I'm late AGAIN with my blog. This is becoming a bit of a habit. Sorry :-( I have great news though!
I've been out signing copies of Perfect Wives and people have been so encouraging and lovely about it! Thank you to all who bought a copy. I've been flooded with letters, emails and messages from people enjoying it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's always nail biting when a book comes out and it's incomprehensibly fabulous when readers actually like it!
I was on TV radio and all over Ireland during the past few weeks. I met Simon Delaney who was standing in for my pal Ryan Tubridy on 2FM. He was such a lovely guy and yes I bribed him. This tour I made chocolate biscuit cake. For those you might not know, every time I release a new book, I bake. I bring tasty treats for the folks in radio stations, TV stations and book shops. This chocolate biscuit cake is to die for... I think Simon enjoyed it!
I also got to meet Evelyn O'Rourke who I've admired on radio for many years. She's smily and bubbly and such a fantastic woman.
My big BIG news is that I am joining the team at Headline! This is a massive jump for me as all my fiction will now travel and be published around the world! I was in London last week to meet the team and I cannot wait to get started! I got such a warm and fantastic reception. It was a total pinch-me moment. This is such an amazing opportunity and I really hope folks around the world will enjoy my books.
Driving Home for Christmas (paper back/ smaller size) hits the shelves in October both in Ireland and abroad, so it's going to be such an exciting time.
Meanwhile I'm busily writing the next new novel. I'm nearly finished and I'll tell you a little bit about it next time...
I had the worst flu which lasted over two weeks. Not fun. I told my 13 year old son that I hadn't been that sick for years. He laughed out loud and shook his head saying, 'eh I think that's a bit of a lie Mum!'
So I had to rephrase it to - that's the worst flu I've had for years.
We were all very sad to loose our faithful furry friend Molly the dog last week. She was fine one day and limping and very poorly the next. It turned out she had a horrible aggressive disease that literally sapped all her energy and vitality. Poor pooch went to sleep on Friday 3rd May. She arrived chez nous when my daughter was 3 weeks old. We all miss her terribly and it's always heartbreaking when a pet dies, but we couldn't have expected her to go on the way she was. Her brother is still with us and although he looks a bit sad and confused he's doing well. How do you explain to a dog that his sister is gone? Awful.
Anyway, let's not get all sombre and depressed. On a lighter note, it was summer here in Ireland. We had two whole days of sun. People crawled out from houses all over. Like little squinting and peeping confused bunnies we all removed our Uggs and donned flip-flops. It was fantastic.
It's over now. We're back to rain, high winds and coats.
Hope this finds you all well. I'd better go and do some work. I'm very nearly finished the next book and it's at a point where I'm trying to tie up all the ends and make sense of the various story lines. It's fantastic fun. I absolutely love the writing process. It offers me such freedom and escapism.
I might see you some time on Midday on TV3 with Elaine and the ladies. It's such a fun program to be part of and it gets me out from behind my desk from time to time!
Bye for now!
I've been such a bad blogger for the last while! It's been busy and then busier again! I've been running from Billy to Jack non stop. You know when you feel like you never have a minute and wonder how you're going to manage to do all the things on that never ending list in your head? That seems to be the story of my life now! The most exciting thing is that the fruit of my labour is about to hit the shelves. I know I probably say it every time, but I just love the cover of my latest book-baby (I think of my books as my non-vocal less cheeky than the real type, children), 'Perfect Wives.' The colours are so strong but when you pick the book up - it's got a lovely soft and tactile finish. It makes me want to pet it!
I enjoyed writing this book so much.
Jodi and Francine are two very different characters. Jodi is a movie star who fought to get to where she is today. Growing up in a council estate she had little or no opportunities in life. But being in the right place at the right time and pouring her heart and soul into her work has paid off. She's the envy of women and men adore her.
Francine is a career woman who juggles four children a husband and an impeccable home - beautifully. As her youngest child starts school her wonderful life begins to fall apart.
