Indulge me, indulge me. I found a few more. First, on the link below, there is a lovely shot of Arlene Hunt with me and Michael O’Brien, and another nice one with Maria Dickenson, MD of Dubray Books.
The rest of the pictures were taken by my friend Helena Mulkerns, who very kindly gave me permission to put them here. Helena has a lovely touch behind the camera and there is a warmth to these pictures I really like. And I am shortly to blog about this month’s Caca Milis gig which she runs, so I have an excuse for a segue!
Today is the day after the night before. And I am still processing, as one does after a major life event.
Last night, in Dubray Bookshop in Grafton St, O’Brien Press gave White Feathers the send-off of a lifetime. To a packed ensemble (I’d been generous with the invitations and there was a great turnout!) Michael O’Brien, founder, gave a rousing speech where he pledged his support for the novel and expressed his belief in me as a writer. It’s a great feeling to have the support and interest from one’s publisher and the speech filled me with good cheer.
Then Arlene Hunt, crime novelist and Novel Fair judge, was the guest speaker. She hit the ball out the park – i.e. was magnificent. She talked about reading the initial partial when adjudicating the Novel Fair, then going to bed, then picking it up a second time and reading it again. And how even then she’d had a feeling about it. From my interactions with Arlene when we were practising our pitches for the Fair, I in turn got the eerie feeling she understood where the manuscript was going before I did. My thanks to her for taking the time out to do this for me 🙂
Then it was my turn. I read an extract from the book, the point where our protagonist Eva first encounters the women who form the new Order of the White Feather. I got a bit carried away doing Mrs Humphrey Ward, and all my elocution lessons in primary school suddenly kicked in as she boomed and ranted and raged about the foul Hun and his depredations. Then I talked a bit about the cover and how it symbolised the emotional violence at the heart of White Feathers. There also might have been some singing… I couldn’t confirm or deny that…also my very small nephew O had a cameo – and stole the show and everyone’s hearts…
I’m really delighted to have been able to launch in such a great venue – Dubray Books have been wonderful and really encouraging and even gave me a little gift! – and to have been able to say at last, it’s out there! And to express my appreciation to everyone who came and offered their support. Your presence made it a great success.
Enjoy some pictures – all unless specified otherwise taken by and copyright of Colm Mahady of Fennell Photography
Michael O’Brien, founder of O’Brien Press
Michael O’Brien and Arlene Hunt, crime novelist and guest speaker (taken by Elizabeth Rose Murray)
Taking the mike (taken by Elizabeth Rose Murray)
Signing for friend and fellow-choral-singer Sue Maxwell
As countdown towards publication day approaches, it’s getting increasingly difficult to think about anything else 😉
Yesterday I got a huge box of author copies – regretfully I had not thought to drive to the sorting office, so I huffed and puffed my way back home, which fortunately wasn’t too far away. It’s one way to build muscle tone!
I’m proud of White Feathers. It’s not even out there “in anger” yet (I love that expression, anger meaning for real. Just shows that for all our anodyne talk, it’s an emotion that gets respect) and the book has already
gone to no.1 on the Easons Historical Fiction ebooks list. I’d post a link only today a dirt cheap ebook from Ken Follett and Diana Gabaldon pushed it back into third place – still, not bad company 😉 Hold the phone…As of the night of the 15th August, White Feathers is now the top selling e-book in Easons, of any genre! Holy cow!
hit no.2 on the Lovereading downloads list for the last ten days at lovereading.co.uk. It originally came in at no. 6 and is now just behind Liane Moriarty. There’s a lovely review on the lovereading page too.
(I will feel free to add more items to that bullet list as they come in, and bang on about them.)
A few days back, when the weather was still exceptionally fine, I took a bus to the Phoenix Park and made a day out of walking along the War Memorial Gardens and the Museum of Modern Art further up the bank of the Liffey River.
The War Memorial Gardens in Dublin were designed with perfect symmetry by Edwin Lutyens to commemorate the fallen in both World Wars – but sadly due to our complicated relationship with England and the resulting ambivalence about commemorating wars in which she fought, the grounds were let fall into neglect. Thankfully, with the political climate changed, the grounds have been restored to their full glory, and I have included some pictures I took below the cut.
With great excitement I went to the sorting office with my receipt slip to collect a package left for me. Sure enough it was my author copy of White Feathers. There is something about picking up the actual book, and knowing this is it.
It feels gorgeous and is so beautifully produced. It looks so like the cover I’ve already posted that it would be redundant to put up a photo. The only thing missing is the “best thing since sliced bread” inscriptions on the front but hopefully as the review copies go out there will soon be some of those. And don’t forget that it will be launched soon!
In the meantime, here’s it opened at a random page (Oh and for any queries about the Specsavers envelope, I recently got new glasses!)
I am delighted to announce that the launch of White Feathers will take place
Wednesday 27 August, Dubray Bookshop Grafton Street, at 6.30pm
with Arlene Huntas guest speaker.
This is an open invitation –
for everyone who has spoken to me, online or in person; everyone who likes the idea of this book and wants to read it; everyone who knows me or has worked with me, sung with me, drunk with me; everyone who’s intrigued even if they don’t know me from a hole in the wall – please come along and share in the celebration! If you would like to come, RSVPs can be sent to Geraldine Feehily at O’Brien Press – that is geraldine AT obrien DOT ie. The official instruction from the publishers: the more the merrier 🙂
(PS How many times can I just keep posting that cover picture! Emma did good, folks.)
(PS the second: if you would like to read an extract and can’t wait until publishing day, you can do so if you sign up with LoveReading and download the extract from the linked page!)
4/8/1914 – Great Britain and its dominions declared war on Germany, thereby joining itself with France and Russia against the Central Powers. Before the month was out, anti-suffrage campaigner and novelist Mrs Humphrey (Mary) Ward and Admiral Charles Fitzgerald had founded the Order of the White Feather to bully men of fighting age into joining up.
4/8/2014 – tension between the West and Russia, planes being shot out of the sky; the Middle East in disarray; tiny babies on the Gaza Strip putting their little hands in their ears, distressed at the noise of massive shells; chieftains of desert fiefdoms waving sticks with human heads. And the threat of a new plague.
Pete Seeger was born just a few months after World War I ended. He died just a few months before it reached its centenary.
Today I had the pleasure of meeting Ruth and Brenda, who are part of the sales and marketing team from O’Brien Press, and was very happy and excited to hear everything they’ve got planned for White Feathers as we approach publication date on the 25th August. More on that anon… But for the moment, here’s a little trailer I made for the novel – it’s a labour of love I just did myself, Nothing fancy, but I had fun doing it. And all the text is from the book, well 95 per cent.