Tag Archives: book launch

Launching The Time Tider

Last weekend, my fourth book (FOURTH! Can you believe it, because I can’t) was launched in the beautiful surrounds of Halfway Up the Stairs bookshop in Greystones, Co Wicklow. It’s one of my absolute favourite spaces – bookshops are the best, anyway, and children’s bookshops are the tip-top, and Halfway Up the Stairs is Ireland’s only dedicated children’s and YA bookshop (as far as I know…) So, there really wasn’t any better place to throw The Time Tider at the world.

It was a truly wonderful day, and I’m grateful to so many people – my publishers, Little Tiger Books, for sponsoring lemonade and cookies (which were YUM) and for sending over the fantastic George Hanratty, a colleague I’d never had the privilege to meet in person before; my agent, Polly Nolan, who (as I said in my speech) is the person whose fault it is that any of my books are in print in the first place (thanks, Polly!); my family and friends and everyone who was able to come and join us on the day.

My absolute favourite face was this one:

Here I am with the radiant Susan Cahill, my Storyshaped Podcast co-host (and friend of over twenty years). Susan and I have been in regular contact over those years, and we’ve been working closely together since last summer, but we hadn’t actually physically seen one another since about 2006… so it was an emotional moment for me to see her gorgeous face again. I’m so grateful to her for coming all the way over from London and all the way out to Greystones, just for me.

There were speeches (first George from Little Tiger, saying lots of impossibly lovely things about me), and then I got a chance to thank some dear folk, including some that couldn’t be there – like my brother, and my parents-in-law.

Then, my friend and fellow author Eve McDonnell put me through my paces with a quick-fire Q&A, where I got to talk about how I became an author, what advice I’d give to my 8 or 9 or 10 year old self (short version? Believe in yourself – daydream as much as you can – wonder about the world – Always Be Curious – and never leave home without a pencil and paper) and what’s coming next from me. (I couldn’t possibly say…)

Books were signed (none were singed, which was a relief); I got to greet and chat with lots of brilliant young readers, including the absolutely fantastic Méabh from Bookmonster (whose channel you should DEFINITELY check out – she and her brother are the best video book reviewers in town!) and the amazing BotsBookShelf, whose book review blog is packed full of brilliant reviews and interviews. Kids of today – they’re incredible!

It was a fantastic day, made perfect by the wonderful people I got to surround myself with, and topped off with a sprinkling of story-magic which made everything that little bit better. Thank you so much to Trish and her team at Halfway Up the Stairs, to everyone at Little Tiger Books, to everyone who was there on the day or who sent me good wishes from afar (you were all remembered), and most especially of all, to the young readers I met and had the joy of chatting to. It truly is all about you. It’s a privilege to create stories for young readers – the most astute, the most tuned-in, the most demanding of, and deserving of, the very best writing that we can give them – and it’s a privilege I don’t take lightly.

So – without any further ado or embarrassing gloopy emotional crescendos, it only remains to say: THE TIME TIDER IS OUT IN THE WORLD! GET YOUR COPIES NOW!

(All photos: George Hanratty)

The Time Tider Blog Tour

The Time Tider is published this week! Huzzah!

Thursday, February 2nd, sees the official release of my fourth book, The Time Tider. I’m delighted to see it out in the world, being as it is the first idea I ever tried to query with agents (and the one which first caught my now-agent’s attention, even though it took me a few more tries to actually snag her), and it’s a book which has been part of my imagination for over twenty years, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

The cover was designed by Sophie Bransby at Little Tiger Books, and the art was done by the wonderful Abigail L Dela Cruz, and the words are mostly me (with a lot of very in-depth editorial help from Ella Whiddett and Melissa Gitari, for which I’m extremely grateful).

