Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Publication: BOOKS TO DIE FOR, edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke

I’m delighted to announce that BOOKS TO DIE FOR is now available in trade paperback. An award-winning collection of essays on the great crime / mystery novels, penned by the great contemporary crime / mystery authors, BTDF was described by the Washington Post as “As good a collection of short essays on crime fiction as one is likely to find.” To wit:
The world’s most beloved mystery writers celebrate their favourite mystery novels in this gorgeously wrought collection, featuring essays by Michael Connelly, Kathy Reichs, Ian Rankin, and more. In the most ambitious anthology of its kind, the world’s leading mystery writers come together to champion the greatest mystery novels ever written. In a series of personal essays that reveal as much about the authors and their own work as they do about the books that they love, over a hundred authors from twenty countries have created a guide that will be indispensable for generations of readers and writers. From Agatha Christie to Lee Child, from Edgar Allan Poe to P. D. James, from Sherlock Holmes to Hannibal Lecter and Philip Marlowe to Lord Peter Wimsey, Books to Die For brings together the best of the mystery world for a feast of reading pleasure, a treasure trove for those new to the genre and for those who believe that there is nothing new left to discover. This is the one essential book for every reader who has ever finished a mystery novel and thought … I want more!
  For all the details, clickety-click here

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Irish Crime Fiction: Whither the Traditional Whodunnit?

John Curran reviewed TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS (New Island) for the Irish Times last weekend, and concluded his review with a glowing recommendation: “[T]his collection can be confidently recommended to anyone who reads any type of crime fiction. They will find something to tease and tantalise their inner detective.”
  However, Curran, one of the world’s foremost scholars on Agatha Christie, pointed out a notable absence in a collection that covers, “with one exception, the entire crime spectrum.” To wit:
“This is a personal disappointment: despite the wide variety of story types here there is no traditional whodunnit. Not necessarily a Miss-Scarlett-in-the- library-with-the-spanner exercise, but is a variation thereon too much to ask?”
  Curran goes on to say that, “Admittedly, there is little or no tradition of this type of writing in this country.” This is true, but given the fact that Irish crime writing is still a relatively new literary phenomenon, the same could be said of virtually every other kind of story represented in the anthology.
  So: whither the traditional whodunnit in Irish crime fiction?
  It’s possible, of course, that some authors commissioned to contribute to the anthology who might have written a traditional mystery chose otherwise, given that the writers were offered the freedom of a blank slate, and some opted to write a different kind of story than they might usually do. It’s also true, I think, that some writers who have recently debuted – Jo Spain springs to mind, as does Andrea Carter – have written novels in the traditional whodunnit vein, and may have contributed that kind of story had they been commissioned.
  Overall, though, I think John Curran makes a very good point: the traditional whodunnit mystery has been largely notable by its absence over the last three decades of Irish crime writing. Is that because, as Fintan O’Toole once suggested, our historically small population and tightly-knit communities lent themselves to an almost immediate identification of a crime’s perpetrator, and thus whydunnits rather than whodunnits? Is it because Irish writers have largely, if not exclusively, tended to look to the American rather than British model of classic crime / mystery fiction? Or is it – a flight of fancy – a post-colonial hangover, and the ingrained, subconscious fear of being denounced as a spy or collaborator for fingering a perpetrator to the perfidious authorities?
  Naturally, it’s very difficult to offer any definitive answers. I’d imagine that very few writers sit down to write a book with the above questions in mind; every book is a personal response to a unique set of motives. Perhaps the traditional mystery story will belatedly come into vogue in Irish crime writing (I would argue that Cora Harrison’s novels already fall into this category), and perhaps Joanne Spain and Andrea Carter are already in the vanguard. If so, it’s a new direction to be welcomed, and one that will add another layer to the depth and breadth of Irish crime writing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

