"Irish crime fiction is enjoying something of a golden age, and this year’s most wanted is Louise Phillips for her second book, The Doll’s House. The award was presented by the State pathologist Marie Cassidy." The Irish Times
I was utterly thrilled to receive the award for the Best Irish Crime Novel 2013, sponsored by Ireland AM, in the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards on Tuesday evening. I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to everyone who helped make this happen, and in particular everyone who has visited and supported this blog. If there was even more icing to be found on the cake, it was the fact that the award was presented by the wonderful Marie Cassidy, a women whom I greatly admire.
A huge THANK YOU to everyone who cast their vote in the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards!! The Award Ceremony is tomorrow evening the 26th November and Cinderella is going to the ball - My ticket arrived today - YAY I'll try to remember to take lots of pics!!!
Curled up in front of the fire this evening I set about catching up on my reading material, delighted to be one of 100 lucky folks who acquired a copy of Quasimodo by Mia Gallagher, a limited edition chapbook from Spolia, with full color illustrations by Kirsetn Stolle.
“Quasimodo” begins with two sisters doing something they've done a hundred times before: entering their parents’ house. But something is different. The lighting is wrong. The normally soft hues and gentle lamp-lit shadows have been washed out by hard fluorescent overhead bulbs. Carpet stains– once hidden– are exposed and the wallpaper is peeling. It isn’t pretty but it’s the truth. What is light after all, if not revealing? Their father has been left in charge after their mother’s stroke. He does not share her knack for ambiance.
Ann, one of the daughters, knows about strokes. Her husband suffered three of them. The story takes its title from the way they left his face partially paralyzed, half-melted like that of Notre Dame’s famous hunchback. It’s a bitter association that Ann keeps to herself. And yet, the phrasequasi modo means ‘almost the standard measure,’ which connotes the skewed shape of relationships in crisis. Everything is almost how it’s supposed to be. The pieces are there but nothing looks quite the way you need it to.
The light in Ann’s parents’ house is without magic, like when the auditorium lights pop on after a play. The story itself points a flashlight into the mouth of a cave and asks how deep people will go for the sake of their loved ones. When is it selfish to distance yourself from a situation? When is it foolish to keep getting closer? “Quasimodo” offers no certain answer to those questions, except to say there is a time and place for everything.
Trinity College Dublin and New York University are holding a festival devoted to Irish crime fiction, featuring more than a dozen of the most exciting Irish crime novelists. This will be a memorable event, devoted to a key genre of contemporary Irish writing.
Among the confirmed participants are Declan Burke, Jane Casey, Paul Charles, John Connolly, Conor Fitzgerald, Alan Glynn, Declan Hughes, Arlene Hunt, Kevin McCarthy, Brian McGilloway, Eoin McNamee, Niamh O'Connor, Louise Phillips, Peter Quinn, Michael Russell, and Stuart Neville.
One of the most pleasant mornings in the city this week, chatting with Andrea Hayes of the TV3 Midday team, along with novelist Claudia Carroll about the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards Nominations 2013, 'The Doll's House', and 'Me & You'...
Click on image below to view (it's about 30 minutes in)
If you're doing your Xmas shopping early this weekend, can I ask that you keep this lovely book in mind? 100% of the royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to Barnardos educational programmes.
Brief Extract below from my story 'Light Within the Dark'
A number of years back a woman I had briefly met asked me a straightforward question. "What kind of a childhood did you have?" My answer was both short and swift. "Don't go there," I said. Thankfully she took the hint, and didn't. But I still remember the emotional torrent behind my response, even if the woman in question wasn't aware of it. Internally, a tsunami of emotional defense-mechanisms jumped into place. The truth was: I couldn't go there..... About the book If I Was a Child Again is a collection of memories and inspirational words from some of Ireland's finest writers, journalists and TV personalities as they tell us what they would do if they could be a child again for one more day. Some recall their fondest childhood memories, some are bittersweet, while others provide uplifting words of wisdom for today's children. This book will make you laugh and cry but, above all, it encapsulates the magic of childhood.
The countdown is on...Only 7 days left to vote in the Irish Book Awards!!!! If you fancy giving The Doll's House a vote, scroll down to the Ireland AM Best Crime Fiction Award and cast your vote...it couldn't be easier!!