I hope you will all engage with Francine and Jodi. I hope you will enjoy the ups and downs of their lives as you dip into the world they inhabit. I actually miss them since they've gone to print!
I'd love you to read my latest book and I sincerely hope you enjoy it. I'll be hiding at the back of the wardrobe with my eyes squeezed shut and my fingers crossed that you do!
I hope you're all well and that Spring finds us soon. As I write this it's freezing with high winds and lashing rain - not so great. But being an eternal optimist, I'm banking on the sun putting its hat on and coming out to play any day now!
Ciao for now!
I hope you've all survived January. It always seems to drag on forever.
We're lucky to have a birthday in our house, so it helps beat those January blues. Ours son turned 13 this year! I cannot believe we own a teenager!
He's a great guy I have to say and so far hasn't caused any major hassle. I'm not being smug for one second, but all I'm saying is, so far so good. In fact I'm astonished we've survived 13 years together. I clearly remember the day we brought him home from the hospital. We hadn't a breeze! We put him down on the floor in his car seat and literally looked at each other and wondered what to do next. I must say, I adored the baby years. I hated being pregnant - with a passion. Hated it. So no matter how many sleepless nights or dodgy days I experienced, in my mind, it was still better than being pregnant. I've no doubt it's the calm before the storm right now at our house. But I hope the teenage storm doesn't rage too harshly. Wish us luck!
I got 'the dose' that half the world seemed to have had over Christmas i.e. throat infection, ear infection and general snottiness. I managed to get 20% extra free however and ended up with lyrngitis too. Needless to say my children were delighted. I literally couldn't speak for a week. Not easy for motor mouth me! However... I have a little jewel of fantastic-ness to share. Due to the fact I was whispering by way of communication, it had a knock on effect. The rest of the house began to whisper back! I know I'll probably forget all about this by next week, but it's an incredibly calming thing when there's no shouting in the house. Give it a shot!
As you can see from the photo above, my new paper back 'Keeping Mum' is about to be unleashed on the world! I adore the cover. It's so fresh and convinces me that spring is on the way!
In other book news, my brand new novel 'Perfect Wives,' hits Irish shelves in April. I'll tell you all about it in my next blog!
For those of you who like Midday on TV3 (also available on realplayer on line) I'll be popping up with Elaine Crowley and the girls over the next few weeks. I love doing the show, there's always a great atmosphere amongst the ladies and I get to meet such lovely people. I get my hair and make up done too, which I love. There's nothing like being pampered is there?
Cody the kitten is now a teenager-puss, just like our son. He's grown so much in the last few weeks. He's kind of gangly though - his stripy tights (AKA furry legs) are so long it makes me giggle. He's probably the naughtiest cat I've ever met too. He hides behind things, often for ages, and waits to spring out and attack feet. This is all very cute and funny unless it's four in the morning and I'm padding down to the kitchen for water, while coughing my guts up. He leapt from behind the table with all four paws in the air, ears flat on his head and meowed, sounding like a new born baby. Well... It took five years off my life, I swear it. At least I know my heart is in good working order.
I'm off to do some work. I'm writing yet another novel. This one is quite different to anything I've done before, but I'm really enjoying it and I hope my readers will too. Ah, the mystery of it all!
Bye for now!
Hello one and all!
I've been so bad at writing my blog. I'm sorry. But I have a good excuse. You see I've been off around the country signing copies of 'Driving Home for Christmas'... It's been the best fun meeting lovely shop folk and the people who so kindly buy my books. I literally travelled the country of Ireland from Cork to Belfast. People were so kind and chatty and welcoming. I don't get out much and when I do I enjoy it so much!!! My husband thought it was all marvelous because he got a break from my incessant talking!
Thanks to all the readers who've sent me positive and gorgeous letters telling me how much they enjoyed 'Driving Home'... I hope you're all enjoying the Christmas-ness of it! I wanted to create a warm feel-good type of book that could accompany a mug of hot chocolate, glass of mulled wine or cuppa in front of the fire. I hope it hits the spot!
