Monthly Archives: August 2013
THE DOLL’S HOUSE BLOG TOUR
I am delighted to welcome friend and crime fiction author, Louise Phillips, as a guest as she continues on The Doll’s House Blog Tour.
Let me introduce you to the trailer:
When it went live, The Doll’s House book trailer, caused quite a stir.
You can be view it here, but be warned – it’s not for the faint-hearted!
Survived that? Check out the latest reviews:
THE DOLL’S HOUSE has been described by crime writer, Niamh O’ Connor, as ‘chilling, mesmerising. Gets under your skin and stays with you,’ and by Myles Mc Weeney of the Irish Independent, as, ‘A gripping, suspenseful story, peopled with well-drawn characters…’
And now, at last, the book itself:
The Doll’s House
“Middle-aged male, multiple stab wounds, found drowned in the canal. You have my number. Call me.”
This is the message criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson receives one cold Saturday morning from Detective Inspector O’Connor, spoken in his usual curt manner. The middle-aged male in question is Keith Jenkins, the host of a popular TV programme, and as Kate and O’Connor begin their investigation, they find themselves faced with more questions than answers.
The past . . .
Following her mother’s recent death, Clodagh has begun to explore her past – her memories of her father, who died in a mysterious accident, and the dark tragedy that seeped through the cracks of her childhood home. When she begins to visit a hypnotherapist, scenes from her childhood begin to take shape, with interjections from a sometimes sinister cast of dolls.
. . . is waiting . . .
As Kate continues to investigate the disturbing details of the vicious murder, she is drawn closer to Clodagh’s unsettling family history. What terrible events took place in the Hamilton house all those years ago? And what connects them to the recent murder?
Time is running out for Clodagh and Kate. And the killer has already chosen his next victim…
Now over to Louise for some questions:
What do you feel makes for a great character – one that the reader will remember a long time after the final page?
Creating characters can be a bit like life, sometimes they can surprise you! And by that I mean that on occasions they can arrive practically fully developed on the page, and at other times, you have to dig quite deep. I think for the most part I know I have a strong character when their voice is constantly in my ear, so that when I go to write, it’s almost like you’re not the one doing the writing. We all have our favourite memorable characters from novels, but by and large the ones that stay with you are the ones that strike a strong emotional cord. I like a character that runs through your bloodstream the deeper into the novel you get. If at the end of a book, a part of you is already missing that character, then it is undoubtedly a memorable one.
There was quite an amount of research involved in The Doll’s House and part of it involved hypnosis and regression. Knowing what your character, Clodagh, uncovered, how did you feel while you were awaiting the countdown for your hypnosis session?
I think researching hypnotic regression for The Doll’s House reminded me how complicated our minds are. I was fully committed to the idea, and really believed it would happen. I had no idea that my conscious mind would block me from being regressed. Perhaps with the research I had learnt too much. The whole area fascinated me, which is why I chose to write about it in the first place. We all think we remember things as they happened, but we don’t. We constantly compromise our memory, as each time we recall an event, instead of going back to the original memory, we shortcut back to our last recall. So, getting back to your question, I was both nervous and excited. I hope to make further efforts to regress, and when I do, I’ll let you know how I got on.
It looks like The Doll’s House was a sell-out at its recent launch in the Gutter Bookshop. Were you surprised to find an even bigger turnout than at your debut novel, Red Ribbons?
Surprised and delighted. I was thrilled to see so many people there, and I think in part it was a testament to RED RIBBONS that so many people were keen to pick up a copy of THE DOLL’S HOUSE. I was amazed that whilst signing copies, on a number of occasions I looked up and saw that people were starting to read the novel on the queue! So far it’s got some fantastic reviews, so fingers crossed. The story seems to have really struck a nerve with people, and as a writer, you can’t ask for more than that.
About The Author:
Born in Dublin, Louise Phillips returned to writing in 2006, after raising her family. That year, she was selected by Dermot Bolger as an emerging talent.
Her work has been published as part of many anthologies, including County Lines from New Island, and various literary journals. In 2009, she won
the Jonathan Swift Award for her short story Last Kiss, and in 2011 she was a winner in the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice platform. She has also been short-listed for the Molly Keane Memorial Award, Bridport UK, and long-listed twice for the RTE Guide/Penguin Short Story Competition.
Her bestselling debut novel, Red Ribbons, was shortlisted for Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year (2012) in the Irish Book Awards. The Doll’s House is her second novel and has recently hit the book shelves with a vengeance!
I can promise, an enjoyable read awaits you . . .
The Doll’s House and Red Ribbons are available from Louise’s site here.
Tags: Amazon, author, bridport, clodagh, crime fiction, dermot bolger, gutter bookshop, irish independent, irish writers centre, jonathan swift award, kate pearson, Louise Phillips, molly keane memorial award, myles mcweeney, Niamh O'Connor, o'connor, Penguin, Red Ribbons, RTÉ Guide, The Dolls House, trailer, UK
There’s plenty of events to keep all avid readers and aspiring writers busy over the month of October and more to come . . .
Check out a selection below which includes LADYKILLERS – when, as part of the Red Line Book Festival, I have the opportunity to chat to some of my favourite crime fiction writers – Alex Barclay, Louise Phillips and Arlene Hunt – not a night for the faint-hearted!
Ireland’s leading performance poets take you on an emotional journey about what it really means to be a man. With Stephen James Smith, Colm Keegan & Kalle Ryan.
