Apart from filming fictional dead bodies in the water, and getting up at 3.30 in the morning to get the right light for a spooky house.... very soon the website www.louise-phillips.com will also get a face lift with the much anticipated, soon to arrive book, you've guessed it THE DOLL'S HOUSE!!!
Frances di Plino is the pseudonym of columnist, editor, non-fiction author and writing tutor, Lorraine Mace, a columnist for Writing Magazine and a deputy editor of Words with JAM. She writes fiction for the women’s magazine market, features and photo-features for monthly glossy magazines and is a writing competition judge for Writers’ Forum. From the other side of the writing fence, she runs the international flash fiction and humour verse competitions at Flash 500, and is a fiction and non-fiction tutor for the Writers Bureau.
Read my interview with the lovely Frances di PlinoHERE
3 copies of asynopsis (max 300 words) and 2 copies of (up to five) chapters of your novel (max 10,000 words.) Attach one synopsis to your application form, the other two should be attached to the copies of your manuscript.
Whilst there is no minimum word count for the completed novel, a minimum of 50,000 words is recommended.
The kidnap of children is a rare occurrence but parents can help allay their fears by talking openly to their children
Article by Linda Daly of the Irish Independent Mothers & Babies Supplement, discussing the research behind RED RIBBONS, and how we each need to plan ahead.
In her novel RED RIBBONS, Dublin author Louise Phillips tackles the issue of child safety during that pre-adolescent transitional period. The book opens with the abduction and murder of two 12-year-old girls. "I picked that age because something happens when children reach pre-adolescence and forge their own independence. It's a very vulnerable time for you as a parent and for them as young adults," she says.
In Red Ribbons, Phillips, herself a mother of three and grandmother of one, details the worst fears of any parent. "I didn't set out to write the book to scare people but I wanted to give a good emotional insight into something like this. It's almost a subject we don't talk about," she says.
"When I was growing up, we played on the street. As time is going on, there's less of that happening. To an extent, our children are missing that interaction with the street. That can be a good thing in some ways but it can also be a bad thing, especially when they're taking that leap to meet friends."
In the course of her writing Phillips did a lot of research, working with detectives in Rathfarnham and Tallaght garda stations in Dublin. She says she discovered the importance of parents putting certain safeguards in place. "For example, if a child, elderly person or someone with a disability goes missing, straight away they are assigned to category one, which is high risk," says Phillips. "These are grouping that are more susceptible to something going wrong."
Phillips acknowledges that child abduction isn't something that happens every day, but says it is important that parents and children plan for the unforeseen. "Sit down with your children and discuss a plan. Know all the mobile and landline numbers of their friends, and know where they are going to be and what time they're due back," she says.
"When a child or a young adult goes missing, every second counts, especially those moments directly afterwards. The closer you are to pinpointing that moment, the better. You don't want a situation whereby you're ringing Mary to find out Jane's mobile number. You need to have those things in place. When you're frantic, it's not the time to be looking for all those pieces of information."
Phillips says it's important to let children know that the 'boogie man' may not look dangerous. "People who do bad things don't display clues. They can be charming, inoffensive, friendly, helpful, and very capable of manipulation. They tend to plan or have thought about their actions for a protracted period beforehand, and will actively endeavour to gain the trust of another, to manipulate and coerce."
She says communication with your child is key to ensuring their safety."Talk openly and honestly with your son or daughter about the very thing you want them to avoid, becauses sometimes facing our fear can be the best way of avoiding it."
Red Ribbons is now available in paperback at bookstores nationwide, as well as Tesco and Dunnes Stores. Phillips' second novel, The Doll's House, is due for release in August.
REDUCING THE RISK
Phillips has the following tips on keeping your children safe.
Keep in touch with your child even if you think you know where they are.
Know the times they are due back.
Know who they are with.
Ensure you have a list of phone numbers of each of their friends and their friends' parents.
Have their friends over often or engage with them in their external activities.
Watch out for tell-tale signs. If your child's behaviour changes, there is usually a reason. Finding out why can make all the difference.
A mobile phone could be one of the most valuable forms of protection your child can have.
Despite giving you the impression that they think you know nothing, they do listen to what you say - it is vital to recognise and acknowledge this.
It's brilliant news that www.writing.ie, the brainchild of Vanessa O'Loughlin, is behind the creation of this New Irish Book Award for Short Story of the Year .....
See details below
Writing.ie is very excited to announce a new category in the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards – a much anticipated recognition of a form that Irish writers excel at – the Writing.ie Short Story of the Year Award.
The Irish short story has a distinctive place in the modern Irish literary tradition. Many of Ireland’s most celebrated writers, both in English and Irish, have been practitioners of the genre, its roots without doubt, in our ancient tradition of story-telling. Indeed, many award winning novelists have launched their careers with short stories, gaining recognition through a form that the internet has breathed new life into, by providing writers with new places to publish, making their work accessible to millions of potential readers with the click of a mouse.
