES.

Wednesday 25th, Charlie Byrne's Bookshop. Launching three new Salmon poetry collections by the fabulous trio that are Moya Roddy, Paul Kingsnorth and Anne Casey.

Thursday 26th, Bite Club, Galway. Reading from my story 'The Boy from Petropólis' at the launch of the brand new Stinging Fly anthology.

Friday 13 April 2018


This starred review of Becoming Belle will appear in the Library Journal in the USA this weekend. VERY happy with it!

O’Connor, Nuala. Becoming Belle. Putnam. Aug. 2018. 384p. ISBN 9780735214408. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780735214422. F

In 1897, Isabel Bilton dreams of leaving her home at a Hampshire military base for London. The oldest daughter of a British officer and his formidable wife, Isobel struggles against the familial and social expectations that diminish her. At 19, she fulfills her ambition to go to the capital, where she becomes Belle Bilton, star of the London stage. Though she relishes the nontraditional artistic and social freedoms offered by city life, Belle still has to contend with people who seem compelled to control her. This remains a theme throughout her life, even after she marries the dashing Irish aristocrat William Trench, Viscount Dunlo. Their marriage scandalizes Trench’s family and London society. Undeterred by malicious legal action and the threats of disinheritance, William and Belle relocate to the Trench family demesne in Ireland, their romance triumphant. VERDICT As with her debut, Miss Emily, O’Connor offers a stunning historical reimagining. Her eye for details, including Victorian dress, food, and technology, enhance her mastery of character and inner dialog.

[See Prepub Alert, 2/26/18.]—John G. Matthews, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman

Thursday 5 April 2018


Next Wednesday, 11th April at 7pm, Lia Mills and I will be at Tallaght Library to read and talk about #TheLongGazeBack as part of the #OneCityOneBookcelebrations. Book here.

Monday 26 March 2018


I'm just back from Cáceres in Spain, and am busily catching up on a hundred emails, a bit of writing, housework, cat-cuddling etc. I was over there to teach a couple of CW classes at the University of Extramadura - my friend Carolina Amador teaches there in the Departamento de Filologia Inglesa - she's a Hiberno-English expert. She had me over to talk to her classes about my story 'Storks', which is set in Cáceres (inspired by my previous trip to that beautiful city) and also to talk about my novel Miss Emily. Her students were great - really engaged and bright; I had a great time speaking with them.

I was put up in a stunning little boutique hotel on the main square, Hotel la Boheme which is decorated in a Moorish style, it's all salvaged tiles, gold sinks, wooden shutters and Moroccan lampshades. Glorious.

We managed to squash in two great museum visits around a hectic schedule of teaching and socialising with Carolina and her family (our daughters are friends too). We saw an exhib of Picasso's sketches at the beautiful Fundacion Mercedes Calles in the old town. I'm Picasso mad so it was a joy to see recognisable sketches that later became paintings.

Museo Vostell

Carolina also brought us out to Malpartida, to the Museo Vostell, one of the most eccentric and wonderful museums I've been to. A German man bought an abandoned sheep farm and woollen mill and turned it into a gallery for his own modern art and that of his friends, including Yoko Ono. It's a treasure trove of bizarre installations - think cars that rake the ground and rockets fashioned from vehicles and chunks of welded metal.

Cáceres is a bit of a hidden gem - it's 3 hours from Madrid, near the border with Portugal, and it's a gorgeous mix of old and new. It thrilled me - again - to see the huge nesting storks all over the place; to walk the cobbled alleys of the old town; to enjoy delicious cava and Rioja at insanely low prices, as well as local cheese and tapas; to go into the ancient churches and watch them prepare their Easter procession floats. Having friends who live in Cáceres is such a bonus. No doubt we'll be back.

Saturday 17 March 2018


Lá fhéile Pádraig faoi mhaise. Happy St Patrick's Day! Here's the draw for the copy of YOU. Apols for the delay!

All the names in the St Paddy's day crock:

And the winner is...Grace Song AKA Annette Seifert. Get in touch with your address, Annette, to nuala AT Congrats!!