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A busy week…

Posted: November 7, 2011 in book launches, books, Uncategorized

What a hectic weekend! First we launched Ballerina at The Helix, Dublin. Next up was Leigh Gath’s appearance on the Late Late Show on Friday. Finally, we launched Don’t Tell Me I Can’t in Limerick on Saturday followed by a Ballerina signing at Town Hall Theatre, Galway.
Thank you to everyone for attending all events!

Book Republic author, Leigh Gath, will be appearing on the Late Late Show tonight along with her husband Eugene. The two will be discussing Leigh’s extraordinary life and their own particular love story.

Leigh’s autobiography Don’t Tell Me I Can’t: The Truimphant Story of a Thalidomide Survivor is out now.

As the month of November approaches it brings with it the excitement of preparation for National Novel Writing Month (affectionately known in the Twitterverse as #NaNoWriMo). Budding writers everywhere are currently feverishly plotting outlines, synopses, character profiles, and generally brainstorming for the month-long writing exercise.

The ‘aim of the game’ is to write a novel containing 50,000 words in 30 days; no mean feat! The primary purpose (presumably) is to get into the habit of writing a little bit every day. Even if what you write is dribble, drab, and totally uninformative it still gets people practising their skill. It allows you to get involved in a new, very helpful community of like-minded individuals who you may even end up becoming life-long friends with.

Join the online community here. What are you waiting for?

-Karen Hayes (Book Republic)

This October Book Republic author Mick Rooney shall be taking part in a mini blog tour for his novel ‘The Memory of Trees‘. Mick Rooney has been writing books for nearly thirty years and has published nine books, so were looking forward to seeing what these blogger’s think of his newest book ‘The Memory of Trees‘.

The blog tour is due to take place 30th  Sept – 13th Oct, and the bloggers that are taking part are:

  • Catherine Ryan Howard- Catherine Caffeinated  here
  • Ellen Brickley – Pink Tea and Paper  here
  • Sue Collier- Self- Publishing Resources here
  • Shannon Yarbrough- The LL Book Review  here
  • Helen Hollick- My Guests here

Why not check out these blog posts, and we will keep you updated as the dates draw closer!


image of Joanna Ryde

I do sometimes be on the way to a gig thinkin’ to meself about the old days when I lived in Dublin, workin’ in the Spar and livin’ with me ma and da and seein’ me mates all the time and I do miss them. They do slag me off all the time, sayin’ I went on the All Ireland Talent Show and moved to Waterford and got all posh and forgot them but thats not true. I do be busy. Rivita they do call me, the Eva Peron of Finglas. I don’t know what that means coz I didn’t watch that film to the end, it was shite.

Anyway, I think to meself I better go and see them before they start forgettin’ who I look like (Its Mariah Carey in case yeh didn’t cop) and get into me Peugeot 206 what I’m still payin’ on me loan from the Credit Union and drive up the M9 from Waterford what they’re only after finishin’. Motorway all the way! I was like Michael Schumacher on crack, although Newlands Cross can go and shite as far as I’m concerned.

Bernie was workin’ and Jasmin was away at some spa weekend (coz she is one) and so it was just me and Concepta Cooney and this new friend of hers who she keeps callin’ Tracy Gaga. Now whether this youngones name is actually Tracy Gaga or not I don’t know and never got a reply to me text I sent Concepta about it as I bypassed Carlow at 180 kilometres an hour.

I drive into town and park in the Brown Thomas car park which lets not lie, is new for me. I couldn’t even spell Brown Thomas before I left Dublin, let alone be able to afford to shop there. I did get kicked out once. Tell a lie, it was twice. Oh and I got me brother Bopper a D&G top once as well. €400 it was. Clearly I got it on discount. 5 finger discount, tell no one.

