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Guest Blogs

A blog by Derek Flynn

Derek Flynn runs Writing.ie's SongBook blog, and is an Irish writer and musician. He has a Masters in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. He’s been published in a number of publications, including The Irish Times, and his fiction was featured in 'Surge', an anthology of new Irish writing published by O’ Brien Press with the aim of showcasing “the very best of the next generation of Irish authors”. Online he can be found at his writing/music blog – ‘Rant, with Occasional Music’ – and on Twitter as @derekf03

You can follow Derek online, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Music & Me: Maria Hoey

Posted by Derek Flynn on 26 June 2018.

  What are your earliest musical memories? For some reason, Petula Clarke singing Downtown comes to mind. When I googled the song title I discovered that it was released in 1965, so I am giving away my vintage here. But that one sticks in my mind and to this day, I cannot hear it without feeling uplifted and happy. It is, I think, a joyous celebration of the power of, and need for connectedness in...

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Music & Me: Lindsay J Sedgwick

Posted by Derek Flynn on 10 May 2018.

“Music & Me” is a feature in which authors talk about their musical influences, their favourite musicians and their “musical guilty pleasures”. This week’s victim author is Lindsay J Sedgwick, author of two novels, and the recently-released guide to screenwriting, Write That Script. What are your earliest musical memories? My earliest memories are of dancing on this red leather pouffe we had in our sitting room to “Seasons In The Sun” on the radio but also lying on...

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Literary Pop Songs

Posted by Derek Flynn on 27 February 2018.

I recently came across a great post on The Literary Hub called “11 Pop Songs for Literary People”. Included in this piece by Emily Temple are some obvious choices – for instance, “Paperback Writer” by The Beatles: Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book? It took me years to write, will you take a look? It’s based on a novel by a man named Lear, And I need a job, So I want...

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The 1940s: A Time When Books Mattered

Posted by Derek Flynn on 29 January 2018.

A recent article in “Literary Hub”, “During World War II, Literature Reigned Supreme” by George Hutchinson, makes for fascinating and timely reading, in this new era of “fake news” and censorship. Here’s an excerpt: “In the 1940s, literature mattered. Popular radio shows featured literary critics talking about recent poetry and fiction. The New Yorker’s book-review editor hosted one of the most popular radio shows in America, and his anthology, Reading I’ve Liked, ranked seventh on the bestseller list for...

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The Best Music Books of 2017

Posted by Derek Flynn on 29 December 2017.

It’s that time of year again – time to take a look at some of the “Best Music Books of 2017”. Having done an exhaustive and highly unscientific search of some of the year’s “Best-of” lists, I’ve compiled some of the books getting the most critical acclaim this year. Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011 – Lizzy Goodman New York, 2001. 9/11 plunges the US into...

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Music & Me: Dave Lordan

Posted by Derek Flynn on 27 November 2017.

What are your earliest musical memories?  Drunk balladeers on Bog Road. The Wolfe Tones on the Jukebox in Mick JC’s. My faader on the sofa murdering murdering the lyric sheets in the Ireland’s Own as if the songs themselves were guilty of the imperialist crimes & misery they sang about. Who or what were your musical influences growing up and why? The pub-singers of Bernies Bar. Because I was there. The Sex Pistols & The...

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Write More, Do Other Stuff Less

Posted by Derek Flynn on 14 November 2017.

In his book, Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell repeatedly mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill is practicing for a total of around 10,000 hours. Many writers have adapted the “10,000-Hour Rule” to the act of writing. One of those is comics writer and script writer for the TV show “Lost”, Brian K Vaughan, who has some interesting thoughts on the subject. Brian K Vaughan...

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Hurricanes, Storms, and Book Launches – Oh My!

Posted by Derek Flynn on 27 October 2017.

It’s every author’s worst nightmare. What if I throw a book launch party and nobody comes? Par for the course, really. Every author panics before their book launch. Usually, needlessly. But then, most authors don’t have to contend with hurricanes and storms. So my launch was scheduled for the Friday night of Waterford Writer’s Weekend. Flashback to the previous Monday. The worst hurricane in centuries decimates the Irish coastline. I say to my wife, “Imagine...

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Music & Me – Hazel Gaynor

Posted by Derek Flynn on 4 September 2017.

What are your earliest musical memories? ABBA! I grew up listening to, and loving, everything they did. My sister is a few years older than me and was a member of the fan club. My parents drove us all the way from ‘Up North’ to that London to see them at Wembley Arena in 1978. It was absolutely amazing. I still can’t believe that actually happened! I went to a Depeche Mode gig in Sheffield...

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Well Festival of Arts and Wellbeing 2017 invites readers to share feel-good poetry and prose

Posted by Derek Flynn on 21 August 2017.

We haven’t had an earthquake lately… Do you reach for a favourite poem or piece of prose when you need to be inspired, comforted or cheered up? Well Festival of Arts and Wellbeing 2017  is calling on all avid readers to submit their favourite piece of writing (not self-written) for consideration for We haven’t had an earthquake lately…, a flagship event of the festival which celebrates the joy of reading, taking place at The Book Centre, Waterford,...

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