The book is available from (among other places):

Halfway Up the Stairs Bookshop, Wicklow, Ireland

The Campus Bookshop, Dublin, Ireland

The Gutter Bookshop, Dublin, Ireland

Dubray Books, nationwide, Ireland

Easons, nationwide, Ireland

Wonderland Bookshop, Retford, UK

The Rocketship Bookshop, Salisbury, UK

If your favourite bookshop isn’t on this list: never fear! The book is available to order through any bookshop, and I’d be delighted if you’d ask for it wherever you get your books – and that includes, of course, your local library. Libraries are AMAZING and authors love it when readers ask for their books to be added to library stock, so if you’d like to read my books FOR FREE, look no further than your local library.

And to celebrate the book’s arrival into the world, me and Little Tiger and several wonderful book bloggers have teamed up to put together a Blog Tour! Here are the deets:

We’ve put together some great blog posts giving insight into the book, how I wrote it, where it came from, and lots more – and you can access all these posts, from February 6th to 17th. There’ll also be a Q&A with me where the questions were so thoughtful and interesting – you don’t want to miss that.

Keep an eye on the blog over the next few days for more celebratory posts – The Time Tider is nearly here, and I’m a happy author!

The Eye Of The North is 4!

Today my computer reminded me (thanks, technology) that it’s been FOUR WHOLE YEARS since my first book baby, The Eye of the North, was published.

Four years, people.

Me at the book launch for The Eye of the North, which was held in Eason’s, O’Connell Street, Dublin, four years ago.

I can’t quite believe it’s been so long, and yet – it seems like no time at all.

Of course, I’ve been hard at work on other books since then. I’ve published three more – two novels, and one early reader. You can find out more about them here. And I’m thankful to say there are more books to come from me… but I can’t say much more than that about any of them. Next year, I’ll have another story to share with you all, one I’ve been working on over the past year, and which I’m expecting edits on any day now.

This post is to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who has been here with me over the past decade (as, scarily enough, this August it will have been ten years since I started blogging). You’ve all helped me celebrate the highs and you’ve been there to comfort me through the lows, of which there are many in the publishing/writing life. Keeping this blog through my journey to publication was a wonderful way to chronicle my experience, and I hope it has helped anyone who has read it to find their own voice, and to dig deep for the courage to try – just as I did.

Happy birthday to The Eye of the North. It was the story dearest to my heart at the time I wrote it, and still a story I am very proud of. I’ll always be glad I got to share it with you.

The Eye of the North in Hodges Figgis’ window, Dublin city centre, 2018.

The Eye of the North Book Launch

The author, modelling her book, at the launch of The Eye of the North. Photo credit: Jan Stokes

The author, modelling her book The Eye of the North, at its recent launch! Photo credit: Jan Stokes

Last Thursday evening, in Eason’s of O’Connell Street in Dublin’s city centre, I had the great joy of welcoming my book into the world in style. With the support of my publisher Stripes Books, and the fantastic organisational skills of Eason’s management and staff, I got to drink wine, make a (terrible) speech and read the first chapter of The Eye of the North to a motley crew of friends, family and well-wishers.

It was a truly wonderful experience, and I will be grateful to everyone involved for as long as I have full use of my mind (which, hopefully, will be quite some time).

However, because I made rather a mess of the speech I had prepared – including forgetting to thank some very important people – I’ve placed the text of it here, to give those who couldn’t attend a sense of the night and to assuage my own guilt at the bits I forgot. So. Without further ado:

The first thing I think of when I look around this room full of dear and beloved people, my friends and family, is this: have yiz nothing better to do in Dublin on a Thursday evening? Thank you all for being here. Every one of you is here because you’ve been in some way helpful or encouraging or supportive – perhaps you sent a Tweet, perhaps you did more than that – and you’ve all had a role to play in bringing this book to life. Thank you all.

