Saturday, June 30, 2012

Does Crime Always Pay?

Check out Declan Burke's post over on the side bar at CrimeAlwaysPays featuring CRITICAL VALUE by DC Gogan , another addition to the emerging Irish Crime Explosion which yours truly will be part of in September 2012 with RED RIBBONS!

So in alphbetical order, can we have a drum roll for the deadly dozen.........

BLOOD FROM A SHADOW by Gerard Cappa;
GHOST TOWN by Michael Clifford;
EL NINO by Mick Donnellan;
THE FALL by Claire McGowan;
EVEN FLOW by Darragh McManus;
THE ISTANBUL PUZZLE by Laurence O’Bryan;
RED RIBBONS by Louise Phillips;
DISAPPEARED by Anthony Quinn;
AS CLOSE AS YOU’LL EVER BE by Seamus Scanlon.

As Declan mentioned in his post, I'm hoping to run a series of features on New Irish Crime Writers over the next few months on CRIME SCENE over at www.writing.ie , so why not drop me a line at phillips.louisem0@gmail.com or crimescenewriter@gmail.com

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thought for the Weekend - What is Writing all about?

'The art of writing itself has been described by Listowel writer Byran MacMahon as allowing the reader, ‘The privilege of seating himself in the driver’s seat of another’s imagination and seeing the road ahead in a new way.’

A great quote, and forms part of a wonderful article by Eileen Casey, talking about her debut short story colloection, Snow Shoes’ over at writing.ie.

The collection has fourteen stories in total, and when Eileen was asked -What she has learnt from writing them? She replied, 'That writing the short form is a bit like walking a tight-rope, you hope you won’t fall off!'

Read full Article HERE

Read More About Hennessy Award Winner Eileen Casey HERE

Monday, June 25, 2012

Novel Fair @ The Irish Writers' Centre

Novel Fair 2011

The Irish Writers' Centre is pleased to announce that the second Novel Fair Competition will be launched on June 27th, 2012. The innagural Novel Fair took place in March this year and attracted over 570 entries.

7.30 pm Irish Writers' Centre

Patricia Deevy from Penguin Ireland will give a short talk about what publishers expect from submissions. She will be followed by five of this year's finalists - Niamh Boyce, Ian Flitcroft, Daniel Seery, Jennifer Brady, and Fran Russell Banks - who will read from their own shortlisted work.

There will then by a Q&A with the Novel Fair organisers.

The Novel Fair was a new initiative by the Irish Writers’ Centre launched in 2011. It aims to introduce up-and-coming writers to top publishers and literary agents, giving novelists the opportunity to bypass the slush pile, pitch their ideas and place their synopsis and sample chapters directly into the hands of publishers and agents.
It was proposed as a way to help first-time novelists bypass the slush pile and make direct contact with publishers and agents. By the time the deadline rolled around on November 11th, the Irish Writers’ Centre had received over 570 entries, a figure which demonstrates the vast number of people writing fiction in Ireland today. Twenty writers were selected for the Fair. Of those that attended many of them have signing with agents, a few of the books are under consideration with publishing houses and one of the attendees, Niamh Boyce, signed with Ger Nicholls and sold her book 'The Herbalist' to Penguin Ireland.
Due to the success of the Fair we have decided to run it again in 2013, with an additional prize of a place on a seminar on 'How to Pitch Your Novel' to help the novelists perfect their presentations and material for the day.
The deadline for the competition this year is October 17th and the Novel Fair itself will take place on February 16th, 2013.
This year a judging panel will be asked to select a shortlist of ten successful entries, presented to them anonymously. There is no limitation on style, genre, or target market, the only requirement being that the writer has not published a novel before.
Publishers and agents will be invited to come along on the day to the Irish Writers’ Centre and meet the ten selected writers in person. Each writer in attendance will have a stand at the Fair with copies of the synopsis of their novel, the finished novel itself and biographical material.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thought for the Weekend - Fiction & Feelings

I read something during the week which struck a cord with me. 

Sometimes when we're writing, something very wonderful happens - you get to really feel for and with the characters you are creating.  It is a great moment, for when it occurs you know you have gotten to the place where you need to be, right at the core of it all, right at the core of them.

Anyhow, the piece I read, and apologies in advance to whoever wrote it, because I didn't take note of the source, goes something like this:-

'Fiction isn't real, but feelings are.'

