Category Archives: Writer Profiles

Guest Blog: Louise Phillips

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

The Dolls 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:

louise-phillips

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.

Available directly from Amazon: The Doll’s House and Red Ribbons.

www.louise-phillips.com

Louise on Twitter

Louise on Facebook

HOPE

All of us live with hope in our hearts and each hope, at different stages in our life, can, I’m sure you’ll agree, be all-consuming and extremely personal. But not too many of our hopes and dreams can save lives.  The New Big Book of Hope is the exception!

It was introduced to me, by my good friend Orla Coffey, who has a non-fiction piece included, entitled, Flashflight, describing her first encounter with a Malaysian man in a Thai prison.

You may not know Orla – yet – but you soon will . . .2013 Face of MS Ireland 2013

Orla is currently the face of MS Ireland’s World MS Day campaign for 2013, which this year focus’s on young people with MS. Her photo is currently plastered across buses and billboards and it is hoped that it will show sufferers and their families that many people with MS go on to live full and happy lives.  Orla, a qualified solicitor, is a walking statement of how true this is. Karma ensures that her many good deeds are rewarded, which means her friends also get to share her good fortune – an evening with Joseph O’Connor, author of Ghostlight, which she won in ‘A Novel Break’ competition with the ‘Dublin: One City, One  Book’ festival – was, most definitely, a prize treasured by us all.

As winner of the Curry’s and PC World writing competition, she was famous on YouTube in a fake, electric wedding, to Batman – since realised in true life – and definitely worth checking out.

But back to The New Big Book of Hope – also worth checking out – in the literal sense!

Compiled by Vanessa O’Loughlin, from writing.ie and Hazel Larkin and with its astonishing range of bestselling authors, political figures, business people and media celebrities, The New Big Book of Hope eBook has something for everyone. Claudia Carroll, Don Conroy, Brian Crowley, Brian Keenan, Sinead Moriarty, Kate Kerrigan and over forty other unlikely bedfellows rub shoulders – the only common denominator being their considerable talent. And in this special eBook edition, four new writers – Alison Wells, David Fairclough, Fr. David Keating and Orla Coffey – have been selected for their contributions in making this book a truly unique collection.

new-big-book-of-hope

This book will save lives.

To live without hope is the ultimate deprivation. The Hope Foundation reaches out to the street children of Kolkata, India, on a daily basis: rescuing sick and abandoned children; delivering food and clean water to the slums; providing crèches where destitute and slum-dwelling mothers can safely leave their children while they do what they can to earn money; running its health-care programme, including its new hospital; fighting child labour and child-trafficking; breaking the cycle of poverty through education in its many coaching centres.

This extraordinary collection celebrates The Hope Foundation and – hopefully – will play a significant role in publicizing and supporting its courageous work. A potent blend of fiction, poetry, memoir and non-fiction, the contributions explore the theme of ‘hope’ and its vital presence in all our lives.

The New Big Book of Hope is now available to purchase in digital form online at Amazon and all digital outlets.

Eveyone involved in the project would greatly appreciate your support – even clicking the LIKE button on the Amazon page will make a difference to the collections sales and the work The Hope Foundation can do.

The Hope Foundation

Guest Blog: Catherine Brophy

A treat – for readers and writers alike: I’m sure you’ll enjoy the writing tips that Catherine Brophy, writer, story-teller and broadcaster has kindly shared with us. After a recent conversation with Catherine, about editing my first novel, these pointers couldn’t have come at a better time!

Catherine Brophy

Catherine writes film, T.V. and radio scripts and she also writes short stories. Her previous novels are The Liberation of Margaret Mc Cabe and Dark Paradise. Her latest novel, Burning Bright, is a comedy about money, fame and the Celtic Tiger.

According to Catherine, she lives a blameless life in Ireland but escapes whenever she can. She’s been rescued by a circus troupe in Serbia, had breakfast with a Zambian chief, ate camel stew in the Sahara, and was kicked by a horse on the Mexican plain.

Now over to Catherine!


WHO WROTE THIS HIDEOUS RUBBISH?

And who stole my beautiful prose?

Ah yes, I know the feeling well.   You’ve got a great idea. You’ve found the time to write.   You’ve gone at it full tilt. Your head is ablaze with ideas. It’s going great. You write and write and write till you come to a natural halt. You rise from your desk with a feeling of virtue and genius and general fabulousness. This must be how Shakespeare felt when he’d put the final full stop to Hamlet.

All you have to do now is run the spell check, tidy up the  punctuation, maybe change a word or a phrase here and there, and you’ll do that to-morrow. You go to bed that night and sleep the sleep of the just.

Morning arrives and you rush to your desk with a song on your lips certain you’ll get this finished to-day. You read what you wrote and OMG!  That blaze of ideas… that eloquence… where is it? It’s all disappeared! All that’s left is lumpen paragraphs and hobbled sentences. You want to howl to the heavens and collapse in despair. But, before you tie a millstone round your neck and jump into the river – read on.

Lodged somewhere in the back of our brains is the notion that a REAL writer sits down and writes. That inspiration flows from the angels, through her mind and her quill and directly on to the page. If only! REAL writers write and re-write and re-write and re-write again. So save yourself trouble and heartache.

  • Within all that cack-handed prose there are jewels. They need polishing and proper settings but they’re still jewels and when you calm down you will recognise them.
  • All writing is about clarification. You want to communicate your ideas as vividly as possible to your reader. You can only do that when you have clarified them to yourself.
  • Think of the first draft as detailed notes, the place for that clarification. Nobody expects notes to be perfect.
  • Don’t bother editing, correcting or polishing just keep going –you can waste a lot of time editing only to discover later that you need to cut that bit out!
  • Use all the clichés, slip shod grammar, poor punctuation, inaccurate phrases and colloquial expressions that comes to mind – they’re just shorthand.   You know what you mean and you can find the accurate word, the dazzling phrase on the next draft, or the one after that.
  • Don’t do too much research – you’ll waste hours on fascinating information which you don’t need. Only check facts that you know are essential.
  • Make notes as you write, put them in colour or bold. “Research this” “This needs to be in earlier.” “Insert more info about x” etc.
  • Keep writing on till the end.

