Over-achievers of the world unite!

So what would any sane, rational thinking person do when they’re about to launch their debut novel?  Why, launch a craft business at exactly the same time of course!!  I may or may not have mentioned that I’m a bit of a craft junkie and part-time artist (well I mean I’ve got to fill up those hours when I’m not writing, right?).  In fact I’ve been doodling for the past ten years and I’ve got quite good at it.  So much so that I’m ready to launch my unique designs on the unsuspecting citizens of my home town any day now.

I’ve spent months designing a contemporary product for the Irish gift market and so I’m actually very excited about its launch.  However I’m a bit freaked out that it’s coinciding with the launch of my novel.   Honestly, if I was trying to plan it this way, I couldn’t have pulled it off.  Still, in an attempt to comfort myself, I’m thinking it’s actually a good thing in terms of cross-promotion and all that other marketing jargon that usually makes my eyes roll.  Some of my favourite authors are artists (Mark Haddon, Audrey Niffenegger) and I’m always interested to see that other side of their creativity.  So as soon as I have officially launched (i.e. got my products into some retail outlets) I’ll put photos of my designs up here.  In the meantime, here’s one of my most recent paintings “The Cherry Wood”.



The Quiet Woman


Things have been a bit quiet here lately in blogland – I’ve been having a bit of a ‘Staycation’ thanks to the tremendous summer weather we’re experiencing in Ireland (see Summer+Writing=Struggle).  But back off grindstone, my shoulder has been firmly nestled against you as I’ve sought cover image inspiration in the village made famous by ‘The Quiet Man’, Cong.  Also home to Ashford Castle, Cong in County Mayo is one of the most scenic spots in Ireland – as proven by the amount of tour buses that nearly ran over me as I sought a better vantage point to take my photos.  

So why am I blathering on about my hols?  Well it’s all connected you see.  I’m working with a pretty fabulous cover designer and, without giving too much away, I’m putting together something of a mood board that represents the story and the main character.  I once heard that an image should say everything about your work, without saying a word and when you’ve got a professional to help you out, you can really explore all sorts of elements for your design, instead of being limited by your own capabilities with Photoshop or whatever.  

So, while I may have been a bit quiet on the old output front, I am working furiously behind the scenes to launch the best debut novel, complete with alluring cover, possible.  A bit like a swan.  And let’s face it, a good story deserves the kind of cover that will tell readers, this is something worth reading.  

Now I’m off to a 14th century friary for some more inspiration and if I get a golden sun tan in the process, well that can’t be helped 😉  Holidays+Inspiration=Research… simples!