Sunday, 4 February 2018


Book giveaway on my Facebook page! One copy of Desnudo (Spanish edition of my short fiction collection Nude) up for grabs. It's a compact hardback with a bronze ribbon bookmark. Very lovely. It is translated by Maximo Alaez, who also did the drawing of the nude for the cover. Multi-talented Max, we call him.

Go here to enter!

Thursday, 25 January 2018


Today's Google doodle is in honour of VW's birthday

People always moan about January but, being my birth-month, it's a month I like (despite dire post-Christmas broke-ness). I turned 48 this month, so was happy to find, on the Monk's House Insta today, an extract from Virginia Woolf's diary from 25th January 1930, the day she turned 48.

‘I am 48: we have been at Rodmell—a wet, windy day again; but on my birthday we walked among the downs, like the folded wings of grey birds and saw first one fox, very long with his brush stretched; then a second; which had been barking, for the sun was hot over us; it leapt lightly over a fence and entered the furze—a very rare sight. How many foxes are there in England? At night I read Lord Chaplin’s life. I cannot yet write naturally in my new room, because the table is not the right height, and I must stoop to warm my hands. Everything must be absolutely what I am used to.’

It has been wet and windy in Galway today, with little spots of sun, and apparently it's been the same at Monk's House too. I spent one of the happiest days of 2016 there. Blogpost about that here. (And for those who have asked, no I am not writing a novel about VW, I just love her!)

A VW silhouette I bought at Monk's House

Friday, 5 January 2018


UPDATE - The winner of the proof copy of Becoming Belle is Mary T. Bradford. Congrats, Mary!


Writing  - and life - busy-ness has kept me from here but I'm back with a cover reveal and a giveaway. These beauties arrived today  - proof copies of Becoming Belle, out August with GP Putnam in NY and Penguin Canada. Aren't they gorgeous?!?

Becoming Belle is described as 'a witty and inherently feminist novel about passion and marriage, based on a true story of an unstoppable woman ahead of her time in Victorian London.'

So, dear readers, if you like the sound of that, I want you to read it asap. Leave a comment to be in the draw - saying that you want to be in the hat - and I will pick one name this day next week, Friday the 12th. Please DO NOT leave comment as 'unknown' - I can't contact an unknown!

Worldwide giveaway. Good luck!


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Short Story of the Year longlist

I am very happy that one of my stories has made the Short Story of the Year longlist. More here. Crossing fingers for shortlist luck, now.

If my story does make the shortlist, there will be public voting anon, so I'll be counting on you, my ONE reader, to vote ;) And there'd be a lovely night out at the Irish Book Awards to boot. Glamour!!

Come on, Jupiter, arrange that joyride!!

Saturday, 7 October 2017


Strokestown, and the Women in Literature Event, was so beautiful in so many ways: that gorgeous Georgian town (sadly now like so many Irish towns a shadow of its former lively self); the house itself; the famine museum; the conference and its many speakers - Christine Kinealy, Marita Conlon-McKenna, Jessamine O'Connor, Luke Gibbons et cetera. The fresh food in the Strokestown Park cafe! The sambuca...(enough said.)

Thanks to Jason King of the Irish Heritage Trust for the opportunity to take part. I fell in love with the place and am going back with my husb and youngest at Christmas for their Victorian Experience.

A few pics to give a flavour of the event and surrounds:



View behind the house

In through the window

Town doorway



Orla, chairperson of Roscommon Co Co, gave a rousing, feminist speech

Famine museum

Wednesday, 20 September 2017


Liam Murphy reviewed Joyride to Jupiter in yesterday's Munster Express:

'There was a time when people expected short stories to be like single theme short novellas, and then magazine fiction changed all that. Stories got shorter and often became like poems, vague like a fleeting image, a flash of emotion, a realisation without resolution. Collections of short stories seemed to be based on a theme or trope; infidelity, expectation, imperfection, loneliness, betrayal and the modern one of uncoupling couples.

Nuala O'Connor who used to be Nuala Ní Chonchúir until Penguin USA insisted on  'identity clarity' for Miss Emily - O'Connor's most successful novel. Her fourth novel will be out next year, and the collection, Joyride To Jupiter is her sixth collection of short stories, alongside four poetry books. I feel like writing Nuala Ní rather than Nuala O.

An Ovid quotation suggests a collection about the 'perjuries of lovers', but there is an 'occasional' feel about some of these stories. This book has been with me during the best summer ever and rarely was I disappointed. A few stories I had to reread to understand, but perhaps I was seduced by the language and the fresh, Irishness of her phrasing.

The title story, 'Joyride To Jupiter' surprised me and took me unawares. When I got to 'Futuretense', another story with a makeup or cosmetic theme, I went back and read both together, seeking a linking theme.

'SquidInky' about a tattooist was my favourite with its visual, descriptive style and a line "Spitting women and crowing hens will surely come to some bad ends", led into one of the loneliest passage in the story "My heart opens and closes like a mouth that wants to speak but can't form the words". Nuala O can form the words and can seesaw the human heart as in 'The Boy From Petropolis' and 'Napoli Abu'. Where the opening line is a catcher for a page turner "Fuck knows how I ended up agreeing to go to Naples with a spinster".

The shorter stories didn't satisfy me, but the last story 'Storks' caught the mood of a hidden past, a 'betrayal' that gets in the way of present happiness. The last page is as sensual a thrill as you could ask for "All will be well".'


Next Saturday I am reading with Alan McMonagle, moderated by Catherine Dunne, at the inaugural Bray Literary Festival. 2pm, Bray Town Hall. More about the fest here.

And on Culture Night, this Friday, the artist collective I am a member of, Group 8, has the opening of its annual exhibition. This one is called Majesty in the Minute. 6.30pm, Ballinasloe Library. More at our blog here.

I had a great time in Cork at the Short Story Festival last weekend but am way, way to busy to blog it, sadly. My new novel (novel #5!) has joyfully taken over my head and my life, and I have a ton of other projects and things I'm involved in too. Busy is good. Too busy can be a bit of a headwreck. Onward!