Concepta meets me at the door of MAC with this Tracy Gaga one and I’m not jokin’ yeh, the head on this one. She has some form of design drawn on her face and is wearin’ what can only be described as a pair of curtains, the material has to be from Guineys. Clearly this one has gone a bit mad on the Lady Gaga. Concepta tells me she’s a pansexual and when I find out what that is I’ll let you know. I’ll check with me best mate late, Wikipedia.

Concepta tells me she wants to buy perfume for her ma’s birthday and we go into Brown Thomas and start looking around and sprayin’ things on each other and goin’ mad with the Coolwater for Women by Davidoff what I’ve always been very fond of. This one comes over to us, a posh cow wearin’ a suit, and she has this bottle with her. “Would you like to try a new fragrance?” she asks and Concepta pretends to be posh like she does and goes “Oh please, what’s it called?” “Vens A Moi” your one says in this kind of French accent and sprays it on Concepta’s arm. Concepta smells it and pretends to think, which makes her look a little bit constipated. Your one smiles and says  “Vens a moi means come to me.” Concepta takes another sniff and back in her Finglas accent, turns to me and says “That doesn’t smell like come to me” and holds out her wrist for me to smell it “Does that smell like come to you Joanna?”

Three times I’ve been kicked out of Brown Thomas.

Jo Jo


Diary of a Ryde is out November 23rd, published by Book Republic Publishers.

To find out more about the book and Joanna check out or follow Joanna on Twitter @JoannaRyde

It’s been five days since the launch of my debut novel, The L.A. Commandments, and I find myself in an extended state of emotional limbo ever since; one minute I’m still reeling with excitement at the very thought of it – did it really happen? – and the next I’m slightly less euphoric because I don’t want the uplifting feeling to end… because it sure is uplifting.

Last Thursday, the day of the launch, seems like a dream in some ways. I woke that morning with a massive sense of relief – the majority of the preparations had been made, all of my friends and family (who weren’t on holiday!) were coming, and the day I had been dreaming about for quite some time had finally arrived. I’m not married and I don’t have children but I liken the experience to how a bride might feel on her wedding morning, or how elated a mother would feel holding her newborn in her arms for the first time. In a sense, my book launch was a combination of the two; my relationship with words is a dedicated, loving and long-term one and last Thursday I was going to see the fruit of my labour for the first time – my book; my baby.

My phone didn’t stop beeping that day with well wishes and ‘congratulations’ and I was surprised at how relaxed I felt. The weeks leading up to the launch were a collage of euphoria, incredulity and wonder, so I reckoned my body, and mind, had decided that last Thursday was a day to unwind, relax and slow down. And that’s exactly what I did. One of my best friends treated me to a manicure in her salon that afternoon, which was followed by a trip to the hairdresser. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d pampered myself a little so it was warmly welcomed. Everyone I spoke to throughout the day was really excited for me and extremely eager to hear more about the novel, so that fuelled my mood and ensured it was an upbeat, happy one rather than a nervous substitute.

I hadn’t written an official speech for the launch but I knew who I had to thank – obviously, Book Republic, St. Patrick’s College and my friends and family – but instead of feeling nervous about reading from my novel or speaking in front of lots (and lots) of people, I was on such a high at the very idea of having all my friends and family in one room, all getting to see my book for the first time, that it erased all my concerns. I’m so grateful to everyone who attended and I’m especially grateful to Book Republic for making it happen.

When I arrived to St. Patrick’s at 7.00pm that evening with some family and friends I was so busy ensuring that everything was in order that I didn’t have time to worry about people not showing up! Luckily, as the time passed quickly so did the amount of people coming in through the door – it was fantastic to see so many schoolmates, college friends and former colleagues who I hadn’t seen for quite a while. Watching everyone chatting, enjoying a glass of wine and queuing to get a copy of the book was such a fantastic feeling. It’s so surreal to finally see your words bound together in a beautiful book – it’s indescribable – and what makes it even more incredible is when people are queuing up to have you sign it. At one point, I was so overwhelmed I felt like I was watching someone else’s night, someone else’s launch, signing someone else’s book – it was hard to believe it was actually happening. But it was and it’s undoubtedly one of the best nights I’ve ever had.