While the book promotion stuff was going on I was also doing a lot of squirrel work in the back ground. My next novel is due to hit the shops in April! Books don't tend to write themselves so I was putting the last dots on the 'i's' and crosses on the 't's' so to speak.
So are you all ready for Christmas? I can't wait! There are literally 6 sleeps to go as I type this! It's so so so exciting! My two darlings are finishing school on Friday (today is Tuesday). We're going ice skating with some of their friends and I can't wait. I will probably spend most of the afternoon with my face planted in the ice rink, but that's ok.
I'm almost there with organising myself for the big day. I think I have all the presents sorted, but then again I always keep buying until the shops close. I can't help it. It's as if this madness takes over and I can't stop. I suddenly panic and convince myself the gifts I've bought aren't enough - so I go and buy another 'little thing to add to the rest'...
As I type Cody, our naughty kitten is climbing up the Christmas tree! He can't get over how much fun it is to attack the baubles and try to paw the flashing lights! It's fantastic stuff altogether! His first Christmas!
I usually do clear lights and traditional decorations on the tree. This year I decided to go tacky all the way. I've got flashing coloured lights and multicoloured decorations. It's utterly trashy and sparkly and totally without taste. I love it.
I hope you're all in great form and that Christmas cheer has well and truly seeped into your veins. I got clear scans again, so I am well and truly celebrating this year. I've completed an entire year without cancer striking. I feel immensely lucky and grateful. I can only hope that 2013 is as good a year for me and my family.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy healthy and peaceful New Year. May all your wishes and dreams come true next year. Thank you for all your support. Thanks for buying my books. For the many many wonderful people who've written to me and shared parts of your lives - I am humbled.
With love and lots of sparkles,
Emma x x
Hello one and all!
I hope you've all been keeping well. I've had a busy month with one thing and another, but particularly due to the fact that October is breast cancer awareness month.
I hope the heightened chat and awareness about cancer helps sufferers and their families. I don't think we can ever talk about these things too much. Isn't it great to know you're not alone? No matter what the problem may be? So if you're going through cancer right now, or some one you know is, talk, talk and talk some more.
Also, and I'll stop being so bossy now, if you find a change in your breast, please go to the doctor. Did you know that 95% of lumps, bumps and changes are nothing to worry about? So just because you find a lump, it doesn't mean you have cancer. But early diagnosis is key to recovery. So if you have a worry - PLEASE go to the doctor. OK I'm finished ranting about cancer now....
I enclose a pic of my 11 year old daughter's pumpkin carving this year. Vile isn't it? She did it the other night and left it outside for myself and hubby to find when we returned from a night out. I have a total phobia with rats and mice, so she was delighted to garnish it all with the plastic rat for good measure! In case you can't make it out properly, the pumpkin has a down turned mouth and is vomiting out it's own insides. I know... I'll enroll her in therapy right away...
Hope you're all getting ready to dress up and go trick or treating? I haven't decided what I'll be this year. Last year I was having chemotherapy and felt pretty rotten so I dressed in a fleecy all in one suit with my hair in pig tails and drew freckles on my face with a marker and was a baby! It was cosy and at least I could go out in public in my pyjamas!
I know it's not Christmas yet, but if like me you're (a) addicted to Christmas or (b) a shopaholic or (c) both, you might like to kick off your shopping with a lovely book?! Yes! I have another new book out! I'm so excited and can't believe that a mere three months after Keeping Mum hit shelves I have another novel to add to my list! It's called Driving Home for Christmas and I really hope you all enjoy it. I'll show you a quick pic of the cover here - but I'll tell you all about it in the next blog! It's out from now in Ireland or on amazon.co.uk and as usual I'll love you even more than I already do if you buy it. In fact buy it for everyone you know for Christmas. I don't mind - honestly.
I'm off out to do my signings in the Dublin book shops so I'll fly. Have a superb Halloween I hope you all dress up and get out and about and have lots of fun being spooky and silly!
Hello one and all!
