Alan Clarke - hahaha

The mysteriously talented Mr Alan Clarke has an exhibition of paintings, sketches and other things in London opening next week - it opens on Wednesday and runs until 22 November in the Capital Culture Gallery.

If ye’re in the area (and even if you’re not) I highly recommend dropping in to have a snoop. (And if no one is looking maybe grab a painting or two - one for me, one for you)


Flip flopped

Congratulations to Inkheart and Carbags, and everyone, who read at last nights Children’s Theatre Festival’s New Writer Slam. (Thanks to the Flip Flop organisers - especially Valerie - and to Sarah Webb, Conor Kostick and all round funny woman, Aislinn O’Loughlin too) Had a great night, including the midnight snacking in Eddie Rockets afterwards.

And there is still loads happening - including the launch of Siobhán Parkinson’s new book Dialann Sár-Runda Amy Ní Chonchúir in Pearse Street library in Dublin this morning. And then later today the launch of Conor Kostick’s Move tonight at 6 in the Stephens Green Shopping Centre (Dublin).

Written by david. in: Free Time, Print, awards | Tags: , ,

Movers and shakers

If, after yesterdays two events and the new writers’ reading in Dún Laoghaire tonight, you are still craving more then why not head to Hughes and Hughes in St Stephen’s at half six on Wednesday for the launch of Conor Kostick’s new book Move.

Liam O’Dwyer discovers he can move between parallel universes – when he wants something to go his way, he moves to the universe where it happens. (Remember Sliders?) But there are consequences to each move and they are starting to catch up with Liam and his friends.

Robert Dunbar will be officiating the night and the launch is in a bookshop - so there’ll be plenty of choice!


weekendings and more to come

I haven’t disappeared, just been plenty busy with all of the happenings around Dublin over the last few days - including Octocon over the weekend. I got to meet some of the who-be-whats-its and writers of fantasy and science fiction, including the loverly Sarah Rees Brennan (who’s Demon Lexicon is coming out next year) and to hear some interesting characters talk about things I barely understood.

Saturday was Free Comic Book Day too and was run alongside 24 Hour Comic Book Day in the Central Dublin Hotel. I met the loverly Clíodhna Lyons who filled me in on all things comic booky - and if you haven’t already, get yourself out and pick up Clíodhna’s comic anthology “Sorry I can’t take your call right now but I’m off saving the world”.

Cathy Hopkins and Jenny Valentine (chaired by Patricia Kennon) are in town today to talk about writing for teenagers - details are here - and the UCD Creative Writing anthology Anything But Simple is being launched - details are over on you-know-who’s blog.

And finally - tomorrow will see yours truly and some very talented people take to the stage to read as part of Flip Flop, the Children’s Theatre Festival, in Dún Laoghaire. Hope to see you there!

Written by david. in: Comics, Free Time, Reading, linkage | Tags: , ,

Its Children’s Book Month (October)

So its October again and the Children’s Book Festival has kicked off (Dublin got Derek Landy but there was plenty happening all over the country - including a pyjama party with Oisín McGann in Monaghan, are there any pics of Oisín in pjs??)

There is far too many things for me to recommend, so you’ll  just have to go to all of them. Or, if that’s not an option - over the next month you will see all of these names cropping up in libraries, schools, town halls and other weird places around the country: Derek Landy, Cathy Hopkins, Karen McCrombie, Keith Gray, Kevin Crossley Holland, Jenny Valentine, Michael Scott, Jon Berkeley, Tom Kelly, Kate Thompson, Steve Weatherill, Tony Ross, John Dougherty, Nick Ward, Julie O’Callaghan, Gabriel Fitzmaurice,  Cathy Cassidy, Joe Craig, Alan Gibbons, Julia Golding, Celine Kiernan, Michael Carroll, Padear Ó Guilín, Malachy Doyle, Keith Charters, Maeve Friel, Marie Burlington, Joe O’Brien, Ali Sparkes, Babette Cole, Niamh Sharkey, Adrienne Geoghegan, Judi Curtin, Roisin Meaney and Conor Kostick.