Venturing where few men have gone before they talk life, love, family and feelings in a show about universal truths, the things that make us human and the things that mess us up.
“…each of the men brings their own energy, tone and distinct poetic style to the composite structure…”**** The Irish Times
Contains some strong language, suitable 15+
This event is supported by Poetry Ireland
Date: Wednesday 16th October
Venue: The Civic Theatre, Main Auditorium
Admission: €12/€10 concession
Michael J. Whelan is a soldier-poet, historian and United Nations veteran. Michael writes powerful, emotive poems of witness, tragedy, friendship & loss brought like baggage from war zones through which many Irish soldiers have passed; he is a voice of moments in the past.
In, Against the Black Sky, We Listen, he writes poems inspired by his experiences and memories as an Irish soldier with the peacekeeping forces during the conflicts in Lebanon and Kosovo.
Michael will read from his collection of poems placed 2nd in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Awards 2011, some of which have been published in New Irish Writing 2013 and other literary journals.
Date: Thursday, 17th October
Venue: RUA RED Arts Centre, Tallaght
Crime Writing by Leading Female Authors: Alex Barclay, Arlene Hunt, Louise Phillips and special guest former Boulder Coroner Joanne Richardson in conversation with Susan Condon
A killer evening not to be missed! Some of Ireland’s most popular female crime writers share insights into creating a gripping thriller. Special guest Joanne Richardson, former County Coroner of Boulder Colorado, brings an interesting element to the evening as she shares her experiences in this challenging role.
Alex Barclay’s first novel Darkhouse was a Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller. Since then Alex has written several bestselling thrillers and won the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award at the Irish Book Awards for her third novel, Blood Runs Cold, which was the beginning of the Special Agent Ren Bryce series.
Arlene Hunt’s dark and atmospheric stories perfectly capture the grimy underworld of Dublin and beyond. She is the author of a series of fast-paced crime-thrillers, featuring John Kenny and Sarah Quigley from Quik Investigations. Her sixth novel Undertow was nominated for best crime novel of the year in 2009. Her current novel – a stand alone set in the US – entitled The Chosen, was voted as TV3′s Book of the Month for November 2011.
Louise Phillips’ bestselling debut crime novel, Red Ribbons, was shortlisted for Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year (2012) in the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards. Her eagerly awaited second psychological crime novel, The Doll’s House was published August 2013
Joanne Richardson was County Coroner in Boulder Colorado from 2003 to 2012 and was responsible for determining cause and manner of death, which indicates whether the death was accidental, natural, suicide or homicide. Despite having what many would perceive to be a morbid profession, Richardson is upbeat, colourful and frank about her work.
Susan Condon is currently editing her debut novel – a crime fiction thriller set in New York City. Her writing career began in 2008. She has won many short story awards and was Longlisted in the RTE Guide / Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition 2012.
Date: Friday 18th October
Venue: The Civic Theatre, Main Auditorium
Admission: €12/€10 concession
Whether you are a crime fiction reader or currently honing your skills as a crime fiction writer, this is an event not to be missed. An opportunity to delve into the minds of three prolific writers as they divulge the secrets (we hope!) to their success and how they manage to get into the minds of their characters: the victims and the killers . . .
At the end of the night, there will be a chance for you, the audience, to ask those burning questions that have been eating away at you. If you can’t make it on the night and that burning question will not go away, post it here. The most intriguing question will be asked, on your behalf, on the night.
Hope to see you there!
Posted in Events
Tags: Against the Black Sky, Alex Barclay, Arlene Hunt, Best Irish Crime Novel, Blood Runs Cold, Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards, Boulder Coroner, Colm Keegan, Crime Writing, Darkhouse, Dublin, Female Authors, Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award, Irish, Irish Book Awards, Joanne Richardson, John Kenny, Kalle Ryan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Louise Phillips, Michael J Whelan, Michael Whelan, New Irish Writing, Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Awards, peacekeeping forces, Quik Investigations, Red Ribbons, Ren Bryce, RTE Guide / Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition, Rua Red, Sarah Quigley, soldier, Special Agent, Stephen James Smith, Sunday Times, Susan Condon, the chosen, The Civic Theatre, The Dolls House, Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About, Top Ten Bestseller, TV3's Book of the Month, Undertow, United Nations, veteran, We Listen
Crime Scene Book Club Reviewers over on www.writing.ie
Who could possibly argue with Louise Phillips, author of Red Ribbons, when she compared us – Joe McCoubrey, Mick Halpin, Triona Walsh and little ‘auld me – as similar to the X Factor panel! Just as discerning – and possibly even more dangerous – all of this in our roles as part of the Crime Scene Book Reviewer Panel over at www.writing.ie . . .
As avid readers, I know this is a role we are all enjoying immensely.
You can find links to a number of my reviews below to whet your appetite:
The Doll’s House by Louise Phillips
Headstone by Ken Bruen
In The Darkness by Karin Fossum
The Chosen by Arlene Hunt
Bad Moon Rising by Frances de Plino
Crossbones Yard by Kate Rhodes
And don’t forget to check out what Joe, Mick and Triona are reading and reviewing.
Posted in Book Reviews
Tags: Arlene Hunt, bad moon rising, book club, crime, crime scene, crossbones yard, frances de plino, headstone, in the darkness, Joe McCoubrey, karin fossum, kate thodes, Ken Bruen, Louise Phillips, Mick Halpin, Red Ribbons, reviewers, Susan Condon, the chosen, The Dolls House, Triona Walsh, Writing, writing.ie