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 four novels for readers 8+ – The Eye of the North, its prequel Skyborn, The Star-Spun Web, and The Time Tider, along with an early reader called The Ravens’ Call. My next book, coming in September 2023, is The Silver Road. 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.
Welcome – I’m inviting you to the Līgo Circle of Appreciation: http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/ligo-circle-of-appreciation/
You have a lovely voice, I can’t wait to read more!
oh umm .. did you get a pingback from this post of mine ?
i was remiss in not notifying people directly of my nomination and relied only on the pingbacks … something I will not do in the future lol
You sound like an interesting person 🙂 And you are on goodreads, too! I just have to follow you now 🙂
Why, thank you! And welcome to my blog. I am indeed on Goodreads, though I don’t tend to write reviews, as such. I just give ‘star’ ratings. But feel free to follow me, if you like. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
I am quite happy to discover your blog. I look forward to reading more of your snippets. They are very engaging. The bit about Molly and the Wardrobe piqued my curiosity for the rest of the story… is there more? Where does she live… perhaps by the sea? I love her dad’s shirt too. How old is she? Do tell us more. 🙂
Hello! Thank you, and welcome. Molly’s story has not quite been finished yet – there is more of her story than just this snippet, but I haven’t finished her story yet. She’s living in my imagination, ready to be written about as soon as I finish the novel I’m currently working on. But to answer your questions: yes, she lives beside the sea, and her father was a fisherman who was lost in an accident. She’s eleven years old. As soon as I have more of her tale to tell, I’ll let you know. 🙂
Ooh sounds delicious! I have a thirteen year old girl who I am sure would like to meet Molly and hear the rest of her tale as well. I love that her father was a fisherman BTW.
Thanks for your reply. I look forward to getting to know you better through your blog and your writing.
We share a few favourite authors!
We’ve both got excellent taste, in that case. 🙂 Thanks for paying a visit!
I enjoyed reading this immensely. 🙂
Thanks! That’s really kind. I hope you’ll get a chance to have a poke about the rest of the blog, and that you’ll enjoy the rest of it, too! 🙂
Now that I’ve established you like vegetables, I know we can be friends. 🙂
Any legume-lover is a friend of mine. 🙂 Welcome!
You cannot say you’re surprised – I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award.
Here are the Liebster Blog Award rules:
1. Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you (that’s my site).
2. Answer the questions posted for you in my blog.
3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to three blogs with 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed.
5. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog.
It’s okay if you choose not to participate, but know I love your blog.
Happy New Year! xx
How thrilling! Thank you. I am preparing the answers to your questions right now – but you’ve already snaffled most of my nominees! Curses… 🙂
I’ll do my best to participate as fully as I can. 🙂 Thank you for the blog-love – I reciprocate entirely.
One of the most entertaining WordPress ‘About’s I’ve read — always a surefire indication of quality posts!
Thank you! I missed this lovely comment till just now. Apologies. 🙂 I hope you’ve been finding quality amid the posts… Thanks for reading!
Hi! I’ve nominated you for (another — sorry!) Liebster award. Your blog is amazing 😀 Here’s the link to my post: http://theteenvernacular.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/lieby-lieb-liebster-award/
No apologies needed – thank you! Glad you enjoy my blog. 🙂 I’ll do my best to wrap my brain around your questions today.
Loved your story on FlashFriday, found you on twitter, then found you here and glad to have done so. Look forward to exploring your blog in further detail.
Thank you! I’m very glad to have made your cyber-acquaintance. I hope you enjoy the blog, and thank you for the feedback on my FlashFriday story. It’s such a great writing community!
Love your blog, particularly the dissection of your own writing. Insightful (and helpful). Admire your determination – inspirational. By the way, I also like your writing.
Thank you – I’m very glad to hear that. Great to make your acquaintance, and thanks for paying me a visit here. 🙂
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Hiya – So lovely to read more about you. My eldest is an avid reader and devoured EotN, and is thoroughly enjoying following Tess & Violet on their journey. Her adoration encouraged me to look you up and say thanks for two outstanding pieces of literature that has captivated her imagination in a yet another new way x
Hi Leonie – thank you so much for this lovely message! I’m thrilled your young reader has enjoyed my books, and please do pass on my warmest wishes to her. It’s wonderful to hear that Tess, Thomas, Violet and Moose, as well as Emmeline and Thing, have found happy homes in her imagination. Thank you so much! x
Good evening! I am an American author for children and my name is Pat HarteNaus. My real family name is O’Hart and my grandfather was from Sligo. He was Patrick O’Hart. Could we be related is my question? From one American author who is Irish to an Irish Author…I’d like to continue a dialogue. My books are the Belden Boy series at http://www.Beldenboy.com. Thanks! Pat
Hi Patricia – how fascinating! I’ve been making some investigations and there may be a link. Is it all right if I send you an email to discuss further? Thanks!