Hello! Welcome, welcome. Come in, sit down, pull up a cushion. Comfy? Great! Let’s begin.
My name’s Sinéad O’Hart and I’m a writer, and enthusiastic reader, of books for children. So far, I’ve written three novels for readers 8+ – The Eye of the North, its prequel Skyborn, and The Star-Spun Web, a standalone story – along with an early reader called The Ravens’ Call. If you’d like to find out a bit more about them, you can check out my Books page here, or perhaps read some Reviews from other people.
Since August of 2022 I’ve also been a podcaster. My friend and fellow author Susan Cahill and I host a podcast called Storyshaped, which is an online space for us – as well as lots of other bookish folk – to talk about the stories which shaped us as people and creatives, and the stories which we’ve gone on to shape. It’s a lot of fun! I hope you’ll check us out.
Anyway. About me. Besides podcasting, what do I like doing? Well – writing, obvs. And on top of that I love reading. One of my favourite things to do is spend time in bookshops (so long as there’s a cup of tea waiting once I’m finished browsing), and I also love hanging out in libraries, soaking up the wordy vibes.
I’m really into old things – including anything even faintly medieval, churches, graveyards, antiques, early books, artwork, museums, architecture, and archaeology – and I have a PhD in Old and Middle English Language and Literature, which opened my mind to more stories than you can shake several sticks at. I’m quite proud of the fact that I can read Middle English with perfect fluency. (My Old English is a little rusty, but I’ll still give it a go.) One of the many jobs I did before becoming a writer was teaching university students about wonderful things like the poetry of Chaucer, and I describe myself as a dormant medievalist, because my love for the literature of centuries past is always with me, bubbling away beneath the surface.
I live with my family in a book-filled house in the middle of Ireland where it rains more than you’d think possible, but we’re too busy reading to notice, and I’m represented (in a literary sense, at least) by the wonderful Polly Nolan of PaperCuts Literary Agency and Consultancy. If you fancy writing me a letter, you can do that through Polly. (And please do include a return postal address so I can reply to you.)
There’s a pile of fab reader/teacher resources to complement all my books, including interviews with me and some of my top writing tips, available here.
I like parentheses. (I’m not sure why.)
I hope you’ll rummage through my blog posts and discover just what you didn’t know you were looking for, but if you need help with anything, or you just want to ask a question (the nosier the better), please do feel free to get in touch. (If you’re under 18, please email me from an adult’s email account – so, get your parent/guardian to help you – and please copy the adult in; this is to comply with my Child Safety Policy.) You may also like to check out my FAQ page for some writing insights, including what my favourite part of The Eye of the North is…
Some information which may come in useful in the meantime:
Age: As old as my tongue and slightly older than my teeth.
Height: More or less the same as a lopsided hobbit.
Likes: Tea, words, thinking, hair, sleeping, tightropes, writing, drawing, history, lists, being caught out in the rain, calligraphy, lightning, buckets, music (especially with guitars in), sugar, snoring, spelling things correctly, teddies, you.
Dislikes: Aching knees, holes in buckets, having my photograph taken, tight shoes, icy pavements, inexplicable noises, and needing to pee in the middle of the night.
Least favourite day: 23 October, 1731.
Favourite authors: Alan Garner, Angela Carter, Susan Cooper, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Diana Wynne Jones, Geoffrey Chaucer, Catherine Fisher, Margaret Atwood, John Connolly, Jeanette Winterson, Jennifer Bell, Catherine Webb, Joseph Coelho, Patrice Lawrence, Philip Pullman, Patience Agbabi, Sarah Waters, Garth Nix, Robert Westall, Sally Nicholls, Michael Ende, William Goldman, Kristin Cashore, Jenny Nimmo, Ursula K. LeGuin, Kate Thompson, Geraldine McCaughrean, Robert Holdstock, Celine Kiernan, Frances Hardinge, Sharna Jackson, Ann Sei Lin, Cynthia So, Donna Barba Higuera, Jenny McLachlan, Malorie Blackman, Vashti Hardy, LD Lapinski, Juliette Forrest… The list goes ever on!
Favourite hobby: Splitting the infinitive.