I've had the best new EVER! I had a full service a couple of weeks ago - as in all over scans in my beloved Hotel Blackrock (my trusty hospital). The scanning went literally from my brain to my toes. The news is marvelous - apparently I still have a brain and it doesn't contain any cancer! Double delight! The rest of my body is still very much intact also and fantastically cancer free!
I've had the clear scan scenario many times before. So when I got my wonderful all clear last November I accepted it with glee, relief and unabashed delight. But there was a definite trepidation lurking in my mind. I guess I'd be weird if I didn't experience those sort of emotions at this stage of my life. But hearing my amazing oncologist Dr David Fennelly (Saint David chez nous) say those sweet, sweet words again, quite frankly, put me in a dream-like state.
'Emma you're in remission.'
God, I'll never get tired of hearing that...
Accepting bad news has actually become second nature to me. I know how to deal with the cancer diagnosis. I can cope. I take deep breaths. I calm myself and will myself to have the strength and fight to battle on. I can ask pertinent and often really, really stupid questions. I can force myself to be rational and live for the moment. I can take each day as it comes and block panic from setting in. I've learned how to do all of that.
But this good news thing is actually alien to me! I know I sat in Dr Fennellys rooms and stared at him like a stoned goldfish. I did the wide eyes and silent opening and closing mouth thing. Dr David's smile was so warm and his relief as palpable as mine, that I knew it was alright to believe my newly acquired good fortune!
Since the news - two weeks ago to the day - the wonderfulness of it all is settling in my mind. I still can't fully fathom it but I'm sooooooo thrilled! If you've just been diagnosed with cancer, if you're in the middle of treatment or if you've just finished treatment - take hope from my story. I've now successfully drop-kicked cancer 8 times!
I know I am lucky. I know I'm incredibly fortunate to have survived this far. Believe me I don't take it for granted - but I must stress - all I wanted to hear when I was diagnosed at first was that it is possible to win. So take heart from my situation.
Emma 8 - Cancer 0
You tried your best. You put up a good fight. In fact at times I doubted myself and wondered if you were going to win.
But here I am six years later holding clear scan results in my hand.
Sometimes dreams really do come true. I hope we never meet again, but if we do, let me assure you the battle will be as fierce my end.
Good riddance & I hope this is farewell for good.
(cue sound effects please)
*Blows loud raspberry while extending two fingers*
It's my daughters birthday in two days time. She'll be 11. So I'm off to bake chocolate brownies for her party tomorrow. I've 30 children coming to bounce on an inflatable bouncy assault course wearing pyjamas. I jest not - Kim decided she wants her pals to come in pj's! So fingers and toes crossed it's not lashing rain.
The day I was diagnosed with cancer the first time one of my immediate thoughts, crazy as it may sound now, was; who will bake my children's birthday cakes?
For now I have my answer - I WILL....
Love and light to you all and I hope your day is filled with positive vibes and that the sun is shining on your lives.
Emma x x
Hope you're having an amazing August. For me this month has been all about Katie Taylor. I've been on holiday with hubby and kiddies and it's been bliss. We managed to soak up some sunshine - which is utterly astonishing seeing as it's been the most abbismal summer in Ireland.
While we were away Katie Taylor boxed her way to a gold medal in the Olympics. In case you've been living under a rock, Katie is the women's light weight boxing champion of the world. She's from my home town of Bray and she's quite simply my hero.
I met her last year and she blew me away. She didn't hit me in the face or anything like that - instead she wowed me with her aura. I know that sounds seriously stick waver of me and perhaps a little creepy. But I'm trying to convey the magic this lady spreads in her wake. She's quiet, sweet, unassuming and incredibly humble. Above all she's a total lady.
We were staying in a lovely hotel while Katie was appearing in the Olympics. This meant we had to go to the bar to watch her fights. The establishment seemed to attract a most demure crowd the week we were there. So when I rolled into the bar and proceeded to yell like a fishwife at the television set I probably raised some perfectly manicured eyebrows in the process. I didn't give a toss.