News: the Irish Book Awards’ Crime Fiction Shortlist

White smoke billows, the bells ring out, trumpets parp, etc. – the shortlists for the Irish Book Awards have been announced, and the nominations for the Crime Fiction Award look a lot like this:
Crime Fiction Award
Distress Signals – Catherine Ryan Howard (Corvus)
Little Bones – Sam Blake (Bonnier Zaffre)
Lying In Wait – Liz Nugent (Penguin Ireland)
The Constant Soldier – William Ryan (Mantle)
The Drowning Child – Alex Barclay (HarperCollins)
The Trespasser – Tana French (Hachette Ireland)
  Those of you with long memories will remember that I suggested a shortlist about a month ago; of that list (of five books), there are two books on the actual shortlist – Tana French’s THE TRESPASSER and Liz Nugent’s LYING IN WAIT – but there’s no place for Alan Glynn’s PARADIME, Adrian McKinty’s RAIN DOGS or Stuart Neville’s SO SAY THE FALLEN. I did suggest that Sam Blake and Catherine Ryan Howard might well make the shortlist, although I wrote off William Ryan’s excellent THE CONSTANT SOLDIER on the basis that it’s not a crime novel. As has been the case in recent years, the IBA has made a virtue of shortlisting debut authors (two), and there are three previous winners on the list in Alex Barclay, Tana French and Liz Nugent. As I also suggested on my shortlist prediction, women writers have continued the trend of previous years by dominating yet again, with five of the six nominations. Hearty congratulations to all those nominated, and the very best of luck; meanwhile, commiserations to all of those who weren’t shortlisted: 2016 really was a very strong year for Irish crime fiction.
  Meanwhile, a special mention for Jane Casey, whose brilliantly chilling ‘Green, Amber, Red’ – from the TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS collection – was shortlisted in the Short Story of the Year category. To wit:
Short Story of the Year
Here We Are – Lucy Caldwell (Faber)
K-K-K – Lauren Foley (Ol Society – Australia)
The Visit – Orla McAlinden (Sowilo Press)
Green Amber Red – Jane Casey (New Island)
The Birds of June – John Connell (Granta Magazine)
What a River Remembers of its Course – Gerard Beirne (Numero Cinq Magazine)
  For the full list of shortlists and nominations, clickety-click here

Monday, October 24, 2016

Event: Anthony J. Quinn and William Ryan at No Alibis

Belfast’s dedicated crime fiction bookstore No Alibis will host ‘An Evening with Anthony Quinn and William Ryan’ on November 4th, which promises to be a fascinating event. To wit:
An Evening with Anthony Quinn and William Ryan

Friday, November 4 at 6:30 PM

No Alibis
83 Botanic Avenue, BT7 1, Belfast


Anthony Quinn is an Irish writer and journalist. His debut novel Disappeared was shortlisted for a Strand Literary Award in the United States. It was also listed by Kirkus Reviews as one of the top ten thrillers of 2012. After its UK publication in 2014, Disappeared was selected by the Daily Mail and the Times as one of the best novels of the year. It was also long-listed for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. His short stories have twice been shortlisted for a Hennessy/New Irish Writing award. Anthony will be chatting about and launching his latest Celcius Daley novel, Trespass.

William Ryan is an Irish writer living in London. His first novel, THE HOLY THIEF, was shortlisted for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year, The Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award, The CWA John Creasy New Blood Dagger and a Barry Award. His second novel, THE BLOODY MEADOW, was shortlisted for the Ireland AM Irish Crime Novel of the Year. William teaches on the Crime Writing Masters at City University in London. His latest novel The Constant Soldier has been described by AL Kennedy as “a nuanced, complex and gripping tale of guilt and love that captures the chaos at the end of World War Two”.
  For all the details, clickety-click here

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Event: The ‘Something Wicked’ Crime Fiction Festival at Malahide

Something Wicked, Ireland’s only standalone crime fiction festival, takes place this year from October 28th – 30th, featuring Alex Barclay, Liz Nugent, Arlene Hunt, RenĂ© Gapert, Dave Rudden and Sam Blake. Quoth the blurb elves:
Murder comes to Malahide on the October bank holiday weekend in the form of the Something Wicked Crime Writing Festival, which runs from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th. Over the course of the three days, there will be something for all ages interested in crime, crime fiction and children’s books.