Following the very eloquent and kind words of John Mooney, my publisher, and Dr Noreen Doody, Head of St. Patrick’s English Department, I proceeded to say a few words (I probably should have written a speech – I’ll remember that for the next one!) and read a short excerpt from The L.A. Commandments. Everyone was so gracious in their response, clapping and taking photos (there were even some tears), that I almost needed some Kleenex. It’s an emotional experience to look out into a room full of faces to be met with warm smiles, encouraging expressions and friendly winks – it makes you realise that your friends and family are with you every step of the way. They’ve probably been hoping for this day as much as you and judging by everyone there they were genuinely happy for me. What more could any writer ask for but to be in a beautiful place, celebrating a momentous event surrounded by all their loved ones.

Before I knew it, it was 10pm and I was still signing copies of the book – a great complaint! The three hours zipped by but the memories will last forever. Everyone’s kind words, well wishes, sincere encouragement and support are unforgettable.

Before my launch I wasn’t entirely sure how the evening would progress – I’d only ever been to one and it was for a collection of essays written by former St. Pat’s students rather than a novel – but the evening far exceeded all my imaginings. In fact, my imagination couldn’t have conceived a better outcome.

It was such a great night I can’t wait for my next one. One thing I did learn from the evening was that plenty of water (necessary for that speech), comfortable shoes (definitely required when you’re standing signing books for two hours) and a pen (you have to sign your first editions) are a must!

So, even though the best night I’ve probably ever had is over, it’s also great to have time to sit back and really savour the experience – My first book has just been published, can you believe it? Although I wouldn’t change one thing about the weeks preceding the launch, it is good to have time to reflect on my publishing experience and everything I’ve learnt from it. And what’s even more enjoyable is the feedback I’m receiving about the novel. Some of my best friends stayed up all that night reading the book, some finished it the following day and others are getting through it at a speedy pace, and it’s great that it’s generating such an emotional response. To receive a text or email from a friend or colleague saying that they’ve finished your book and loved it is arguably the best message you’ll ever receive. I’ll be forever grateful to them for all their support.

Now that my first book launch is over, and I’ve tasted euphoria and genuine satisfaction, I’m just like little Oliver, hungry for more – I’d like some more please Sir!

Roll on 2012 for my next launch. I’m ecstatic even thinking about it.

Talk soon,


Hashtags associated with authors or writers are not just for writers interacting with other writers. Think of the millions of people in the publishing industry – publishers, agents, publicists, suppliers, bookshops etc who regularly use twitter. They check writer/author hashtags on a regular basis to keep up-to-date with current trends, news etc. Then think of the number of those industry professionals that you can connect with, by doing something as simple as incorporating one of the hashtags listed below into your tweets. You never know what it may lead to… a publishing deal, publicity for your book, more traffic to your blog, or even orders for your book, so always include one when possible!

Here are a few of the most popular hashtags explained:

#authors – self-explanatory

#indieauthors – this refers to authors who are either self-publishing or pairing with ‘indie publishers’.

#writers – most obvious and commonly used hashtag for writers.

#write – similar to #writers

#yalitchat – this is Young Adult Literary Chat. This tag is used when people chat together on Twitter about YA literature. It occurs daily and you can contribute to the chat by adding this hashtag to your tweets.

#booksellers or #bookselling- using this hashtag can result in drawing the attentions of bookshops or booksellers.

#amwriting – this is one of the most frequently used hashtags for writers. Use this hashtag whenever you are tweeting about your writing.

#nowediting or #editing – obvious.

#readers or #reading – very common and easy method of reaching potential readers of your work.

#dearpublisher – adding this hashtag to your tweet gives you the opportunity to ask the thousands of publishers on Twitter publishing related questions.

