In a departure from blogging and freelance writing – or perhaps it’s the next logical step – I’ve started writing about murder, mystery and suspense, and I’m very excited to say that my first novel The Other Side of the Wall will be published by Poolbeg Press on June 6th 2017.
The book was partly inspired by the very regular night-time wakings of my youngest child, though I’m glad to say – unlike my main character – I never saw a body in the pond next door. Here’s a flavour of what the book is about:
When Sylvia looks out her bedroom window at night and sees a child face down in the pond next door, she races into her neighbour’s garden. But the pond is empty, and no-one is answering the door.
Wondering if night feeds and sleep deprivation are getting to her, she hurriedly retreats – the fact that a local child has gone missing must be preying on her mind. Then, a week later, she hears the sound of a man crying through her bedroom wall.
The man living next door, Sam, has recently moved in. His wife and children are away for the summer and he joins them at weekends. Sylvia finds him friendly and helpful, yet she becomes increasingly uneasy about him.
Then Sylvia’s little daughter wakes one night, screaming that there’s a man in her room. This is followed by a series of bizarre disturbances in the house.
Sylvia’s husband insists it’s all in her mind, but she is certain it’s not – there’s something very wrong on the other side of the wall.
This is the first ever official reaction to the book, from a writer who has read a pre-publication copy – it’s the loveliest tweet I’ve ever seen so I’m keeping it here for posterity:
— mythoughtsonapage (@trickearney) March 31, 2017
And I love this tweet from an early reader:
— Bernice Burnside (@berniceburnside) May 16, 2017
Okay one more that made my day:
— Clare (@ClareNolan) May 20, 2017
And on Instagram (so Instagram doesn’t feel left out):
I love this post so much I had to figure out how to repost on Instagram: #Repost @trishhartigan ・・・ Yes I am reading in the car again. But #theothersideofthewall was too good to leave at home. And I’m reading every free minute! What was the last unputdowable book that you read?? #book #books #booknerdigans #reading #booklover #reader #bookblogger #irishblogger #bibliophile #dustoffyourbookshelf #instabooks #instareads #bookstagram #booksofinstagram #bookworm #reading
And for me, for a bit more posterity, I’ve kept a link to the very lovely good wishes I got on Facebook when I saw and signed my first copies of the book:
Below are some articles on writing and reading that I’ve written or contributed to for other publications:
An interview on living in Dun Laoghaire, growing up in Carrigaline, and the difference between working in the IFSC and working from home for The Gloss Magazine.
Writing is rewriting and in my case, this was completely true – or completely not true, depending on your perspective – a piece I wrote for Writing.ie
You can never start too young when it comes to reading with children for the Independent
And here are some blog posts about the transition from book deal to submission:
To read about how the book deal came about, see Pinch Me
Here’s how it felt when I was a week away from my deadline: Breathing Space
And this is all about writing “The End”, pressing send, and moving on to the next bit
This was how it felt seeing my book cover: Covering it
While I was deep into the process of writing the book, and wondering if I could do it, I got a lovely confidence boost in the form of an email telling me my short story Into The Forest won first place at the BookersCorner.co.uk September/ October short story competition. If you’d like to read it, click here: Into The Forest
The same story was a finalist in the Colm Toibín International Short Story Competition as part of the 2016 Wexford Literary Festival.