2016 is being hailed as a brutal year for so many reasons, and for me personally it was also very mixed. My first book was published making a life-long dream come true. But sadly my lovely mum died on the publication day of the book about her. Daughter, Mother, Me: a memoir of love, loss and dirty dishes follows my story of being caught in as tsunami of care, after my mum had a stroke just four days after my third baby was born, and became a bestseller.
The year ends however, with the excitement of the paperback coming out on January 5th. Dressed with a new name – The Sandwich Years – and a new cover, it also contains an additional Afterward, which brings the story to conclusion. I am so thrilled to be doing lots publicity over the next few weeks, and really delighted to be appearing on BBC’s magnificent Women’s Hour, being interviewed by the fabulous Jenny Murray (can you tell I’m a huge fan of her and the show!). All being well with my red-eye flight in the morning, I’ll be sitting in the London studio feeling like a freaky fan. I listen to Women’s Hour podcasts when I go running so how fun to be able to listen to myself next time I am struggling up the hill!
The year has been filled with lots of magical writing experiences. From the thrill of having a book published, to the fear of starting again with a blank page: to retreating to wonderful havens for creative concentrate in Casa Ana in Spain, and Tyrone Guthrie in Monaghan, to meeting some wonderful writers; to giving talks on writing at the Dalkey Creates festival to learning from the best at a Niall William’s workshop and hearing Emma Donoghue speak; from playing with an idea like a rubix cube until all the pieces slot into place to finding the voice that has set my fingers tapping; from writing lots of new avenues to reading lots of amazing books (post to follow on my best reads of 2016) it has been a wicked writing year.
And as we all know, when the world gets crazy and frightening, there is nothing more comforting than the whisper of pages turning. Happy reading and happy writing.