#askpub – similar to #dearpublisher an opportunity to ask publishers questions. It can be interesting to follow; you may learn a bit about the publishing process, even if you don’t ask a question.

#publishing – related to all things publishing.

#writequote – If you are quoting from a book or author.

#writingtips – works both ways; you can give your own writing tips or keep your eye on the tag to pick up some tips.

#FF - follow friday – not specifically a writing hashtag but used worldwide on Fridays to list the people you like to follow on Twitter; give a short explanation why, followed by #FF. Use #FF to your advantage; show your support for other fellow writers/authors on Twitter; most people will reciprocate and list you as one of their #FF which can result in increased followers and increased publicity.

#Fridayreads – this is another hashtag used on Friday. You can use it to list what you are going to read for the weekend, or ask others what they are going to be reading. The results of the most widely read book can be seen on the creator’s – @thebookmaven site the next day.

#WW – Writer Wednesday – similar to #FF in that you can list the authors you like to follow, or you can just ask writing related questions or tweet tips and add the hashtag to participate in #WW.

And remember, new hashtags are being created every second of every day, so why not create a few of your own? If they catch on they may just find their way onto a list like this one day!

Happy tweeting and tagging,

The Book Republic Team.

Irish Independent journalist Kevin Myers is to write the foreword for BR author Dan Harvey‘s ‘A’ Company Action. Dan Harvey is a serving officer in the Irish Defence Forces and his forthcoming non-fiction is an insider’s account of the Irish army’s 36th Battalion and their battle of the tunnel of Elizabethville.

“Brilliantly described”… “thrilling”… “scholarly” are such phrases that Myers has used to describe Dan Harvey’s ‘A’ Company Action, his second book following on from his 2010 publication, Peace Enforcers, by Book Republic.

We are finalising the last few details of the ‘A’ Company Action book launch for late September 2011, so be sure to keep checking back for further updates. If you would like to pre-order Dan’s new book now, then simply click here. It is sure to be a great read this autumn, so don’t miss out!

That’s all for now, more updates on our forthcoming titles soon!


It was mid-September last year, the morning of the book launch of Ten Fingers and Ten Toes, my debut book. I received a phone call. The Irish Independent wanted to run a piece on the book, however unlike other media outlets who had contacted me, the Indo wanted me to write the piece myself – 1400 words to be precise and they asked that I have it into them within the next 24 hours.

So on the morning of one of the biggest days in my life with the whole population of Cork due to descend on my doorstep in anticipation of the launch in Dundrum, when beds needed fixing, food needed buying and the house needed cleaning, I found myself shoving it all to one side as I sat down at my kitchen table to pen my very first article. I was in heaven.

New to the game, I expected what I wrote to be a mere basis for the eventual end product however I was surprised and quietly chuffed to see that what I wrote was exactly what they printed. They entitled it “Missing Matthew” which I thought nice.

It became a busy time and TV3 came calling asking that I go on The Morning Show to talk about Ten Fingers and Ten Toes, a true story about life and loss in Celtic Tiger Ireland.

A few days later, I got an email from Yvonne Hogan, editor of the Irish Independent’s Weekend Magazine asking that I pitch some ideas to her on future potential articles. This email came through to me about five in the afternoon which meant that no one got fed that evening i.e. husband and kids, as I ploughed my head for material, dug deep for originality, eventually bunging off a list to her of what I felt I could write about. Her response was for me to get cracking on them!

I couldn’t believe it.

However, it’s one thing to write down a list of ideas but a different challenge altogether to convert them into living breathing pieces that people can enjoy and empathise with yet when I sat down at the empty screen, the words came. They just came.

I wrote about book clubs, cancer, new dogs, gospel choirs, the eternal negotiation with weight, the GAA, the recession… with my pieces averaging out about once a month. The thing is though; I always feel I am only as good as my last article so I approach each piece as though it is my first and my last. I tend to write the way I talk and I always use the gauge that if I was telling this story at a dinner table would people want to stop and listen.