I've always loved boxing. My grandfather was a boxer in his day and perhaps it's in my blood or maybe I have a violent streak that's longing to be unleashed. Either way I love this sport.
Katie takes it all to a new level. She's so skilled and wonderful to watch and more than that she's made history. It's directly due to Katie's success that women's boxing was allowed feature in the Olympic Games for the first time this year. That's phenominal! She had the support of the Irish in bucket loads in London. The sea of Irish flags in the stadium and the loud chanting was well deserved and electric. Her first match against Natasha Jones of UK was tough. But Katie sailed through winning 26 - 15. Two days later she performed her magic once more beating Mavzuna Chorieva of Tajikistan 17 - 9. The town of Bray and the entire country rejoiced! Prior to the final Sofya Ochigava of Russia and her people tried to cause a controversy and said nasty untrue things about our Katie. Instead of lowering herself to that level Katie spoke volumes by winning 10 - 8 and congratulating Sofya afterwards. That my friends is what you call style, class and a true star.
I was honoured to be invited to the homecoming party in Bray where I screamed and clapped and jumped up and down along with, oh about 20000,00 others! My kids and hubby all agreed it was a once in a life-time experience. The atmosphere was utterly electric, the chanting, singing and uproarious applause was so heart-felt and genuine. This girl has lifted the hearts of our nation and brought such immense pride to our town. As she stepped onto the stage amidst wild excitement the sun shone and the sea glistened - it was AWESOME!
After she came off stage a small number of people were allowed a quick meet and greet. I was like a child on Christmas morning as I was ushered towards Katie. My children met her for the first time and were delirious! She chatted to them and posed for pictures. I'm sure she was in a bubble and found the entire thing utterly surreal and amazing, but she was so friendly and warm and made each person feel special. She has made history and is such an incredible role model for women. She is living proof that dreams come true. That we can achieve world wide success if we try. In my mind, Katie has demonstrated that it's still possible to lift people's hearts, to make an entire nation proud and to show the world that there is in fact gold at the end of the rainbow if you reach out and grab it.
Lots of articles and wonderful pieces have been written about Katie over the past few months but I think the most gorgeous and wonderful thing of all is the song sung by the Thai Tims children. Dotey little children singing their hearts out and looking all delighted! Listen to how they pronounce the words too - I dare you to listen to it and not go - aahhhh, at the end! Here's the link:
I hope you're all in great spirits this August - the month that Katie Taylor proved to Ireland that she's our golden girl. Doesn't she inspire you to go out and fight for your dreams in life?
Sending you all love and light!
Well it's July! I'm so excited about the release of 'Keeping Mum'... I went around the Dublin shops doing signings with the lovely Ruth from Hachette. Poor Ruth was dying with a cold and managed to soldier on with the help of cold and flu tablets and tea.
As usual it was lovely to meet and chat to all the people who put my book in their windows and on shelves. They're always so warm and encouraging. I'm not sure if that's down to the bribes I always bring.... I think it's called cupboard love! You see I like to bring cakes or baked treats to the lovely book shop folk. This time it was cup cakes and chocolate brownies. I'm up front about it and say that it's unabashed bribery to encourage them to sell my books! I'm so thrilled with the cover of Keeping Mum, it's bright and sunny looking, even though it's raining most of the time in Ireland at the moment. What's new I hear you shout?
I had a rather unexpected incident the other day. I was outside getting coal from the shed. It's smokeless and I hope doesn't create fumes which kill squirrels. But I was getting stuff to light the fire (yes it's that cold here in July). I had a full bucket and was staggering my way up the back steps to the living room door. Our house is built on a height so there are always steps involved in order to gain access to our place. It was a night mare when I had two kids under the age of two mixed with a weekly shop, but that's a whole other moan.
