Saturday, April 22, 2006

Spring Podcast

The second podcast I did for Mythic Journeys is now up on the web. See I am blathering away about leprechauns, St Patrick, saving Tara, and other green stuff. The interview ends with a toe-tapping song from the Three Weird Sisters about fairies dancing in Tennessee.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Door Opens

After months of note-taking, research, fiddling, and foostering, I was climbing into bed the other night and the first sentence of the new version of The Light-Bearer's Daughter wound through my mind. Now it is coming thick and fast. Today, walking down the town to get large sheets of paper to chart the storylines, I had entire conversations, important tweaks, and lyrical phrases jostling for memory space. No pen or notebook on hand to record! Had to simply remember that I had four things to fix when I got home. So now it is looking like I will make my May end deadline. Truth is ... these revisions are killing me. I have never worked at this pace before. My poor brain. And, really, give me another ten years and they might be as good as the vision I hold of them. But it's just not possible. Perfection doesn't exist in this realm (though it surely does in others) and one simply has to accept that a book ... and a series ... will be as good as it can be and then let it go.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Me Oul Flower

This is my dear friend, Bernie Morris, 1949-1998, former President of the Armagh Association of New York, to whom I dedicated the US version of The Hunter’s Moon. I first met him when I was 16, at a cĂ©ili in NYC, above the Old Shieling. That was the beginning of a friendship which lasted until he died. We shared a birthday, a passion for Irish dancing and music, a visit to Cardinal O Fiaich in his palace in Armagh, a love of parties, and a propensity for the drink (before I quit). In his younger days, he hired out his own "Rent-a-Crowd" for Irish-American social functions, both private and business. The crowd included musicians, dancers, singers, and party-people led by Bernie, a modern-day madcap Bacchus. He was a cultural entrepreneur, a wheeler-dealer, a Yank with a big cigar in his mouth, a rapscallion, even a hellion at times, full of mischief and fun. I am heartsore that he will not be there when I tour America this year. Such a hooley we would have had!

Friday, April 14, 2006

First Reviews

Hurrah - two favourable early reviews for the new edition of The Summer King due out next month in the USA and UK. One appears in the fine literary journal, Kirkus. The other is my favourite. ALA's Booklist says "magnificently detailed magic" and "moves breathlessly between ever enfolding worlds—mortal and immortal, primordial and modern."Also, "readers will be easily caught by the continuous, heart-pounding suspense; the twists and romances; and the heroine, who is both a grieving, contemporary teen and an invincible rescuer of worlds." Thank you very much, Gillian Engberg. I am somewhat relieved as these reviews are based on the uncorrected galley proofs which were, in fact, a dog's breakfast. They were missing necessary italics throughout, and I was still tweaking the manuscript itself right up to the final printer's copy!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Herbie Brennan Blog

As I mention in my personal blog, I had a wonderful lunch with Herbie Brennan (Faerie Wars, The Purple Emperor) on Friday in County Carlow. We had decided we should meet before our panel discussion at the Children's Books Ireland Summer School next month (see below). One of the results of that meeting was that I convinced Herbie to blog! You can check him out in Bloggerland by reaching his site at and clicking on the tab at the bottom of the page, or go directly to the blog at It's always a pleasure to welcome a new blogger!

Friday, April 07, 2006


At last I got my act together to organise my page for the CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators, and Performers) website -- see Thank you Peter Cook, venerable Canscaip webmaster, for making it happen. Instead of a bio, there's a little story from my childhood and it is true, no matter what Richard Scrimger says. His bio is funnier, though, so do have a look. In fact, check out the various members pages - click Members and you get the list - and have a look at what Canada has to offer.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Green Blogs

Just got my notice that this book blog has been approved for listing in the directory. The name is self-explanatory, so if you want to peruse blogs from Ireland and/or of Irish content do check them out. I'm under the categories of Art, Education, and Literature. For some reason my personal blog didn't make the grade, but there you are: many are called, but only some are chosen.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

From Charlotte Bronte

The writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he [she] is not always master -- something that at times strangely wills and works for itself.