One of the highlights I should recommend is the Writing for Teenagers discussion on October 20 with Cathy Hopkins and Jenny Valentine (Chaired by Patricia Kennon) - might even see ya there! There are two competitions during the festival too that are open for anyone under 15 and there’s a festival blog that (I’m sure) will have pics and videos and other bits as the festival goes on…

So where can you find out more about all of this? Over at the rowdy website of Children’s Books Ireland. (Where else?!)

Written by david. in: Free Time, childrens books | Tags: , ,

I land, you land, he’s Landy

The Children’s Books Festival was launched this morning in the crypt of the Liberty Hall Theatre in Dublin. There were all manner of posh speeches from the who-be-wots-its but the main event was a Q&A with the dastardly (hilarious rocker) David O’Callaghan and the spooky (hilarious rocker) Derek Landy.

Derek let slip a few state secrets - including the name of the new book, The Faceless Ones, that will be out next April. He also mentioned owning the cape from Superman (the original movies), a replica lightsaber, a gun from Aliens and a 1966 Ford Mustang. So that’s where the HarperCollins cheque went…

By lunchtime I was up-to-speed on karate, dancing and how to wear an alien mask. Fun was definitely had.

The Children’s Book Festival rolls out across Ireland through October (more about that tomorrow) or you can go direct to the source and check out what’s happening on CBI’s website.

Written by david. in: Free Time, childrens books | Tags: , ,

Culture Night

Well there’s plenty happening around Dublin, Cork and Galway tonight - the highlight (other than the open mic poetry of course) has got to be Oliver Jeffers hanging out in the Ark. He’s making paper planes for a few hours - something to do with his new book The Great Paper Caper… (which has the secret to making great planes cleverly hidden in the book jacket)

Thanks to the Very Hungry Caterpillar for spotting the event. Check out for more.

Written by david. in: Free Time | Tags: ,

me me me | rightly or wrongly

Have you heard about the Dublin Book Festival yet? Its a book festival, organised by publishers from around Ireland, to promote books. It sounds simple but it was years in the making. But the festival starts this Friday in City Hall with a reading from childrens’ writer Marita Conlon-McKenna. Also reading on Friday is yours truly at half-past one. (17.5 on the nervous scale)

If your home tonight (or out and near a radio/pc or even a phone with earphones) I’m making a surprise appearance on the Arts Show on Radio One. It was recorded yesterday at PO Box 2222, Donnybrook, Dublin 4. Weirdly I met Rick (grand poobah/king of all men/salty face). That’s not so weird really, considering he works there. But it was unexpected.

And if you don’t fancy hearing/seeing/doing anything related to me, go here and read about Fústar’s plan to rebirth Dreadful Thoughts. First up for us all to read is M.R. JamesOh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad. Discussion time is Monday March 10 at 8pm.


Writing doesn’t pay bills

Jessica Johnston over at the Kenyon Review blog has a piece on writers’ lifestyles, including teacher-writers, parent-writers, waiter-writers, beekeeper-writers, lighthouse keeper-writers, farmer writers, construction worker-writers, librarian-writers, software engineer-writers, grocery clerk-writers and puppet wrangling-writers in her list of possibilities.

Tad Williams’ biog reads as a CV: band member, shoe salesman, financial manager, newspaper boy, military manual designer, DJ/Broadcaster, TV/Theatre producer, teacher, co-founder of a television company and a writer. David Eddings was a buyer for Boeing rocket ships and a grocery clerk. Thomas Lynch works as an undertaker. Dannie Abse is a doctor.

Alongside the weird daytime experiences out there are the ‘writerly’ jobs. Lecturing in creative writing or English literature or Poetry. (Heaney, Palahniuk and countless thousands of others). Editing journals. Sub-editing. Journalism. Ghost writing. Visiting schools/libraries/arts centres.

A few writers have recently stressed to me how important they found their day-job. The routine of getting up in the morning (or having to go to bed), coming across different places or hearing and talking to people.

I can’t see the attraction. Not working sounds ideal.

Written by david. in: Free Time, Work, Writing | Tags: , ,

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