Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014

2013 has been an amazing year for me, both personally and within the whole writing journey. I hope I learned a lot during the last 12 months. I know I laughed and cried a lot, found joy in the most surprising places, reaffirmed the wonder of family, and having people in your life to love and to give love back in return. I've worried and I've thought too long and hard about certain things, gotten myself stressed, even panicked, but usually, thankfully, I've ended up with some semblance of sense, realizing that every moment, hour, and day, is a gift in this once in a lifetime opportunity of living.

I hope 2014 is a good one for you all, and on the stroke of midnight wherever you are, that all the new beginnings you are wishing for are there for the taking. Have a good one folks.

xxx Louise 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Doolin Short Story Competition

The Doolin Writers' Weekend takes place this year at Hotel Doolin from the 28th-30th March 2014

Hotel Doolin in association with The Irish Writers’ Centre is delighted to announce the launch of the DOOLIN SHORT STORY COMPETITION 2014There is a prize fund of €1,000 for first place and second/third of €600/€400. Entries can be on any theme and should be no longer than 3,000 words. The fee is €10 and closing date for entries is Monday 3rd March at 5pm. Winners will be announced at the Doolin Writer’s Weekend on28th – 30th March 2013.
Anthony Glavin is this year’s judge. Editor of “New Irish Writing” in the Irish Press from 1986-88, and a commissioning editor with New Island Books from 1994-2004, Anthony Glavin has published two story collections, One for Sorrow and The Draughtsman and The Unicorn. His stories have also appeared in many Irish, UK and US anthologies, including Phoenix Irish Short StoriesBest Irish Short StoriesShort Story InternationalNew Dubliners: Stories to Celebrate 100 Years of Joyce’s Dubliners, The Faber Book of Irish Short Stories 2006/7, and New Irish Short Stories (Faber, 2011). He is also the author of a critically acclaimed novel,Nighthawk Alley.
Following on from the success of the inaugural Doolin Writers’ Weekend, The 2nd Annual Doolin Writers weekend will take place on the weekend of the 28th-30th March 2014. The weekend will consist of workshops in short story writing, poetry and novel writing, lectures and readings by some of Ireland’s leading writers, as well as some great traditional music and theatre It is a great opportunity for aspiring writers as well as literary fans & published authors to get together and celebrate everything that is good about Irish Literature. Many artists and writers spent time in Doolin, including J.M. SyngeGeorge Bernard ShawDylan ThomasAugustus John and Oliver St. John Gogarty. This spring we look forward to welcoming back some of Ireland’s best writers for what we hope will become an annual literary event in North Clare.
The winning entries will feature on the Irish Writers’ website and the story placed first will also appear in print in The winning entries will feature on the Irish Writers’ website and the story placed first will also appear in print in The Clare People.
For further details, to download an entry form or to enter online visit:
Doolin Writers Weekend ENTRY FORM available here

If you have any queries, please contact:
Donal Minihane
Hotel Doolin
Doolin Co. Clare

It's not all bad news!

Believe it or not, I'm down with the flu again. By that I mean I was on the mend, then things took a nosedive. Hubby is now sick too, so we're coughing and spluttering and generally sharing our germs the same way we share most things in life, wholeheartedly!

But it is not all bad news. Firstly, I'm back to the writing and I'm beginning to get that sense that the fictional world is becoming real. This is a very good thing, because if it's not real for the writer, it sure as hell won't be real for the reader. The second bit of good news is that my sick hubby finally read The Doll's House! Yes, I know that it has taken him a while, but he's been mad busy with work, and in fairness hasn't been reading at all. It was a funny thing, me on one side of the couch coughing and writing, and him on the other side of the couch reading my novel.

The really good news is that he loved it, and said it reminded him that he missed reading so very much. You need to understand that whereas my hubby is wonderful, he doesn't get gushy with lots of words of praise, he simply say it as it is, and for him to say that he felt the book had him gripped, and he was sorry it was over, and could I please hurry up with the next one, was kind of mega great.

Thankfully we have plenty of books for him to devour in the interim, so I'm sure he'll have much to enjoy.

Have a wonderful New Year folks.....

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas!

So the Christmas tree is finally up, the food is in, and most of the pressies are bought, and considering how sick I've been with the flu for the last couple of weeks, that is a small miracle.

Tonight we have what we call our annual family Christmas party. It's a time we all used to gather together in our parent's house, siblings and grandchildren and grandparents, together. Now that both our parents are gone, we alternate between myself and my siblings for hosting the night. The young grandchildren have all grown up, and the next generation have arrived!! 

This is our year to host the annual get-together, and before I depart for the holidays, I wanted to wish you all a safe, happy and healthy Christmas. May 2014 be a great year, and fingers crossed a lot of happy memories will be formed.

All the best to you and yours.



Friday, December 20, 2013

Want to win a FREE copy of The Doll's House - Winner of Best Irish Crime Novel 2013

As The Doll's House paperback has been out of stock on Amazon for nearly 2 weeks now, here's a nice competition for you!!

Anyone who orders it or Red Ribbons on Kindle from Amazon in the next few days, please let me know and I'll put your name into a draw for a signed free copy of the 1st Edition 'THE DOLL'S HOUSE' paperback!!!

I have a couple hidden in the attic!!

Here a lovely picture of me winning the award with State Pathologist, Marie Cassidy!! I think I look like I'm still in a daze, but receiving it from this wonderful lady was the icing on a very delicious cake!!