From Conan Doyle’s adventures of Sherlock Holmes to James Joyce’s “epiphanies”, as Flannery O’Connor put it, in Writing Short Stories. “A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is. You tell a story because a statement would be inadequate. When anybody asks what a story is about, the only proper thing is to tell him to read the story. The meaning of fiction is not abstract meaning but experience meaning, and the purpose of making statements about the meaning of a story is only to help you to experience that meaning more fully.”
This new category in the prestigious Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards, the Writing.ie Short Story of the Year Award, is open to short stories of up to 7000 words published between 1st Nov 2012 and 31st October 2013 in any of the following contexts: a collection of short stories by a single author; an anthology of short stories; or an established journal or magazine, digital or print, that has been in existence for at least six months within the period of eligibility.
I'm delighted to have Niamh Boyce, author of an utterly amazing debut novel, THE HERBALIST, visit the blog today. It has been receiving rave reviews, and deservedly so!!!
You can read my little old review of The Herbalist HERE
Having gone through the debut publishing experience myself, I was keen to find out from Niamh how the last twelve months has been for her, and what wise gems she might share.
So put on the kettle and settle back!!!
Can you give an overview of where you were
at with your writing this time last year?
Thanks for having me over Louise! As for last
year - one highlight was winning the Hennessy XO New Irish Writer of the Year
for my poem Kitty. The other highlight, of course, was when my first novel, The
Herbalist, became one of the winners of the Irish Writers Centre's Novel Fair
competition. It was there that I met Ger Nichol from The Book Bureau and
Patricia Deevy from Penguin, both of whom loved the book from day one. So the
'New Irish Writing Page' edited by Ciaran Carty and The Irish Writers Centre
both played an important role in my writing life last year. It was a busy and
happy time for me.
What is the most important thing you have
learnt about your writing during the last twelve months?
What have I learnt about my writing? That's
a hard one. I've suppose I've realised there was something very special about
the fire and energy with which I wrote The Herbalist, and that each novel I
write will bring its own energy, its own method. What works for one book
doesn't necessarily work for the next. For instance I wrote The Herbalist by
hand, early in the morning. I felt it was the only way to access the voices of
the book. But I'm typing most of my current novel as I feel it suits the story,
and the voices. For some scenes, however, I find myself switching back to pen
and notebook again. I write by hand when I want to go deeper, when I feel a
character resisting, when I want to know a secret! Rhythm is important to me
too, and writing by hand can help access the rhythm of a book in a way typing
doesn't. These notions that I have are true for me now, today, but of course by
next month I may have changed my mind and be dictating the book by voice
recognition... I'm very open to changing my mind, to being wrong. I think
that's important for a writer.
What causes the greatest
challenge/frustration with your writing?
The greatest challenge is getting the time
to write. Like most writers I don't write full time - I have a day job, I have
a family, so I am constantly finding ways to juggle them all. But then again
there are worse things to juggle than something you absolutely love doing :-)
READ MORE ABOUT NIAMH BOYCE AND THE HERBALIST HERE
And if you want to read a book like no other out this year - Go pick up a copy!!!
For all 2 or 3 of you out there who might be interested, if you pick up a copy of the Mothers & Babies magazine of the Irish Independent this Thursday, 4th July, I'll be chatting with the lovely Linda Daly about my research for RED RIBBONS, and about how we can each make a difference in the protection of our children.
The Red Line Festival will take place from October 15th to 20th 2013, so keep the dates free in your diary!
If you are poetic, this might be of interest for you!!!
Red Line Poetry Competition
The inaugural poetry competition is now open and accepting entries.
First prize is €300, second prize is €200 and the third prize is €100.
All shortlisted entrants will be invited to read their poems at an event in The Red Line Book Festival this October.
The competition is open to everyone living on the island of Ireland, as long as the work is original and previously unpublished. There is no fee to enter. The maximum number of entries per person is 2. The closing date for entries is Friday 30th August 2013.
The Red Line Poetry Competition will be judged by the poet Alan Jude Moore.
Alan Jude Moore is from Dublin. He has published three poetry collections: Black State Cars (Salmon Poetry, 2004), Lost Republics (Salmon Poetry, 2004) and Strasbourg (Salmon Poetry, 2010). A new collection is due to be published later this year. His fiction has been shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award and his work has been translated into Italian, Russian and Turkish. He has read and performed at many events in Ireland and abroad, including Electric Picnic; the Dublin Book Festival; The Istanbul International Poetry Festival; The Henry Miller Memorial Library, California; Loyola University, Los Angeles; and the Nabokov Museum, St. Petersburg.He is the editor of the online literary magazine The Burning Bush 2 www.burningbush2 His website is: www.alanjudemoore.com