First prize and publication in Writers’ Forum

My story Death is the sound of distant thunder, strongly based on the third chapter of my novel, has won first prize in the monthly Writers’ Forum magazine competition and will appear in issue 168.

I was delighted with this, first big win since my story in New Irish Writing late 2013, and also because it reflects well on the novel.

 

Short list for two stories

After a long break mostly writing my novel, I have two short listings.

Death is the sound of distant thunder, a war/love story set in the same world as my novel is shortlisted with the Writer’s Forum Magazine, and I’m also on the shortlist for the People’s College competition:

http://www.peoplescollege.ie/news/2015/04/28/peoples-college-short-story-competition/

Happy days!

Preview of my new novel, The Lightning Bird

Click here for a dynamic version of this synopsis (Scroll down once the image appears)

Click here to read three chapters

 

What would you do if you loved somebody so much that you were driven to destroy them? Two generations of the Slane family must answer this question, tossed about on the turmoil of one war after another, pursued by the dark power of the Lightning Bird. Jimmy and Maureen fight with the British Army in the Boer war, but evil follows them home from the killing fields of Ladysmith.

Their son Alex fights the same demon, first in the Royal Hibernian Military School, where he kills another boy, but persuades his friend Finn to take the blame, and later he is mobilised with the British army during the Easter Rising. Finn, meanwhile, fights with the IRB in the GPO along with Alex’s cousin Caer, who has sworn her love to him. Finn is wounded and, when they try to escape, they are nearly killed. Alex rescues them but is labeled a traitor as a result.

The three hide out in bleak west of Ireland, but Alex’s demon draws him into involvement with the IRA, and later, in the heat of the violence, he has an affair with Caer, leaving her pregnant. As the war of independence drowns them in bloodletting, they are forced to come to a realisation of themselves and each other. The ultimate revelation that Alex’s true mother was a Boer woman who died in a concentration camp drives him to discover things about himself and Caer that finally lead him to sacrifice himself to save his lover and child.

MJ Hyland Seminar

I had the pleasure of attending award winning author MJ Hyland’s fiction workshop in the Irish Writers’ Centre at the weekend. She’s a fascinating speaker, the day passed in a flash, even with the water protesters screaming outside.

She went through some great exercises on developing your style through studying other authors as well as knowing yourself. Came away with some interesting thoughts around the characters in my novel and a very long reading list. Two things to particularly recommend: http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews and the fiction podcasts on the New Yorker http://www.newyorker.com/podcasts, great authors read other stories previously published and explain what’s great about it.

Worth missing the greatest day in the history of six nations rugby? Well, I still have that to watch on the recorder.

New Irish Writing this weekend

Delighted to learn that Ciaran Carty of the Irish Independent is going to publish my story Thickened With Blood in his New Irish Writing section this Saturday (21st December). NIW normally appears last Saturday of the month but jumps a week forward on account of Christmas.