Blowing my own trumpet

On a recent visit to Amsterdam for a reading event, I had cause to do a search for myself on Google Netherlands. (It was for a purely pragmatic reason – honest! I needed to check the cover price of my latest book, Prosperity Drive, just out in paperback). Imagine my surprise when I discovered that, according […]

Red-letter royalties

The day that Donal Ryan, above – winner of the Guardian First Book Prize and the European Union Prize for Literature – announced that he was quitting full-time writing and returning to his job in the civil service was a red-letter day for me. Not because of Donal’s announcement, but because on that day I […]

Step away from the Princess

Am I the only Carrie Fisher fan who’ll remember her, not for her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars – a film I’ve never seen – but for her writing? Particularly her fiction. I haven’t read her most recent memoir, The Princess Diarist, which charts her sudden leap into the limelight at the age […]

The final remembering

As the 1916 centenary year draws to a close, I’ll be discussing my novel The Rising of Bella Casey as part of a panel discussion entitled “Remembering the Rising” at the Source Library and Arts Centre in Thurles, Co Tipperary,  this Thursday evening (November 24) at 7pm. The event is free and open to the public. […]

The pitfalls of underestimation

A charlatan, the media said, a ranting clown, a demagogue. And who were they talking about?  Not Trump in 2016, as it happens, but Hitler in the early 1930s. There are always parallels in history, and lessons if we care to look, and these observations from an article in the  Guardian in November 2007 by Sir […]

The two Es come to UCC

I’m delighted to announce that two of the writers I most admire will read together in the first of University College Cork’s School of English reading series. Between them, they have charted the female – and Irish – experience in five different genres over 40 years. Ireland Professor of Poetry, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, and the […]

Being 59

A survey conducted by the Department for Work and Pensions in the UK found that most people believe that old age starts at 59, while youth ends at 41. Last week – September 27, to be exact – I reached the age my father was when he died – 59 years, 8 months and 2 […]