Just back from Canada where Arrivals was launched in the grounds of Lakefield College School, by Mary Smith, the Mayor of Lakefield. Also present in the photo are John Boyko, former Dean of History at the college, and Phyllis Williams, Chief of the Ojibwe at the Curve Lake Reserve.
It was exciting to have the launch in the very location where so much of Arrivals plays out, and an honour to have such important dignitaries present. The event was covered by the Lakefield Herald and What’s on in Peterborough, with television coverage on Chex TV’s popular evening show, Newswatch.
The launch was followed by a reading, a lively questions and answers session, and drinks on the deck of the boathouse. Even the weather was perfect, with a golden sun dipping below the horizon just as the event finished!
My radio play Brothers and Sisters will air on Newstalk on Monday June 6th at 11.30.a.m. and can also be listened to as a podcast after the broadcast.
Brothers and Sisters looks at the tensions arising in the staff room in an eighties Dublin school when it’s suggested that a Christian Brothers School and a convent should amalgamate because of falling pupil numbers.
Starring Denis Conway, Karl O’Neill and Marion O’Dwyer, the programme was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television License Fee.
I gave a talk to Transition Year students in Blackrock College on writing historical fiction, drawing on themes from Friend or Foe and One Good Turn, with particular emphasis on the topic of looting during the 1916 Rising.
The students were engaged and had lots of questions, and I even had my picture taken beside the plaque to the infamous Ross O’Carroll-Kelly!
My radio play The Last Summer will air on Newstalk on Monday May 2nd at 11.30.a.m.
The Last Summer is a drama about the relationship between a young Irish boy, Kevin Riordan, and an elderly English lock keeper, John Bennett, in late-Fifties Ireland.
Despite its idyllic summer setting, trouble is coming with the proposed closure of the local canal, and when Kevin discovers that Mr Bennett – a conscientious objector – had fled to Ireland to escape conscription in the Great War, both characters are faced with difficult moral dilemmas.
Starring Michael James Ford, Marion O’Dwyer, and Eoin Brady, the programme was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television License Fee.
Great event last week in the Draiocht Theatre when The Lucky Penny booklet was launched, by the Deputy Mayor of Fingal.
This was the culmination of a project in which a scene from my 1916 book, Friend or Foe, was the starting point for children in three Dublin schools to write their own cartoon stories, assisted by professional cartoonist Alan Nolan.
The children were from Scoil Thomais, Castleknock, Scoil Mhuire, Blakestown, and Mary Mother of Hope NS, Littlepace, and their artwork will be on display in the Draiocht Gallery until July 1916.
Congrats to everyone involved, and particular thanks to Sarah O’Neill in Fingal Arts Office, and Sarah Beirne, Emer McGowan and Nicola Murphy in Draiocht.
Other writers such as Marita Conlon McKenna and Patricia Murphy – who have also written books set in 1916 – were also in the DIT giving talks and there was great buzz around the college, and indeed around the whole city.
Brian was joined by authors Steve Butler, Sibeal Pounder, Jonathan Meres and Shane Hegarty for the launch of World Book Day in Liberty Hall, Dublin.
Hundreds of children converged on the theatre in Liberty Hall for photographs, book signings, readings and talks by the authors.
Steve gave a hilarious account of his own childhood, Sibeal dressed volunteers from the audience as witches, Shane spoke about his Darkmouth series of books, Jonathan played the guitar, and Brian read the opening scene from his World Book Day novel, One Good Turn.
Afterwards all of the authors met the children, and the event was filmed by RTE and shown on News2Today.
I’m delighted to announce that my novel, Friend or Foe, has been chosen as one of the books for the UK Summer Reading Challenge.
This is a hugely popular scheme in which three quarters of a million children go into libraries to keep up their reading skills and confidence during the holidays. The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year and children sign up at their local libraries, then read six library books of their choice, collecting stickers and other rewards along the way – all FREE.
And now, all year round, the Summer Reading Challenge website helps children keep track of their reading, find new books to read, take part in competitions and play games.
Publishers from across the UK submitted over 200 finished books, manuscripts, and top secret early proofs to consider for the 2016 collections. With help from librarians and children from Chatterbooks children’s reading groups, the submissions were narrowed down to just 72 titles – and I’m flattered that Friend or Foe has been chosen for this year’s list.
Here’s a picture of some of the covers, with Friend or Foe the first book on line four.