I was staggering up the steps when the heavens opened. The steps are crafted from old railway sleepers. This looks nice. But it's lethal for walking on in the wet. So I slipped and fell. Dear Jesus it was as if I was trying to get to Australia the quick way. I lay there for a minute post thud, trying to figure out whether or not I was dead. Realising I wasn't I spat out the bits of twig I'd inhaled and sat up. I'd come down face first and luckily the only damage was to the underside of my chin. I've a fantastic bruise on one knee and another on the opposite elbow. But I have to say I wasn't the better of it, as Granny Hannigan would've said. It was very odd and slow-motion like falling. That part was mildly scary. But the predominant sensation was mortification. God there's nothing like snotting yourself to make you feel like a total eejit. I wouldn't recommend it. I have a mild phobia of the coal scuttle as a result and haven't lit the fire since. I'll stick with putting on a puffa coat for the moment.
I'd better go now - I'm about to start writing a new book and have ideas coming out my ears. I'm itching to get going! I need to tell you about Cody very quickly and then I promise I'll go. He's our new baby. He's stripy and fuzzy and the cutest little man imaginable. He's so tiny he fits in my hand and yet he's the most clever little pet. He can use a litter tray and his only vice so far is that he seems to think my bed is also a large squishy toilet. Every time I put him on our duvet he automatically pees. So we've had clean bed linen every day for the last week. I know I could just never allow him near the bed - but that'd be far too intelligent. He also sits being all cute and making tiny meow sounds and I have to pick him up and cuddle him. It also takes so much effort for him to make it up the stairs I figure he deserves a little rest on the bed. Even if it also involves a quick piddle.
If you're on summer holidays enjoy! We're having a 'staycation' this year. We're going to Kerry in August and I can't wait. Meanwhile it's nose to the grindstone! I'd love you all to read my new novel Keeping Mum. I miss the characters since it's gone to print. I hope you all enjoy them too.
By the way here's a little pic of baby Cody cat! Isn't he soooo cute?
Have a great July everyone!
Emma x x
Hello & happy June to you all!
I don't know about your neck of the woods but it's been utterly vile in ours. It's been cold lashing rain and windy. My two children are finished school for the summer - yes they get three months of holidays. I personally think it's far too long but as you can imagine the kids don't agree!
Poor Spike hasn't returned. We were all beginning to drop into a deep depression when we got the wonderful news that Spike's sister has happy news. She's had three babies and guess what? We're allowed to have one! Here he is! Look at the stripy Kermit legs! Isn't he just a dote? He's still too little to leave his mummy so he's coming at the beginning of July.
I've been buried in writing meanwhile. It's great and I'm enjoying it, but the juggling with home life has been crazy. We have a lovely au pair girl arriving to join us tomorrow which will mean I can go to my office to work in the mornings in the knowledge that the children are safe and not setting fire to the place. My two are at an age where they really don't need babysitting as such - just supervision of the many fights and stand-offs. So I hope the lovely Brazilian girl has her whistle and is ready to referee! Failing all of that I could always give Katie Taylor a call and ask her to pop around and wave her boxing glove at them.
Did you all watch her winning the world championship again? God I am in awe of her. She's just the most inspirational and amazing woman. She's also from my home town of Bray and I'm proud to know her. She's heading off next month to London to the Olympics and I hope she's going to win a gold medal. She so deserves it. To me she's just a dynamic package - she's as pretty as a doll, refined and clever with a punch like an express train. Wham! God she's brilliant. My paternal grandfather was a champion boxer in his day, so I've grown up with a love and understanding of the sport. So to have a world champion living around the corner who has undoubtedly and singlehandedly pushed boxing for women into the olympic forum is a thrill. Gowan Katie!
Ants have taken up residence in our kitchen. They're everywhere. I've done all the necessary steps to stop them, from powders to you name it, yet every morning they're there again.... They don't bother me as such but it's probably not a great idea to have tons of the little blighters scurrying about. I've taken to shouting at them and squashing them by hand. Not overly effective for getting rid of them either but it's a way of venting pent up emotion if nothing else - ant therapy rules. I get great satisfaction from my many mini murders each morning. I wonder if karma will come back and bite me on the ass for heartlessly killing so many ants? Maybe a big foot will come through the sky and squash me one of these days...