Whew… the first draft is finished. It’s not undying prose but you’ve got what you need. More clarity. A better understanding of your characters, more information about your plot, some idea of themes and a firm foundation to build on. Step 1 of the process of writing is complete. Now for Step 2.


Burning Bright by Catherine Brophy

A COMEDY ABOUT MONEY, FAME AND THE CELTIC TIGERBurning Bright - Catherine Brophy

The Celtic Tiger is in his prime and the Kerrigans are splashing the cash. They have made it big time, so eat your heart out you small town snobs! But Daddy’s-girl Kirsty wants Celebrity and International Fame and devotes herself to pursuing this dream. Crashing Madonna’s Christmas party doesn’t help, neither does causing a stir on Big Brother but when a video clip of Kirsty goes viral on You Tube, fame arrives with a bang. But Tracey O’Hagan, a blast from a shady patch in the Kerrigan past, has appeared on the scene. She’s mad. She’s bad. And she’s definitely dangerous to know.

Set in the years of the Celtic Tiger, Burning Bright is told in the voices of Kerrigan family members and friends.   It’s funny. It’s believable. And it will definitely make you laugh.

 

AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON

KINDLE:  http://amzn.to/XLEATU   PAPERBACK: http://amzn.to/XLE7Bi   

Website: http://www.catherinebrophy.ie
Twitter: @catherinewrites

Writer Profiles

Poets and writers from writing groups,  including; Platform One in Rua Red, Lucan Writers, St Muirin’s Writing Group and Virginia House Writers, who read their work in Tallaght Library and were profiled in The Poet’s Corner in The Echo.

Find out more about them and read some of their work:Poet's Corner

Michael J Whelan:
The Echo, 26 April 2012 – Michael J Whelan

James Hyde:
The Echo, 5 April 2012 – James Hyde

Joan Power:
The Echo, 8 March 2012 – Joan Power

 Eileen Casey:
The Echo, 1 March 2012 – Eileen Casey

Brigid Flynn:
The Echo, 23 February 2012 – Brigid Flynn

Tony Bardon:
The Echo, 16 February 2012 – Tony Bardon

Jim Archer:
The Echo, 9 February 2012 – Jim Archer

Colm Keegan:
The Echo, 2 February 2012 – Colm Keegan

Ray Mullen:
The Echo, 26 January 2012 – Ray Mullen

Brian Kirk:
The Echo, 12 January 2012 – Brian Kirk

Áine Lyons:
The Echo, 5 January 2012 – Áine Lyons

Mae Newman:
The Echo, 29 December 2011 – Mae Newman

As an added bonus this week, The Echo have also published a short story called ‘The Rapping Penguin’ by Emily Whelan
(Michael J Whelan’s daughter, aged 9¾):
The Echo, 22 December 2011 – Emily Whelan – p1
The Echo, 22 December 2011 – Emily Whelan – p2

Trish Nugent:
The Echo, 22 December 2011 – Trish Nugent

Ann Marie Mullen:
The Echo, 15 December 2011 – Ann Marie Mullen

Kate Dempsey:
The Echo, 8 December 2011 – Kate Dempsey

Trish Best:
The Echo, 1 December 2011 – Trish Best

Gavan Duffy:
The Echo, 24 November 2011 – Gavan Duffy

Maria Wallace:
The Echo, 17 November 2011 – Maria Wallace

Marie Gahan:
The Echo, 10 November 2011 – Marie Gahan

Doreen Duffy:
The Echo, 3 November 2011 – Doreen Duffy

Susan Condon:
The Echo, 27 October 2011 – Susan Condon

Louise Phillips:
The Echo, 20 October 2011 – Louise Phillips

Michael J Whelan:
The Echo, 13 October 2011 – Michael J Whelan

Eileen Casey:
The Echo, 6 October 2011 – Eileen Casey

Red Line Writing

I was delighted when my short piece, Secret Librarian, was chosen by Sue Hassett to be included in the Red Line Writing as part of South Dublin Libraries Red Line Book Festival last year, along with fellow writers and poets.

This is a reading of new work by writers from South Dublin, presented in diverse voices by actors from Inchicore College, Carousel Theatre School and Clondalkin Youth Theatre. To have your work read by a professional actor, while you sit in the audience of The Civic Theatre, is, I can assure you, quite a thrill.

Curious Broadcast is a radio station and production company who work with people to exchange knowledge through audio and video productions.

Head over to Curious Broadcast and take a moment to listen to the diverse work delivered on the night. Secret Librarian can be found at 00:22:18 but if you have time, I’d encourage you to listen to them all – you won’t be disappointed.

TITLE WRITER ACTOR
Artist’s Statement Molly O’Dwyer Rachael Dowling
Lily Shepherd Jen Donohoe Hayley Roche
Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori Michael J. Whelan Asa Cuthbert
Irish Batt Michael J. Whelan Vladic Gurdis
Covenant Denied Michael J. Whelan Kenneth Hudson
Secret Librarian Susan Condon Nicola Kirwan
Sun God Gavan Duffy Kenny Stapleton
Classmate Gavan Duffy Conor Kelly
Border Shop Mae Newman Rachael Dowling
The Mind Fisher Doreen Duffy Hayley Roche
Tallaght Tardis Áine Lyons Nicola Kirwan
2 extracts from Acquittances 123 Sue Hassett Rachael Dowling

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