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Irish Writer takes Silver at the New York Radio Awards 2012

Three Rivers - One Summer

Ger Philpott's Radio Documentary (RTE Radio 1), featured on this blog last November, has won Silver at the New York Radio Awards.

In reality this is no surprise. It is an amazing documentary, telling a wonderful true life story documenting Ger's willingness to take up a deathbed challenge from his father.  The documentary gives us insights into his father's life via recollections, old love letters sent to Ger's mother, and fantastic music.  (See full details below)

I met Ger via the Irish Writers Centre. He is a remarkable man, and I have always found his company to be interesting, insightful, engaging and witty - plus he is a darn good cook, and absolutely a man willing to take up a challenge!


Listen to Podcast HERE of 'Three Rivers - One Summer'

Ger Philpott is an award winning screenwriter and filmmaker. He writes for the print media, radio, screen and TV. His work includes the prizewinning short films, Change and An Turas. He is the author of the best-selling book on AIDS, Deep End. He works as a writer, director, radio producer and freelance journalist. A keen gardener and accomplished cook he lives in Dublin. He is a current Irish Masters swimming record holder and breeds and exhibits Champion Weimaraner dogs.

Introduction to Three Rivers - One Summer

Both Ger Philpott's parents died within three months of each other. This documentary celebrates their lives. The Philpott's are a swimming family - both Ger and his Dad swam competitively at Masters level internationally - in fact they made a bit of swimming history in the mid eighties when they both won gold medals at the same international competition in Rome.

Shortly before his dad died, he asked Ger to swim the Lee this summer. He climbed back into the pool two days after his Dad was buried to train for the event - a former competitive swimmer, if he was to do it he'd have to do it right! Two of his brothers also did the Lee swim in his honour. For Ger, working his way back to fitness was an antidote to grief.

The swim quickly grew into three rivers - the Hudson in NYC last May, the Lee in Cork in July and the Liffey in Dublin last September. The journey of the rivers was a joyous, bittersweet affair.

Three Rivers tells the story of a journey through grief and Ger and his siblings love of their parents. In a sense it's their love story with them intertwined with their own love story. It features love letters Ger's dad wrote to his Mum when they were courting - he was living in war time Britain at the time. It also features some of their music from down the years - Mario Lanza, John Mc Cormack, Doris Day, Ry Cooder, Patrick Watson etc etc... They also managed to capture some unique underwater sound and atmosphere during the making of the programme which features actuality form NYC, Cork and Dublin. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

South Dublin Arts Awards 2012

Bursary Awards 30th May 2012
Winners of Individual Arts Bursaries for Music, Visual Arts, Animation & Literature 2012
Back Row L to R: Louise Phillips, Claire Hennessy, Fiona Reilly, Andrew Moore, Rory White
Front Row L to R: Phoebe White , Mayor Cáitriona Jones, Orla Scannell-Arts Officer.

Mayor Cáitriona Jones met with award winners in County Hall to congratulate them on their achievements and she acknowledged the award winners valuable contribution to the artistic development to the County.

Orla Scannell, Arts Officer, spoke about the history of the Bursary Awards which were established in 2000. Over ninety awards have been made to the arts community over the past twelve years which indicates the high standard and diversity of artistic practice in the county.

The meeting provided a wonderful opportunity for all of the Artists to meet the Mayor, and for the Artists to meet each other and exchange information about their ideas and projects.

Huge thanks Cáitriona, Orla and Collette for a wonderful morning!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Live Stream of History in the Making - Breaking Guinness World Record at The Irish Writers Centre


The Irish Writers’ Centre are attempting to make history by claiming the Guinness World Record for ‘Most Authors Reading Consecutively From Their Own Books’.

Senator David Norris will open proceedings in the Irish Writers’ Centre, 19 Parnell Square, Dublin, at 10am on Friday, June 15th and the first reader will be best-selling novelist, John Boyne.

The readings, of 15 minutes each will run for 28 hours, all through the night, culminating at 2pm on Bloomsday.

Seamus Heaney will take over at 10am on Saturday morning to read from his Opened Ground: Selected Poems, 1966-1996,and Roddy Doyle with an excerpt from The Van at 1.30pm, while the final slot has been given to Jack Harte’s From Under Gogol’s Nose.

The current record of 75 is held by the Berlin International Literature Festival.