In February, the Irish Examiner got in touch and asked that I pen a piece in the Features section for St. Patrick’s Day which I did. I have also contributed to their Friday’s “Last Word” rotation.

In March, the Tubridy radio show called and invited me to come on the programme to discuss the book. Though it was actually Dave Fanning in the hot seat, he was the first person in the media to have actually read the book in its entirety and though it is hard to get a word in edgeways with him, he could not have praised the book more. He just got me, got the book, got the humour and the sadness. This appearance prompted a similar invitation to feature on the David Harvey show on 4FM.

In April, The Kerryman contacted me and asked if I would be interested in becoming a columnist. At first I thought it was to be a monthly contribution, but the editor thought it would be best if I could contribute on a weekly basis. My column now appears not only in The Kerryman but so too in The Corkman. The column plays on my name and is entitled “The Joyes of Life”.

I still cannot grasp how this last year has unfolded and just how many doors the simple story of Ten Fingers and Ten Toes has opened. Each time I sit at my laptop, I half expect my mind to just dry up, tell me I’ve had my fun but that now it’s time to go back to where I came from.

I hope I can continue to write, continue to own ideas and I truly hope that people out there will continue to stop and listen.

In January 2010 I found myself jobless, confused and a little fearful of the future. I’d been made redundant, so the New Year brought many questions, and concerns, which needed urgent attention. The loss of a job often forces people to take stock, so I did. I knew what I really wanted to be – writing has always been my passion – but could I really be an author? I was now in the perfect position to go for my goal.

Fiction has always been my main focus, so I was determined to turn my writing wishes into reality. Applying to St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, to study English, I hoped, would help me achieve my dream. Receiving my letter of acceptance is a moment that I will never forget.

College began in September 2010. Studying a diverse mix of authors was exciting and introduced me to many different writing styles. I took this opportunity to change my redundancy experience into something positive and writing gave me the creative channel to do that.

Writing has always been an essential part of my life. It’s like a constant friend – always there. My relationship with words began during my teens. I was forever scribbling thoughts and emotions into diaries and notebooks. Those short stories were my first attempt at fiction and, at the time, I wasn’t concerned with form and content, but those little lines were my own kind of literature. Releasing my imagination onto the page always did, and always will, give me great pleasure.

The really exciting part of the story began on Saturday May 14th 2011 when I attended an Inkwell Writing Seminar in Dun Laoghaire, hosted by Vanessa O’Loughlin of It was a fantastic opportunity to meet other aspiring authors, publishers and to hear Vanessa’s valuable advice. The importance of social networking was a crucial lesson learnt that day, so I didn’t delay in logging onto Twitter.

Book Republic was mentioned at the seminar and they were the first publisher whose tweets I began to follow; it must have been fate! When I saw the advertisement for their writers’ night, which was taking place the following Thursday, I took a break from studying – my end of year exams were about to begin – and got myself down to the Irish Writers’ Centre in Parnell Square. And I’m so glad I did. I was really impressed with Book Republic’s dynamic approach to publishing. Listening to Jenna Guy and Dan Harvey, the authors who spoke on the night, discussing their publishing experiences just boosted my interest.

The following Wednesday I sent my manuscripts to Book Republic and two weeks later I signed a three-book deal!

I’ve been on a high ever since.

I’ll be forever grateful to Book Republic/Maverick House for giving me the opportunity to publish my work. They’ve helped me realise my dream and I’m privileged to be working with such a professional, yet personable team; they’ve made this experience even more enjoyable.

When I look back on the past year, I now realise that my redundancy was like a blessing in disguise. Without it, returning to college and signing my book deal may never have happened.

- Gillian Duffy

Gillian’s book ‘The LA Commandments’ will be published by Book Republic this August. To  find out more about the book, check out Gillian’s Facebook page or follow her on twitter.