I particularly want to thank, of course, the staff and management of Eason’s for hosting the event for us here and making us so welcome, and my publisher, Stripes Books, who have been a dream to be involved with. Beth Ferguson and Lauren Ace are absolute gems, who’ve managed to get me out of my comfort zone as kindly as possible, and they’ve helped arrange this fantastic event which is more than my tiny culchie mind could ever have dreamt of – so thank you, Beth and Lauren. Thanks to Katie Jennings, too – Katie is my editor, so she deserves your sympathy and admiration as well as my gratitude. The whole team at Stripes are just wonderful, and they’ve made me look very good, so they have my eternal devotion. I also need to thank two people in absentia – my agent, Polly Nolan, is the first of these. Polly’s hard work, her belief in me and in this book, and her commitment to me before we’d even signed up to work together, meant that I had the encouragement I needed to keep going when it seemed like a book deal was an impossible dream. The other is author Kieran Fanning, who has believed in this book since before it was even a thing – and that support has meant more than I can express.

I won’t detain you long, but I do want to say a few small things while I have a fairly captive audience. The first is this: I don’t come from power, or wealth, or influence. My grandfathers both worked in factories, among other things; my grandmothers were in service, taking in washing to make ends meet, doing whatever they could to support their large families with very little. Neither of my parents had the opportunity to follow any artistic or educational dreams they might have had, as such things weren’t for people like them. I am fiercely proud of all of them, and of all my family, and of where I come from. The fact that I stand here today not only as an author launching her debut novel but also as a person with a PhD is an overwhelmingly emotional thing. I wish my grandparents were alive to see me do this thing, this thing they could hardly have imagined, and I hope they would have been proud of me as I am of them.

The second is: I began my reading life at home with my parents, who did everything they could to feed my mind and my curiosity, to give me access to books, and to encourage me. Sometimes I think I scared them a bit with my appetite for words and knowledge, and I think at times they didn’t understand where it came from – but I think they always knew they were raising two children, my brother and me, who had artistic leanings and a sensitivity to creativity. They helped us fly. I want to thank them for all they have done, for being entirely unsurprised at the fact that my brother is a playwright and short-story writer, not to mention the editor of a literary magazine and the holder of an MA degree, and I am what you see before you, and for loving our odd little ways. I don’t think it can be overstated that doing as my parents did and giving a child access to books, encouraging their literacy – both in terms of reading books and in reading the world around them – and allowing them to know their dreams are realisable are the best gifts a parent, teacher or carer can give. As an author and a parent, I am so proud to be a small part in that huge and wondrous process, that amazing thing where I get to share what I have been given and light the flame anew. Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí.

My two wildest dreams are in this room. I’m holding one, and my husband is holding the other. I am so glad to have both my babies here with me this evening, and I am so glad to be sharing all of this with all of you. Thank you.

So. If you were there – thank you so much. If you weren’t, but you’re reading these words – thank you, too. Nobody writes a book alone, despite how it feels at the time. We all need our net of support to keep us going. I’m so lucky to have one like you.

One More Week!

One More Week

Photo ‘credit’: Me (with apologies to my kid for wanton misuse of a toy chalkboard)

Hello, my lovelies!

It almost seems redundant to say ‘it’s been a while’; lately, around here, aeons pass between posts, and there’s not a lot of chance that’ll change any time soon. It’s a busy old life, this full-time-mammying-while-trying-to-full-time-write thing; I don’t manage it very well at any time, but particularly not at the moment.

And why particularly not at the moment? Well, that’s because it’s ONE MORE WEEK until my book (The Eye of the North, in case you’re new here) is published in the UK and Ireland by those wonderful folk at Stripes Publishing. One more week! It’s been busy. I’ve been contributing to other blogs about my writing journey, taking part in question-and-answer sessions, writing pieces for the Irish Times (no less), and lots of other fun stuff.

On top of that, I’ve been organising some school and library events – eek! Stay tuned for those. I’ll post more details when I have them, but here’s one to be getting on with.

And then there are the competitions! Phew. There are five copies of The Eye of the North to be won through radio DJ and general all-round media personality Rick O’Shea’s book club – you can find out more about that competition here. And if you’d like to win a signed copy of the book from my very own publisher, you can take part over here – give it a shot!

Almost lastly, there’ll be some more online writery-stuff going live over the next few days, including a piece I’ve written for #FeministFebruary that I’m quite proud of – so, in short, if you’re not heartily sick of me yet, you soon will be.

Phew. I think that’s it.