The readings will be open to the public and the worldwide audience can join in too, as the whole event will be streamed live on the Irish Writers’ Centre website.

For a full list of the readers taking part click here

Listen to live stream  HERE
From 10 am Friday 15th June 2012

The Battle of the Wells - A Must Read!!

Have you ever felt like you could be someone else?
Is there another side of you battling to be heard?

It happened to Alison Wells, well respected literary author, who on writing 'Housewife with a Half-Life', was taken over by her sci-fi self persona -
 A.B. Wells,
and even more radically, put this strangely unfamiliar, more adventurous, crazy, and eye-opening self under the spotlight for some deep, insightful, and tough questioning from her serious side!!!

See Below - When A.B. Wells, the louder, more irreverent, zany and bizarre side is taken on by, Alison Wells, unaffectionately seen as the navel gazing literary side of self!

Alison Wells: Hi A.B Wells, can you tell us a bit about yourself, your influences, likes and dislikes?

A.B. Wells: I’m the funkier version of Alison Wells (sorry Alison). I write sci-fi stories and have just self-published my debut novel Housewife with a Half-Life (yes, terrific title I know!) on both ebook and in paperback. I love science programmes, professor Brian Cox, geeky sites like IO9 and programmes like Dr. Who. I’m mad about the writing of Ray Bradbury, Brian Aldiss and Margaret Atwood in particular so I guess they would be my influences. Dislikes. Hmm, don’t know if I have any apart from coleslaw.

Alison Wells: So you’re saying you’re more hip than me? What’s wrong with just staying as Alison Wells? Why create a whole new identity?

A.B. Wells: Well to be honest it took me a while to decide to go out on my own. As Alison Wells I’d been writing literary stuff with the odd foray into science inspired subjects like cryogenics, alternate worlds and other weird phenomenon. I’d been shortlisted for some short story awards and so on. I saw that Margaret Atwood, an author I much admire wrote in her own name both her literary fiction and the more science stuff (which she refuses to call science fiction). I saw that Iain Banks was also Iain M. Banks to differentiate between genres. It was confusing.

Alison Wells: If you’d started to build up a reputation then, why diverge into another persona?

A.B. Wells: Well although Alison Wells doesn’t rule out sci-fi altogether, (your literary novel has parallel worlds, doesn’t it?) I made A.B. Wells my sci-fi persona because

a) Housewife with a Half-Life features a parallel universe and planet hopping spaceman, talks a lot about physics (although in a light way) and creates new worlds.

b) The tone of the book is much more irreverent and fun than the literary stuff (no hard feelings Alison!).

c) With a name so similar to sci-fi guru H.G. Wells, I just couldn’t let the opportunity pass to use the name A. B. Wells!

d) Having talked to several people it seemed that Housewife with a Half-Life might be a good one to put my self-publishing hat on for. So Alison Wells could continue pursuing the traditional publishing route for literary fiction and I could try self-publishing.

Alison Wells: So truly two diverging paths then? Traditional and self-publishing.

A.B. Wells: Two divergent but complimentary paths I think. I’m learning so much about marketing, book design, editing and everything that goes into producing a book that it will only serve to educate us for any traditional success we might have in the future. The profile and sales I build up as A.B. Wells on social media and elsewhere might make Alison Wells attractive as a traditional publishing proposition. It certainly won’t distract from writer Alison Wells. In a way I’m contributing to your success!

Alison Wells: Thanks! That’s very generous of you. Are there any other advantages to becoming A.B. Wells?

A.B. Wells Well yes! Many authors can be introverted and mostly involved in the business of quietly writing away in their garrets. Selling themselves and their books doesn’t always sit well. Having a different persona allows me to sometimes (and ok perhaps weirdly) to talk about myself in the third person. Well, erm, this is getting a bit complicated. It allows Alison Wells to talk about A. B. Wells as if it was someone else. Do you follow me? So we can say something like, “check out that hilarious new space comedy novel with endearing protagonists Susan Strong and Fairly Dave” and it doesn’t sound so big headed. Also as A.B. Wells I can be louder, more irreverent like my comedy book. None of that navel gazing literary stuff for me! This is my zany, bizarre side!

Alison Wells: Navel gazing, literary… hang on a minute… I love looking into the middle distance! So now, tough question. How have you managed to find endorsement as A.B. Wells now that you are self-published rather than traditionally published like I’m hoping to be.