On Friday October 28th a panel of bestselling authors will discuss how they write about murder and violent crime. The panellists are Alex Barclay (Darkhouse, Blood Runs Cold), Sam Blake (Little Bones) and Liz Nugent (Unravelling Oliver, Lying in Wait) and will be hosted by Bert Wright (Administrator of the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards). The event will be held at Malahide Lawn Tennis Club at 7:30pm. Tickets €12.50*/€15 (*early bird)

‘Malahide Murder Morning’ takes place on Saturday Oct 29th. This is a forensics and crime scene workshop where participants will witness the procedures and protocols following the discovery of a dead body. They will also learn how to write authentic crime fiction. The workshop will be led by Forensic Anthropologist RenĂ© Gapert, Deputy State Pathologist Linda Mulligan and Garda Vanessa Stafford, with actor and screen writer Paddy C. Courtney acting as host. Award winning crime novelist Arlene Hunt (Vicious Circle, The Chosen, The Outsider) will complete the line-up, as she discusses how to incorporate the panellists’ information into a crime novel. The three-hour workshop takes place in the Malahide Parish Centre at 10am. Tickets €20*/€25 (*early bird)

Manor Books on Church Road will be the venue for ‘Killer Kids’ at 11am on Sunday October 30th. Bestselling author Dave Rudden (Knights of the Borrowed Dark) will host a workshop for children, who will learn the art of storytelling through the medium of crime fiction. Tickets €5.
  For all the details, clickety-click here.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Publication: IRON MAN: THE GAUNTLET by Eoin Colfer

I’ve spent the last few weeks harping on about the diversity of Irish crime fiction and the way in which Irish writers are happy to explore every nook and cranny of the genre, but it’s fair to say that Eoin Colfer – in this respect, as in most other things – is out there on his own. To date Eoin has penned one of the all-time best-selling YA series with his Artemis Fowl novels; written an instalment in Douglas Adams’ increasingly improbable Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy; a pre-teen private eye novel; books for young children; and comedy caper crime thrillers for adults.
  To cap it all – for now, at least; no doubt there’ll be even more maverick offerings from the Wexford man – Eoin publishes IRON MAN: THE GAUNTLET, in which the Marvel superhero comes to Ireland. To wit:
Tony Stark is known as many things: billionaire, inventor, Avenger, but mainly for being the invincible Iron Man! People expect strength and pizzazz from him at all times and he’s not about to let them down. But when he heads to an international eco-summit, he detects an anomaly off the coast of Ireland. Stark decides to investigate and that’s when the party really starts. Find out how he tackles both inner and outer demons in this all-action adventure from Eoin Colfer, the best-selling author of Artemis Fowl.
  So there you have it. For an excerpt from IRON MAN: THE GAUNTLET, clickety-click here

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS: News and Reviews

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS (New Island) was launched, and the reaction – happily – has been pretty favourable to date.
  First off, hearty congratulations to Jane Casey, whose story ‘Green, Amber, Red’ has been longlisted for the Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. Sponsored by Writing.ie, the shortlist will be announced on October 25th, and if Jane’s chilling story isn’t on it then there’s something very rotten in the state of Denmark.
  Staying with Writing.ie, Hubert O’Hearn writes a very nice appreciation of the anthology, with the gist running thusly:
“Trouble is our Business is a uniformly excellent selection of twenty-four crime stories written by two dozen Irish writers. Not all of them are murder mysteries per se, although some are; not all are identifiably Irish in speech or setting, although again some are. Each one though polishes a different facet of the whole crime writing genre and just as with the wine sampler mentioned above, by the time you are finished reading this anthology you will certainly have discovered at the very least several writers you’ll list for future enjoyment.”
  Over at the Sunday Independent, Hilary White is also very positive about the book, describing it as “One of the essential literary fiction compendiums in Irish publishing this year.” I haven’t found a link to the review to date, but I’ll hoist it here when I do.
  Meanwhile, to coincide with the publication of TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS, there’s been a few pieces published about Irish crime fiction in general. RTE’s new Culture website hosts an imaginatively titled piece called ‘Crime Spraoi’, the Irish Times hosts another on why ‘Irish crime writers are a law unto themselves’, and The Journal.ie interviews John Connolly, Louise Phillips and yours truly on why Irish crime writing is having ‘a killer moment right now’.
  Finally, if you’re in the mood to sample a couple of the stories from TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS, the Irish Times carries Gene Kerrigan’s ‘Cold Cards’, while the RTE Culture website carries Sinead Crowley’s ‘Maximum Protection’. We do hope you enjoy …