Photograph by Patrick Bolget

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Crime Fiction Writing 8 Week Workshop at the IRISH WRITERS' CENTRE

Did you ever think Crime writing might be for you?

Have you the idea for a crime novel, or have you already started one and are looking for the impetus to finish it?

Do you want to really understand the genre, to look at tension, pace, creating memorable characters, writing effective dialogue, and producing a gripping story with plenty of twists and turns...then this could be for you!!!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013


With all the madness over the last while, and then being struck down by the flu demon, I neglected to let you know that I have signed another 2 Book deal with Hachette Books - The contract has gone off in the post with my Christmas cards!!! 

So roll on 2014 and 2015! Only not too fast as I need to get an awful lot of writing done!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

First drafts are like lovers!

I know everyone says (including myself) that first drafts are simply that. They are the beginning not the end, and yes, I know, the best books aren't written, they're rewritten, but god oh god, first drafts are frustrating.

At first, as with all love affairs, they seem special. They are filled with endless possibilities, your head is dizzy with what the future holds for you both. In some ways, you're blind, because you have to be. There is no way of knowing the future, especially while you're creating it.

It's a time to be patient, a time to see what the new lover is all about, to give them time to grow and evolve into their full potential. All sounds very good, until the niggling doubts appear, and you wonder about this first draft - has it tricked you? How much work does it need? Will it ever be the wonderful lover you thought it would be, could be?

Right now, myself and my first draft are not seeing eye to eye. We are frustrated with each other, and not altogether sure about moving forward. We have gone from 45,000 words to less than 42,000 in the blink of an eye. We see each other's weaknesses and wonder can we move on from here. The future feels less than certain.

Nonetheless, here we are, and like all relationships that are worth anything, they require work. Time for a breather, me thinks, then I'll return to do battle again!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Dogs and the City!

This is a story of life, love, companionship and respect. 

Listen in HERE - you won't regret it!

Ger Philpott

Ger Philpott is an award winning screenwriter and filmmaker. He writes for the print media, radio, screen and TV.
His work includes the prizewining 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.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Number Crunching!

I must be on the mend from this flu virus as I've started to read again, and do some useless number crunching stuff.

Last month was the highest recorded visits to the blog so far, nearly 10,000. I'm sure it was due in part to The Doll's House winning the Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year Award 2013 at the Irish Book Awards, but it also brings my blog hits to over the 150,000 mark.

Anyhow, here are some useless blog states for you for last month. United States looking good!!

Blog Visits last month

United States                    5,403
Ireland                              1,207
China                                   826
Germany                              770
United Kingdom                   437
France                                  206
Others                              1,105

Total                                9,954

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Mother's Hands

I've been very touched by the amount of people who read the story in the Irish Examiner and who've made contact with me in one way or another. 

It got me thinking about a poem I'd written a long time back. It was about my mother's hands. I realised I didn't have a copy of it anymore, but like all words that come from a place deep inside, they never really leave you. 

So I've put the poem below. I hope you enjoy it. The angels referred to are the two children my mother lost. Many others have suffered too, but here are a few small words about her. 

The image below is of my Mom as a young girl. At the very bottom are YouTube links to Mount Pleasant Buildings and the poverty within it. Thank you.

My Mother’s Hands

Her hands held little fingers with cold front door keys,
wrapped a red coat over, 
protecting me from more than rain,
pushed prams, peeled spuds,
no lady hands, but lady owned.
skin like alabaster, soft not weak,
hands of pain, hands of an optimistic soul,
sprouting blood bubbles in pin-pricked old age,
folded quietly in gentle melancholy, 
stolen by her mind’s disease,
in death as in life, 
angels drawn.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Haunted by Mount Pleasant - Irish Examiner

Image by Nick Bradshaw - Irish Examiner

Haunted by Mount Pleasant 

STANDING up, as she’s about to leave, Louise Phillips, author of the just-named Irish Crime Novel of the Year The Doll’s House may have cried as she told me about the dark place where her novels originate.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Francis MacManus Short Story Competition

This year marks the 26th anniversary of the RTÉ Radio 1 Short Story Competition, which over the years has proved to be the launching pad for many renowned Irish writers.

Submissions for the 2014 RTÉ Radio Short Story Competition in memory of Francis Mac Manus are now being accepted. 

The closing date for submissions is Friday 31 January, 2014.

Applications forms and guidelines can be downloaded here or obtained by post (Please include a stamped addressed envelope)  to:

The Francis Mac Manus Short Story Competition,
RTÉ Radio 1,
Dublin 4.

The three judges for 2014 are Christine Dwyer Hickey, Award winning novelist and short story writer, Julie Parsons, best selling author and former radio producer, Eoin Purcell, Editorial Director, New Island Books.

Irish Crime Fiction Books of the Year 2009 -2013

Irish Crime Fiction Award 2009: Blood Runs Cold by Alex Barclay

Irish Crime Fiction Award 2010: Dark Times by Gene Kerrigan

Irish Crime Fiction Award 2011: Bloodland by Alan Glynn

Irish Crime Fiction Award 2012: Broken Harbour by Tana French

Irish Crime Fiction Award 2012: The Doll's House by Louise Phillips

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards 2013

To view RTE coverage of the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards 2013 - click the image below.

Photograph by Patrick Bolger

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