A.B. Wells: Well there’s another five blog posts in that, all about the changing nature of publishing and who we’re doing it for and reaching readers and creating our own clans of readers. Self-publishing was something I wanted to explore to see how I could reach out to people myself, share my writing and make connections with the freedom to try many methods, follow the pull of what readers want to see from me (by posting free stuff first etc). But you do need endorsement, that of readers once they read your work (and the internet lets you reach a very wide audience) but I’ve been so lucky because Hughes & Hughes booksellers in Dundrum took an interest in my book and are hosting a launch on Friday June 22nd 7pm, (you’re all invited) http://www.hughesandhughes.ie/content/book-launch-alison-wells and they will be stocking the book. They’ve really got behind me in promoting the launch, putting up posters & advertising in the shopping centre, putting me on their website etc. As a self-publisher it’s a dream. I’ve also a wonderful review for the book from science and flash fiction writer Tania Hershman.

Alison Wells: That’s fantastic! Congratulations. So this is it then. Do you think we’ll remain going our separate ways?

A.B. Wells: I don’t know Alison. Perhaps you’ll find out that the kind of fiction you write will always be a bit spacey or that I become so famous that you want a piece of the action. Life is about adapting to circumstance. All I know is that we need to take chances do positive things. Housewife with a Half-Life is a positive book with heartwarming characters, celebrating the universe and our place in it. I’ll do my best as A. B. Wells to let people know about it. I wish you well in your traditional endeavours and I hope we can remain friends and support one another. Rock on and don’ t forget your Space Hopper!

Alison Wells: I’d like to thank you A.B. Wells for talking to me and I wish you all the best with your novel.  Would you like to tell us a bit about the book?

A.B. Wells: It’s all here…
Housewife with a Half-Life

Susan Strong is a suburban housewife who is literally disintegrating. When Fairly Dave, a kilt-sporting spaceman arrives through the shower head to warn her, she knows things are serious. When she and her precocious four year old twins, Pluto and Rufus, get sucked through Chilled Foods into another universe it gets even messier. Where household appliances are alive and dangerous, Geezers have Entropy Hoovers and the Spinner's Cataclysmic convertor could rip reality apart, Susan Strong is all that’s holding the world together.
In this madcap, feel-good adventure, Susan and Fairly Dave travel alternate universes to find Susan's many selves, dodge the Geezers and defeat evil memory bankers. From dystopian landscapes and chicken dinners, to Las Vegas and bubble universes, can Susan Strong reintegrate her bits and will it be enough to save us all?

Housewife with a Half-Life is available in HUGHES & HUGHES Dundrum 
Amazon UK HERE
Amazon US HERE
as well as

The Book Depositiory HERE 

The ebook is available on Kindle at 

You can connect with A.B. Wells at:  www.abwells.com and www.facebook.com/abwellswriter

A.B. Wells is the mother of four children age 11 and under. London born, Kerry raised, she has lived in Bray, Co. Wicklow for many years. As Alison Wells her more literary writing has been shortlisted in the prestigious Bridport, Fish and Hennessy Awards and she’s been published or is about to be in a wide variety of anthologies and e-zines, including the Higgs Boson Anthology by Year Zero, Metazen, The View from Here, Voices of Angels by Bridgehouse and National Flash Fiction day’s Jawbreakers. She recently won the fiction category of the Big Book of Hope ebook with a flash fiction medley and has a litfic novel The Book of Remembered Possibilities on submission. She blogs for the popular Irish writing website, writing.ie. and on www.alisonwells.wordpress.com

Don't Miss Friday 22nd June 7 pm, when Hughes & Hughes booksellers in Dundrum are hosting a launch of this fab book (you’re all invited)! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bad Moon Rising by Frances Di Plino

This week's Crime Scene @ www.writing.ie features reviews from readers on

Bad Moon Rising by Frances Di Plino.

To read reviews click HERE

For Interview with Frances Di Plino about 'Getting inside the Killer's Head' click HERE

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What Books Do While People Are Asleep!

I've been meaning to share this link from thejournal.ie about the joy of books.  Put on the kettle and enjoy it   HERE

Sunday, June 10, 2012

RTE Guide/Penguin Short Story Competition 2012

This week the RTÉ Guide are launching the RTÉ Guide/ Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition.  