Monday, October 17, 2016

Debut: THE GIRL BEHIND THE LENS by Tanya Farrelly

Tanya Farrelly’s debut, THE GIRL BEHIND THE LENS (Killer Reads), is a dark psychological thriller which will be published as an e-book on October 28th and in paperback on December 15th. Quoth the blurb elves:
When every word’s a lie …
  A picture is worth a thousand.
  Oliver Molloy never meant to hurt his wife. It was an accident, not his fault. A respected lawyer, he needs to make sure no-one finds out the truth. But there’s someone watching him, waiting for him to slip up.
  Photography student Joanna Lacey has always been close to her mother. But when Rachel Arnold turns up on her doorstep, Joanna’s world falls apart. The father she never knew has been found in the canal – a married man, now dead.
  Joanna and Oliver’s paths cross when they meet at the funeral. Convinced everyone she loves is lying to her, Joanna turns to him for help. But Oliver is the most dangerous liar of all.
  Can she uncover the truth before the past destroys them both?
  For Tanya Farrelly’s essay on ‘The Fruits of Perseverance’, clickety-click here

Friday, October 14, 2016

One to Watch: HERE AND GONE by Haylen Beck

You’re likely to be hearing a lot about Haylen Beck over the next few months, the debut author of the psychological thriller HERE AND GONE (Harvill Secker), which will be published in April 2017. To wit:
Harvill Secker has acquired a “heart-stopping” standalone psychological thriller Here and Gone by Haylen Beck. The book, said to appeal to fans of Paula Hawkins and Gillian Flynn, is set to be Vintage’s lead thriller next year and will publish in April 2017. It begins on a desolate road in Arizona where Audra is fleeing her abusive husband in the family car. Her children, Sean and Louise, are buckled up in the back. Desperate not to draw attention, Audra is petrified when she is pulled over by the local sheriff. What happens next is every parent’s worst nightmare: one minute her children were here, the next they were gone.
  So why the big fuss about Haylen Beck on a blog dedicated to Irish crime fiction? Well, as the picture above suggests, ‘Haylen Beck’ is none other than our own Stuart Neville. To wit:
The book is said to mark “a thrilling new direction” for Stuart Neville, for whom Haylen Beck is a pseudonym for novels inspired by his love of American crime writing. A second standalone Haylen Beck novel will be published in 2018.
  Nice work, sir. For all the details, including those of the sale of the film rights option, clickety-click here
  For more on Stuart Neville, clickety-click here

Thursday, October 13, 2016

One to Watch: THE CITY IN DARKNESS by Michael Russell

I don’t make a habit of blogging about books I’m still reading but with 100 pages or so still to go, Michael Russell’s THE CITY IN DARKNESS (Constable) is shaping up to be one of the best Irish crime fiction novels I’ve read all year. Quote the blurb elves:
Christmas 1939. In Europe the Phoney War hides carnage to come. In Ireland Detective Inspector Stefan Gillespie keeps tabs on Irishmen joining the British Forces. It’s unpleasant work, but when an IRA raid on a military arsenal sends Garda Special Branch in search of guns and explosives, Stefan is soon convinced his boss, Superintendent Terry Gregory, is working for the IRA.
  At home for Christmas, Stefan is abruptly called to Laragh, an isolated mountain town. A postman has disappeared, believed killed, and Laragh’s Guards are hiding something. Stefan is the nearest Special Branch detective, yet is he only there because Gregory wants him out of the way?
  Laragh is close to the lake where Stefan’s wife Maeve drowned years earlier, and when events expose a connection between the missing postman and her death, Stefan realises it wasn’t an accident, but murder. And it will be a difficult, dangerous journey where Stefan has to finally confront the ghosts of the past in the mountains of Wicklow, before he can return to Dublin and the truth of his boss’s duplicity.
  It’s a beautifully realised historical mystery, a blend of police procedural and spy novel, the story split between WWII Ireland and post-Civil War Spain. THE CITY IN DARKNESS was published on October 3rd; for more on Michael Russell, whose ‘City’ novels have previously been nominated for the CWA awards, clickety-click here

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Publication: THE DEVIL’S LUCK by T.R. Croke

