Today is publication day of my first book, Daughter, Mother, Me: A memoir of love, loss and dirty dishes. It is a day I always dreamed of, and worked towards. But like a life lived well, a book written well is not done alone.
Due to family circumstances, I have had to postpone the official launch of the book. I was going to use that opportunity to thank a lot of people who have helped me to this amazing day. So instead, I will raise my hand in salute here, until I can raise a glass in salute at a later date.
My name is on the front of the book, but there are many names that helped to write it.
I’d like to start with the author Patricia O’Reilly, my first creative writing teacher all those years ago, who called me back from class one day and said words that changed my life. “You must write,” she said. Patricia, you will never know how much those words spurred me on.
I’d like to thank Vanessa O’Loughlin (as would half the published authors of Ireland!). I think I attended some of the first Inkwell sessions and over the many years of writing and wittering since, you (and http://www.writing.ie) have championed and cheered me on.
I’d like to thank the author Natasha Fennell who many years ago, during a life coaching session, said to me, “Why are you not writing? Everything points to that.” And when I was offered a book deal, she offered me generous advice and support. Thank you.
There are many others in my Writing Emergency Support Squad – Hazel Gaynor, Sue Leonard, Sue Thompson to name but a few – thank you for the advice and the encouragement.
To my Writing Fairy Godmother – Ciara Doorley who sent me an email asking if I’d like to write a book. Yes, please! Thank you for seeing my potential, and keeping me focussed and fired up.
To my lovely supportive agent, Sallyanne Sweeney – for always being at the end of a phone, even when I’m ranting nonsence and for sharing my love of my dog and cat pictures.
For all the team at Hachette – Breda, Joanna, Ruth and John – you have made this experience amazing.
To my glorious girl-friends – you all know who you are – I might be alive, but I wouldn’t be kicking without you.
To my dad, my brother Simon and sister-in-law Charlotte – for putting up with me!
And to the breads of my sandwich with whom, and for whom, this book couldn’t and wouldn’t be written. My breath-taking girls, and my love-giving mum…. thank you.
My book is written, printed and now published. I might just pour myself a large gin.