Dalkey Book Festival

Very late post just to say if anyone’s at the Dalkey Book Festival tomorrow I’m reading in New to You at 2pm. Topic is how growing up in Dalkey influenced my writing so sitting here selecting which of the many scenes set by the sea that I might read from The Other Boy and What

Happy Birthday Listowel!

This week marks the 40th anniversary of Ireland’s longest running literary festival; Listowel Writers’ Week. You can only have your first Listowel experience once and mine was seven years ago. I’d never been to the town before and pulling into the square in a taxi with three strangers, what I remember seeing first is the

This is the sea

This piece originally appeared in the Irish Daily Mail magazine last September. I thought it might be worth sharing here for anyone who hasn’t already seen it…. Growing up next to the sea, you take it for granted. That’s not to say you don’t notice its beauty, just that it is always there, like, say,

Dublin Book Festival

The Dublin Book Festival is bigger than ever this year, running from Thursday 2nd March until Sunday 6th. There are three things I really like about this year’s programme. The first is that there is, quite literally, something for everyone. Whether your thing is prose or poetry, crime or literary fiction, history or comedy, the


Before I was published, I’d often imagine into the future; what it would be like to get a book deal, to see my name on the cover of a novel, to see that novel on a bookshop shelf. These daydreams would usually come when I was at some difficult stage of the process, times when

Seapoint Literary Supper

This is a bit of a shameless plug but I think it’s an event some of you might be interested in. Dubray Bookshops and Seapoint restaurant in Monkstown – home of amazing seafood and their legendary rosemary and parmesan fries – have started a literary supper evening on the first Thursday of every month. The

Saying goodbye

I went to a funeral last Thursday, a funeral of someone I’d never met, someone I didn’t know. Only now, sitting down to write about it, I feel like I knew her very well. She was the mother of a friend of mine. The kind of friend who you can have a great laugh with

Getting re-started

What is it about re-starting something, that makes it so hard? I think the answer is somewhere in that little ‘re.’ Re-starting is just like starting, but without that energy and excitement you had the first time around. There’s usually a reason that you’ve stopped doing whatever you were doing and you know the effort

A helping hand

There’s a moment right before you fall, when you know you’re going to fall. For me, that moment happened today, on a slanty bit of path outside Blackrock Shopping centre. I knew as I stepped onto the ice that it was a mistake, could feel my trusty hiking boots unable to get a grip and