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Magazine

New Voices to Watch in 2016

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Article by Writing IE Admin © 4 January 2016 .
Posted in the Magazine ( · General Interest ).

2016 opens with some exciting debut novels getting set for launch – we’ll be keeping up with these guys and many more as the year progresses, but we thought we’d did you a sample of what is to come to set the tone for the year. This could be any of you next year –  so first let’s hear from Dave Rudden

My first novel, Knights of the Borrowed Dark, is debuting in just over nine weeks. (March 10th) It still doesn’t feel quite real. I keep expecting someone to knock at my door and tell me that actually, there’s been a huge mistake and it’s another Dave Rudden who’s being allowed do this.
The novel began as an assignment when I was in the Creative Writing Masters in UCD. I had never tried to write one before. At the time I thought I was too young to write a novel, that I didn’t have an idea I could sustain over 80,000 words. And I was right. When my first idea ran out, I had to come up with another and another and another. Every question I answered bred more questions, until finally I had a lattice of ideas – some that worked and some that didn’t. That taught me another important fact about novels – if you wait for it to spill perfectly out onto the page, you’ll be waiting forever. Get writing. Accept temporary imperfection. Your first draft will always be a set of peaks and troughs, and it’s only through draft after draft that you make it a whole and complete thing. Waiting and hoping for that perfect plunge towards THE END won’t get you that book. Starting it will.
I cannot believe we’re nine weeks out. I wrote the book in a leaky room in a leaky apartment in a very leaky city, and in two months it will be on the shelf in seven territories. I’m currently writing the first draft of Book 3 in the trilogy,and some of it is really good, and more of it will be good on draft six, and finally it will be a book. Make this the year you start writing yours.
Knights of the Borrowed Dark: American edition

Knights of the Borrowed Dark: American edition

About Knights of the Borrowed Dark

Denizen Hardwick doesn’t believe in magic – until he’s ambushed by a monster created from shadows and sees it destroyed by a word made of sunlight.

That kind of thing can really change your perspective.

Now Denizen is about to discover that there’s a world beyond the one he knows. A world of living darkness where an unseen enemy awaits.

Fortunately for humanity, between us and the shadows stand the Knights of the Borrowed Dark.

Unfortunately for Denizen, he’s one of them . . .

Dave Rudden will be interviewed by Shane Hegarty at The Mountains to Sea Book Festival 9th-13th March 2016, meet him in person and find out more about Knights of the Borrowed Dark

bernice_barrington smallBernice Barrington

I feel twin emotions when I think of 2016: excitement and terror. Excitement because my debut novel “Sisters and Lies” will be published in March by Penguin Ireland and terror because, well, my debut novel Sisters and Lies will be published in March by Penguin Ireland.

My path to publication isn’t easy to squidge down into a single paragraph but let’s just say it wasn’t as if I woke up one day, shook out my hair and knocked out a novel in six weeks – it was more a case of years and years of half-starts, semi-written books and gazing into the windows of bookshops wondering if I’d ever one day write my own. Finally about four years ago I ‘got serious’ about things and did complete a manuscript. It didn’t make the cut but it did bring me to the attention of the (amazing) Sheila Crowley at Curtis Brown. I sent her 20,000 words of something new, she liked it and encouraged me to to finish the book. 18 months, numerous rewrites and several meltdowns  later, ‘Sisters and Lies’ was complete. Sheila submitted it to publishers and on my 36th birthday, while on holiday in Spain, I got the call I’d been waiting for most of my adult life. Penguin Ireland wanted to publish the book – was I happy to go with them? (The answer took exactly half a second.) Needless to say much much, much sangria was drunk that night.
That was nearly eight month ago now and the publication date is just around the corner, which brings me back to the twin emotions I spoke about earlier: excitement and terror.

Obviously in my fantasy world my book would sell a gazillion copies, get turned into a film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Ryan Gosling, and generally revolutionise the genre of domestic noir as we know it. However, on the small off-chance that doesn’t happen I would settle for some good reviews, decent sales figures and most importantly that people enjoy what I have written.

Other than that I would really like to make inroads into a new novel I have begun (I am still at the new-born foal, wobbly legs stage) so ideally by this time next year I’d have at least a first draft finished.

After that I’ll take pretty-much anything. 2015 was such a wonderful whirlwind of a year I’d feel greedy asking for much more, except maybe a good dress for launch night and that I don’t make a show of myself during the speech. Anything else (including Ryan Gosling) would be a delightful bonus.

sisters and liesAbout Sisters and Lies

One hot August night, Rachel Darcy gets the call everyone fears. It’s the police. Her younger sister Evie’s had a car crash, she’s in a coma. Can Rachel fly to London right away?

With Evie injured and comatose, Rachel is left to pick up the pieces of her sister’s life. But it’s hard fitting them together, especially when she really doesn’t like what she sees.

Why was Evie driving when she doesn’t even own a licence?
Who is the man living in her flat and claiming Evie is his girlfriend?
How come she has never heard of him?

The more mysteries Rachel uncovers the more she starts asking herself how well she ever really knew her sister. And then she begins to wonder if the crash was really the accident everybody says it is.

Back in hospital, Evie, trapped inside an unresponsive body, is desperately trying to wake up. Because she’s got an urgent message for Rachel – a warning which could just save both their lives . . .

sarah-maria-griffinSarah Griffin

I’ve just migrated home after three years living in San Francisco, where I wrote my first book: a non-fiction collection of essays about moving to America – Not Lost, published by New Island Press in 2013. I got my start in writing in poetry and spoken word, and while I still write and regularly publish essays and nonfiction, I’m really excited about my fiction debut: it has been a totally different experience.

In October of this year, my first novel, Spare & Found Parts will be on shelves. This month we’ve been in the last run throughs of careful edits, over a year since an early draft of the book was sold in a two book deal to Greenwillow Books, an imprint of Harper Collins, and four years since the idea arrived. It has come an awful long way, and while an Autumn release feels far away, it also feels incredibly close.

The book is about a girl who builds herself a partner. It’s set in Dublin, a hundred years in the future, after a devastating turn leaves a sparse surviving population missing primary limbs and equipped with kinetic, augmented arms, legs, and in Nell Crane’s case, a heart. She’s her father’s greatest project, which is a tall feat, given that he invented the biomechanical limb. The world they inhabit is analogue, and the post-digital society treats the computers of the past like unholy things. Nell though, she can’t stop thinking about them: how machines could think, how they could feel. One day, at the end of her last summer as an apprentice inventor, Nell finds a mannequin hand by the seashore: the first boy’s hand she’s ever held. Slowly she connects the dots, then connects some pieces, and builds herself a partner. This would be all well and good if she was the only person in her house building something big – or the only person with a secret.

Spare & Found Parts moves from first, third and second person, and plays with structure more than a little. There’s a heist, an escape, more than a few broken hearts – and a rave in the ruins of the Lighthouse Cinema. I’m really excited to introduce it’s characters to readers, and to invite readers into the weird, futuristic Dublin I’ve been living in at my desk.

In 2016 I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the UK & international rights to Spare & Found Parts are picked up via my agent Simon Trewin, and am getting ready to lock down over the Spring and Summer and begin work on the next book, due to be published in 2017.

Watch this space for more to come….