Former Garda detective T.R. Croke publishes his debut novel, THE DEVIL’S LUCK, on November 7th. Quoth the blurb elves:
Detective Kate Bowen is accustomed to dealing with difficult men as she leads Dublin’s Surveillance and Intelligence Unit, and in her disastrous love life.
  But when her team discover ex-IRA stirrings and chatter of an alliance between a rogue group and a Paris-based militant Islamic cell, Kate unearths a tangled conspiracy hiding a vengeful Irish terrorist’s plot. Her investigation leads her into a warren of France’s disenfranchised Muslim youth, a bombing at the BBC proms, and sniping between intelligence agencies that threatens to derail the case.
  And Kate’s boyfriend, the seductive Charlie, isn’t exactly what he seems either. Not by a long shot.
  A police procedural with a gritty female sleuth pitted against an international alliance of the world’s worst terrorists, a pompous MI5 Section Chief seeking glory, with innocents being tortured and slaughtered along the bloodstrewn way.
  For more on T.R. Croke, clickety-click here

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Event: TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS at the Red Line Festival

TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS
An Evening With Ireland’s Finest Crime Writers


Join us for an evening of discussion on Irish crime writing with some of
Ireland’s best crime writers. Author, editor and journalist Declan Burke
will be leading the conversation with Alan Glynn, Declan Hughes and
Alex Barclay to discuss the ins and outs of the crime-writing process, the development of gripping plots and characters, as well as the past and present of Irish crime writing. Perfect for crime fiction fans and aspiring authors, it’s sure to be a wonderful evening! In association with New Island Books.

Date: Wednesday 12th October
Time: 8pm
Venue: Civic Theatre, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Price: €8/€6
BOOK NOW

Event: Declan Hughes and Alan Glynn on Raymond Chandler

I do hope the good burghers of Waterford know what they’ve let themselves in for by inviting Declan Hughes and Alan Glynn to take part in the Imagine Arts festival later this month – the deadly duo will be discussing Raymond Chandler (right), a topic which could easily take them well into Advent. To wit:
At the 15th annual Imagine Arts festival in Waterford this October, Irish crime writers Alan Glynn and Declan Hughes will read from their work and discuss the influence of Raymond Chandler on their writing and on contemporary crime fiction. This event will take place in partnership with the Irish Writers Centre as the Imagine Festival commemorates the memory of Raymond Chandler and his close connection with Waterford.
  This free event takes place at Waterford’s St Patrick’s Gateway Centre on October 23rd. For all the details, clickety-click here

Monday, October 10, 2016

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” Ruth Downie

Yep, it’s rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...

What crime novel would you most like to have written?
Right now, Jasper Fforde’s THE EYRE AFFAIR. Especially the part where the bookworms go wild and splatter the dialogue with apostrophes.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Is it too weird to say Mark Watney from The Martian? Only if someone could promise it would all work out in the end, obviously. But he’s incredibly clever and resourceful, which would be a welcome change from real life.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
OK, I confess – I’m currently reading the first Poldark.

Most satisfying writing moment?
The moment when, after staring in horror at a huge plot hole, you find something earlier in the book that could be used to plug it.

If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?
Stuart Neville’s THE TWELVE / THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
As I was saying just now … (it isn’t a movie and I’ve missed it, is it?)

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst – having to climb the mountain of self-doubt every day. Best – being able to do it in your slippers.

The pitch for your next book is …?
What if the friend you’re trying to rescue really did murder his wife?

Who are you reading right now?
Winston Graham. (You only asked that so I’d have to admit to Poldark again, didn’t you?) That’s the bedtime book. The current audiobook is Mark Billingham’s THE BURNING GIRL, and the bath book is a children’s story by SJA Turney and Dave Slaney called CROCODILE LEGION.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Read. That’s where it all begins.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Better After Editing.

Ruth Downie’s VITA BREVIS is published by Bloomsbury.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review: THE DROWNING CHILD by Alex Barclay

Alex Barclay’s series heroine, FBI Special Agent Ren Bryce, generally operates out of Denver, but The Drowning Child (Harper) finds Ren relocated to the Oregon town of Tate, where 12-year-old Caleb Veir has gone missing. What begins as a standard investigation for the Child Abduction Rapid Deployment team becomes increasingly sinister, however, as Ren discovers that a number of children have died in mysterious circumstances in Tate, most of them by way of drowning. Complicating matters is Ren’s messy personal life, particularly the overwhelming guilt she feels for causing the deaths of her friends and colleagues in the ‘monumental horror’ of her previous case, Killing Ways (2015). Ren Bryce becomes a more compelling character with each successive novel (this is her sixth outing), hardboiled and professional on the outside but – courtesy of Ren’s unfiltered internal monologue – crippled with self-doubt and loathing on the inside. She’s also irreverent, insolent and endearingly self-deprecating, such as when she compares herself to the iconic Clarice Starling: “No screaming lambs, but lots of fucking voices.” Central to the appeal of The Drowning Child, however, is Barclay’s depiction of small-town America, a sharply observed valley of squinting windows that turns a blind eye to the perverse sickness at its very heart. ~ Declan Burke

