How Kilimanjaro changed me…

Ten years ago yesterday I stood at the summit of Africa’s highest mountain, and one of the world’s seven summits, Kilimanjaro. The experience changed my life forever. I’ll never forget the smirks and laughter when, at the age of eighteen, I announced I intended to do the challenge to my friends and family. Very few people really believed I would do it. (To all of … Continue reading How Kilimanjaro changed me…

Remembering Father Vincent

This week my great-uncle, Father Vincent, passed away. He was such a special man who dedicated his life to the Church and to helping people. He was a Dominican Priest and he worked all over the world. He spent nearly twenty years in Trinidad and Tobago and even worked alongside the Pope in Rome. Despite this, Father Vincent remained a humble and gracious man.

When we visited him at his priory in Limerick, the Prior there told us how Father Vincent always had time for everyone and took a particular interest in people who were struggling or needy. He was generous with both his time and his means and would even send what he could to a young man in prison who had lost his way and had asked Father Vincent for help.

Last year he moved to Newbridge College, Dublin, and I am so grateful that James and I managed to go and see him last month. He was very happy there and very well cared for. He loved the view from his room of the River Liffy and I was in awe of their beautiful library.

We enjoyed a beautiful meal with all of the Brothers at Newbridge and I’d like to thank them all for their love and support for Father Vincent.

They are memories that I will cherish forever.

May he rest in peace. x

Continue reading “Remembering Father Vincent”

What are literary agents looking for in a non-fiction submission?

As most of you know, I’m currently studying for an MA in Professional Writing at Falmouth University. I’m in my last year and am preparing for my final project. Our last module before we are set free for six months to write our final project has been a Research and Development module. The module is to prepare proposals for our books and to conduct an … Continue reading What are literary agents looking for in a non-fiction submission?

Bookshelf Beauty – Lonely Planet’s Beautiful World

I really don’t have much to say about this book apart from the fact that it is breathtakingly beautiful! I was very lucky to receive it as a gift from a friend and it is one of my most treasured books. Each page you turn leads to another stunning photograph and the book fills my gypsy soul full of wanderlust to explore this beautiful planet … Continue reading Bookshelf Beauty – Lonely Planet’s Beautiful World

Blog to Book (Part 8) – Advance Copies

Even though I’d seen the BLAD and of course the final proofs in a PDF format, the book still didn’t feel 100% real until I received the advance copies through the post. I knew what size the book would be, the number of pages and what the cover would look like, but I still really struggled to imagine it as a REAL book! When the … Continue reading Blog to Book (Part 8) – Advance Copies

Bookshelf Beauty – Wonderbook

I have a whole shelf on my bookshelves dedicated to writing books and my favourite by far, in terms of beauty, is Wonderbook – The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer. It’s a fantastic book to pick up and flick through to get the creative juices flowing. The book can really turn your ideas upside down and inside out leaving you with … Continue reading Bookshelf Beauty – Wonderbook

Hemingway’s House – Key West

I’m currently reading Earnest Hemingway’s On Writing which is a book compiled of Hemingway’s comments and observations on writing throughout his life and career. I’m throughly enjoying it and I think it’s a great book that I’ll dip in and out of again. Its next to my new Bonsai tree which I’m in love with. I’ve wanted a Bonsai for ages but until this week, … Continue reading Hemingway’s House – Key West

Bookshelf Beauty – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Other Stories

I’m a real sucker for pretty books. Not only do I love reading but I also appreciate beautiful books both old and new. In this new series, Bookshelf Beauties, I’m going to highlight some of my beautiful books and why I love them so much. To start with I had no choice but to share this stunning Barnes and Noble Leatherbound Classic Collection copy of … Continue reading Bookshelf Beauty – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Other Stories

Blog to Book Series (Part 4) – The manuscript

Once the contract for Bailey Boat Cat had been approved by all parties and signed, I got to work on the actual manuscript. During the contract stages we’d discussed deadlines, and initially I was quite surprised by how quickly Bloomsbury wanted the manuscript written. In total, I had about two months to get the manuscript of around 10,000 words written. I also had to do … Continue reading Blog to Book Series (Part 4) – The manuscript

Blog to Book Series (Part 2) – The Proposal

Even though I was contacted by the publisher asking if I’d be interested in turning the Bailey Boat Cat blog into a book, I still had to prepare a proposal that the editor could present to the sales team. I had no idea what I was doing or what was expected for a proposal, and of course no agent to guide me, so I was … Continue reading Blog to Book Series (Part 2) – The Proposal