The Winner gets published in the RTE Guide, plus 'special trophy and prize'.

The winner
 and 60 runners-up will  also be invited to a special day-long writers’ workshop at Pearse Street Library in Dublin on September 7, which is organised in conjunction with Dublin, UNESCO City of Literature.

Deadline: 15 July 2012.

No entry fee.

No restriction on number of entries.

Word count: 2000.

Submissions to:

RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition, Box 1480, RTE Guide, RTE, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Snow Shoes by Eileen Casey

Cover Image for Snow Shoes by Emma Barone

My great friend, writer and poet, Eileen Casey, will launch her first short story collection Snow Shoes at the Irish Writers Centre, Parnell Square, Dublin  on Tuesday 12th June 2012 at 7 p.m.

You can read my interview with Eileen, winner of the Hennessy Literary Award HERE.

Also on the night, there will be reading by James Martyn Joyce and Colette Nic Aodhace WHAT’S NOT SAID Colette Nic Aodha IN CASTLEWOOD : AN GHAOTH ADUAIDH.

Listen to one of my favourite stories by Eileen Black Ball Gown HERE

Friday, June 8, 2012

International Poetry Competition with top prize of €5000+

Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize 2012 in association with The Moth magazine is now open for submissions.

With a first prize of €5,000 plus two nights B&B for two at Ballymaloe House in Co. Cork, it's set to be one of the most valuable prizes for a single poem in the UK and Ireland - and it's open to everyone!!!

Second Prize €1,000, Third Prize €500 - Closing Date 31st December 2012

Rules HERE

Entry Form HERE

Full Competition Details HERE

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Some of you may remember I featured a brilliant competition in February this year when  

Novelicious teamed up with Avon (HarperCollins) and Books and the City (Simon & Schuster UK) to find the next Marian Keyes, Jane Green or Sophie Kinsella.....

Well all the entries are in and the judges have selected the Top Twenty - so the power is now in your hands with Voting open from June 6th to June 20th, with the winner being announced on the 26th June!

I was delighted to discover, (although not one bit surprised) that Brigid O'Connor, fellow writer and blogger made the Top Twenty List with her fantastic story The Irish Poet, which you can read  HERE
See Full List of  Top Twenty HERE   

Novelicious will be choosing two lucky voters to win a selection of 10 books each, courtesy of AVON (HarperCollins) and Books and the City (Simon & Schuster UK)!

So make sure you VOTE !!!!!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Spread The Word - Dublin Writers Festival

Dublin Writers Festival June 4th -10th

The Dublin Writers Festival, founded in 1998, is Ireland’s premier literary event and gathers the finest writers in the world to debate, provoke, delight and enthral.

Described by the press as ‘boasting a stunning array of top international literary talent’ and ‘the country’s most successful and easily the best annual literary event’, Dublin Writers Festival line-up is sure to impress.

With readings, discussions, debates,workshops, performance and screenings, the festival creates a hotbed of ideas. Whether it’s the mix poets, writers of fiction and non-fiction, lyricists, playwrights and screenwriters, Dublin Writers Festival brings new faces and house-hold names together in ways that suprise and inspire.

Children’s fiction is well represented and we are spoilt for choice with the calibre of Irish language writers.

Check out list of events HERE

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Baby Caitriona who arrived into our world a couple of weeks ago - I'm now forever the proud grandmother:)

'Children reinvent your world for you.'

Susan Sarandon

Friday, June 1, 2012

Thought for the Weekend - Stephen King & I

It seems like an eternity since I've done a 'Thought for the Weekend' post!!!  Why have I been so remiss you might ask?  Well because it seems like an eternity since I've had the time!  Shame on moi! I say:)

I had one of those 'I'm so busy being busy days' today (which happen far too often), I got into a mood, abandoned all tasks requiring attention and went for a long walk instead.

Pure madness probably - but I felt like it, and it felt good.

Anyhow (fav crutch word), I took the above pic while out walking, firstly because I like it, and secondly because I like when things look right because they look wrong, like water covering the base of trees, things in water which should be on land.  Yeah, yeah, sounds like more madness but sure why not?

I'm also on a bit of a Stephen King drive at the moment, which is one of the reasons why I'm using a quote from the master himself as this weekend's  'Thought for the Weekend'

Hope you like it, and have a brilliant weekend.

Stephen King

'The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.'

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