  This review was first published in the Irish Times in the crime fiction review column. Other titles reviewed are the new books from Carl Hiaasen, Sophie Hannah, Peter Spiegelman and Thomas Rydahl.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Reviews: ‘Queens of Irish Crime Writing’

The inimitable Myles McWeeney – long a friend of Irish crime writing – reviews three current releases under the title of ‘Queens of Irish Crime Writing’ in the Irish Independent. To wit:
Multi-award-winning writers like Tana French, Alex Barclay and relative newcomer Jo Spain are standing toe-to-toe and slugging it out for bestselling charts dominance with their well-established British counterparts like Val McDermid and Mo Hayder, and US contemporaries Kathy Reichs and Tess Gerritsen.
  But these three high-flying Irish women writers are no flash in the pan. They are part of a highly impressive cohort of Irish female mystery writers who have beaten a path to the top in the past decade or so, including highly regarded bestselling authors like Jane Casey, Arlene Hunt, Niamh O'Connor, Ava McCarthy, Sinead Crowley and 50pc of Karen Perry - (Perry is actually two people, Karen Gillece and Peter Perry). The reason French, Barclay and Spain have been chosen here to represent their sisters in crime is that all three, coincidentally, have just had their latest novels published within days of each other this month.
  For the full review, clickety-click here

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Event: Steve Cavanagh to Diary-Blog Next Novel

Hats off to Steve Cavanagh (right), the author of the bestselling titles THE DEFENCE and THE PLEA, who has announced that he will be blogging the writing of his next novel, promising ‘an honest diary’ of his ups and downs – mostly ups, we hope. He’s a better and braver man than yours truly, and I wish him a fair wind and Godspeed. Quoth Steve:
“The blog will serve as a sort of diary for me. It will be honest. There will be some weeks where the word count will be desperately low, and I’ll feel bad about writing those posts. Maybe the thought of telling the world how little progress I’ve made might give me a boost – you never know. There will also be weeks where the word count recorded will be reasonably high. Usually that means I’ll spend quite a bit more time on those sections when I come to do my second draft.
“I’m looking forward to it. This is the kind of blog that I wanted to read when I was an unpublished writer, hacking my way through my first book. The aim is to lay the process bare and debunk some of the writing myths that seem to have cropped up. I’ll also post the odd section from the book as a work in progress.”
  To follow Steve’s blogging adventures, clickety-click here.
  For a review of THE DEFENCE, clickety-click here.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Help Save Sligo Library

Dear Reader –
  I would be very grateful indeed if you could lend your support to the campaign to save Sligo libraries. The campaign is at a critical point (see below), and every signature on the petition to save Sligo libraries could be vital. If you have 15 seconds to spare today, please click on this link and sign the petition.
  I’m emotionally attached to Sligo Library (right), as you might imagine – some of my earliest and fondest memories are bound up in this beautiful building, which I haunted as a child (one of my proudest achievements is of ‘graduating’ from the Junior to the Senior Library a year early, aged 11). But I know I don’t have to stress the importance of every library, to every child – to my mind, the library, along with the hospital, is a crucial pillar of any community.
  From the Irish Times:
The battle to save Sligo’s three libraries will gather momentum on Monday morning when county councillors unanimously back a Section 140 motion forcing the chief executive to keep them open … Under the Local Government Act 2001, councillors can pass a section 140 motion. Under this clause of the Local Government Act, elected representatives can compel the county council chief executive to carry out their wishes.
  I thank you in advance for your help in this matter; and, if the spirit so moves you, it would be wonderful if you could click on one of the buttons below to spread the word.

UPDATE: Delighted to hear that, as a result of a meeting held this morning, Sligo Library Services have secured the extra staff required to keep the libraries open. Thanks a million to everyone who took the time to get involved.