Blog Archives

Laurence O’Bryan talks writing – and what comes afterwards

Laurence O’Bryan describes himself as ‘an award winning Irish crime/mystery writer & social media evangelist who won’t shut up!’ Having spent years working out how to market books, he has had a #1 selling novel on Laurence O'Bryan 2Amazon and his novels have been translated into 10 languages.

His writing career kicked off in 2007 when his debut novel, The Istanbul Puzzle, won the Outstanding Novel Submitted Award at the Southern California Writers’ Conference. The same novel, five years later, was shortlisted for Irish Crime Novel of 2012. Fast-forward to 2015 and The Jerusalem Puzzle and The Manhattan Puzzle are on the book shelves and he’s currently working on his fourth novel, The Nuremburg Puzzle.

His novels have received rave reviews with his writing style compared to that of Dan Brown and Robert Harris, while others felt his electrifying conspiracy thrillers would entice fans of Scott Mariani and Sam Bourne.

‘A brisk plot which draws the reader into a conspiratorial rapport’ – The Telegraph

‘… stylish conspiracy thriller … combines plenty of stirring action with fascinating historical detail’ – Irish Independent

Books_Go_Social

I first had the pleasure of meeting Laurence over three years ago at the monthly ‘live’ crime writers’ group he hosts in Dublin. Although venues may have changed over the years, his mission to help and promote fellow writers has become ever stronger and led to him setting up www.BooksGoSocial.com and most recently to organise the Writers’ Conference which takes place in the Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin at the end of the month. With a 25 year career in IT marketing and over 117K Twitter Followers, surely he’s the ideal candidate to pass on all he knows to the many unpublished novelists trying to find the edge. It may all be about the writing but, it appears, once your masterpiece is complete it’s time to don your marketing hat and get it noticed.

You can read the full interview on writing.ie by clicking here which offers an insight into O’Bryan’s writing journey along with details on:

the Writers Conference which takes place in the
Irish Writers’ Centre, Dublin
from 26 – 28 June.

Guilty

Guilty

Up until now, most of my posts have been writing related in some shape or form – but today in Ireland, as most of us try to abstain, it was hard to resist the call to listen to a fabulous new single called Guilty.

I had recently heard murmurings that my first cousin, second cousin and cousin-in-law were working hard on a project, so I was delighted when they contacted me to share the final product.

I couldn’t wait to click on that button and take a listen.

So I did.

And honestly, bias apart, it’s absolutely brilliant!

You can listen to it here and if you like it check out the details below to download it.

They would be delighted if you could spread the word and do please post a comment.

Just remember, when they’re as big as Bono and the lads, that you heard them here first.

And they are:

Guilty by: Sorcha K
Featuring: Niall K and Brian Mc

For Apple people on iPhone/iPods/iPads it’s on iTunes at:
https://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/guilty-feat.-niall-k-brian/id828659323

If you’re on Android it’s on Google Play at:
https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Sorcha_K_Guilty_feat_Niall_K_Brian_MC?id=Bo3xr6fofztbbk7cp7rrzwawtom

It’s on the Amazon shop as well:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00INMJ4ZO/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp?ie=UTF8&qid=1393609185

or if those aren’t your thing then you can buy it on BandCamp at:
http://tailwindrecords.bandcamp.com/

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

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

‘Interned’ in Original Writing from Ireland’s Own, 2012

You can check out my memory piece, Interned, published Original Writing from Ireland's Own, 2012
in the third Anthology of Original Writing from Ireland’s Own.

An anthology of the best stories from the annual writing competitions run by Ireland’s premier family magazine.

This collection includes forty short stories and memories pieces from the latest annual writing competitions run by Ireland’s leading family magazine with contributions from South Africa, Switzerland, France, England and sixteen Irish counties.

Also included, from fellow Platform One writers, are a memory piece from Marie Gahan, Requiem for a Prince and a short story from Doreen Duffy, Cuts Like A Knife.

If you’re interested in picking up a copy it’s available to purchase in paperback from Ireland’s Own.

Or in-store in Eason or as an ebook from Eason or Amazon.

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