No – wait! One more thing.

My next post will likely be all about the launch for The Eye of the North, which is taking place next week in Eason’s in Dublin. I can’t wait to share photos and (hopefully) some lovely details about the night with you all. And, until then, you can have a peep here and here for ordering information, just to make sure you get your copy of the book promptly. I’ll be checking…

Now. Did anyone see where I left that Time-Turner?



‘White Feathers’ is Launched!

Some events are just designed to be enjoyed. Weddings, Christenings, birthday parties – and book launches. I’ve been lucky enough to have attended a wedding and a Christening this year already (and hopefully a birthday party or two before the year is out), but yesterday evening I had the happy chance to attend a book launch, held in the lovely surrounds of Dubray Books on Grafton Street, in Dublin city. Book launches are huge fun – even, as often happened when I worked as a bookseller, you’re on the throwing end as opposed to the ‘standing around with a glass of wine’ end – and yesterday’s was no exception.

We were there to celebrate the book birthday of Susan Lanigan’s début novel, White Feathers



…which is, I’m sure you’ll agree, a gloriously beautiful thing.

(Clearly I haven’t read the book yet, as I only bought my copy yesterday, so I can’t expound about its brilliance at the moment. However, I’m sure it’s going to be wonderful).

The book was launched by Michael O’Brien, the publisher at O’Brien Press and its imprint Brandon Books, and the fearsomely accomplished crime writer Arlene Hunt, both of whom gave lovely speeches which introduced the book and Susan herself with warmth and welcome. Arlene was one of the judges of the Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair when Susan put her book forward for consideration, and it was she who found she couldn’t forget it once she’d read the extract. She recounted how, late one night after finishing her initial read-through of Susan’s entry for the competition, which was the proto-version of what would become White Feathers, she realised she had to learn more about Eva Downey (the story’s protagonist) and find out how her tale ended. It’s every writer’s dream, of course, to have that sort of effect on any reader, particularly a reader with the power to pull your story out of a slush-pile full of other talented writers and declare that it’s a winner.

Susan herself, despite declaring she was rattling with nerves, gave a most impressive reading from her novel, doing the shrill, harridan voice of one of her characters with aplomb (and giving her audience huge enjoyment), and giving no indication that she was feeling anything less than at her total ease. She was full of praise for her publishers, her agent Svetlana Pironko, and the team at O’Brien Press who worked hard on the book, including its beautiful cover art, and her passion was clear from every word she spoke. She talked about violence, and how it can take shapes and forms we do not expect, and how any human life, crushed in any way, is an example of violence. She spoke of how the very act of presenting men with a white feather during the Great War – which is one of the primary themes of her novel – was in itself an act of violence, and she spoke movingly of her desire never to see a return to the dark days of war.

There was a lot of applause and mutterings of ‘hear, hear’ from those around her.

Susan, in mid-speech, a proud Arlene Hunt watching on.

Susan, in mid-speech, a proud Arlene Hunt watching on. Image: F. O’Hart

After the speeches, Susan began to sign copies of her book – I, of course, skidded right into the top of the queue. Turnout for the launch was huge, and it was brilliant to be part of such an enthusiastic, happy group of people, all of whom were there to support someone whose hard work and talent had led them to a place of success, and I wasn’t leaving without a personalised memento of my evening. Susan – whom I’ve ‘known’ for a while from Twitter and blogging, but whom I’d never met in person before yesterday evening – was kind enough to put a lovely message on my copy of her book, which reads:

To Sinéad: In writing fellowship. Where I am now, you will be soon, very soon.

I think that tells you all you need to know about the kind of person, and the kind of writer, Susan Lanigan is. I’m looking forward to reading her book (I’m fairly sure there’ll be a review of it knocking about these parts in a few weeks), and I wish her huge success both now and in the future.

Susan busily signing copies of her book. Image: F. O'Hart

Susan busily signing copies of her book. Image: F. O’Hart

And now – to read!

If you’re interested in learning more about Susan’s book, and how to purchase it, you can visit the O’Brien Press website here.