As my hair is still struggling to grow and replenish itself after the last round of chemotherapy, I was pleased in a slightly warped way to realise I am a true blonde again. I did that thing that we all vow we'll NEVER fall victim to... Yup I filled my diesel car with petrol. I even managed to drive home with a full tank of wrongness. The car was chugging a bit and I did fleetingly wonder why it was so sluggish. Needless to say I kept going - I'm the type of car owner who only investigates my car when it won't move any longer.
So I pitched up outside my house (brilliant or what?) and it conked out. Looking down at the receipt from the petrol station I clocked the words 'unleaded petrol'. I had a brief moment of panic where I considered crying, running up and down pulling at my newly grown hair and having a general melt down. Then I calmly realised that the deed was done. I couldn't change it - so there was no point in loosing the rag. I phoned my local kindly mechanic, admitted straight off that I was an idiot and asked him to come and fix the problem. Within minutes the car was towed away and appeared back the next day working once more. It cost me a few euro which is beyond annoying - but do you know what? It's not life threatening. Bloody irritating - but not the end of the world. My hubby was delighted and figured he'd have months of slagging ahead. But even he has to admit to being mildly disgruntled by my lack of caring on the whole thing. My not giving a toss has taken all the fun out of it for him. I also got to drive my brothers zooped up boy-racer style yoke with rear spoiler and mad growling twin exhausts for the day. Other similar car owners pulled up to me on the motor way nodding for me to race them. In the beginning I was only short of wagging my finger and saying - piss off, I don't do crazy-madness speeding, I'm a responsible mother. After a couple of hours in the car however I was getting with the plot. If I'd had the car any longer I reckon I'd be behind bars by now for dangerous driving. It's lucky I'm not a teenage boy. I'd be a force to be reckoned with! I'm off to begin painting on the spare room. Totally last minute dot com of me, but the walls are in dire need of a lick of paint. The au pair arrives tomorrow so it's a bit late in the day for all this decorating but at least the fumes will let her know we made an effort.
Hope the sun is out and the rain isn't beating down on you where ever you may be.
'Keeping Mum' my next novel is out officially on July 2nd in Ireland! I'm so excited and hope people are going to enjoy it. I'll keep you all posted with that!
Ciao for now!
Emma x x
I know I'm shockingly late with the whole April thing. In fact I should be doing May as well at this stage. I have an excuse though. I've been writing and writing and doing a bit more writing. You see the whole book evolution from mad idea in my head to the actual printed version takes quite a while. Lots of steps are involved including plenty of work. It's a team effort along with the editors and publishing house. So the final touches have been made all the 'i's' are dotted now and 't's' crossed so to speak.
We've (the publishers at Hachette & I) have tossed and turned over the name of the next book. So the final answer, having used up all our life lines and going for broke is: Keeping Mum.
To try and follow the previous titles I've had, which are usually a play on words (Designer Genes, Miss Conceived etc.) we wanted something similar. This novel is all about mothers and daughters. I sincerely hope you're all going to enjoy it. I loved writing it. There are plenty of laughs in it - at least I laughed a lot while I was writing it. Usually if it makes me laugh other crazy ladies find it funny too. So fingers and toes crossed.
It wouldn't be any good if it didn't have some heart-wrenchingly sad bits too. I love all the email from readers describing how I made them blub and sob on the train or the bus to work. Yes I do have a very evil streak in me! Ah sure we all love a good cry from time to time. Doesn't it release all sorts of wonderful and helpful endorphins? So suffice it to say there are some hard hitting issues in the story. But before you dive behind the long coats and dresses in your wardrobe to rock back and forth and vow to never read it - there are enough laughs to keep you out of the nut house suffering with crippling depression.
Speaking of nut house, I nearly had to be taken there of my own free will last week. Spike the naughty but much adored kitten who purred into our lives last summer is gone. Oh sweet Jehovah it's terribly sad. He didn't come for his breakfast last Thursday and I just knew.
Tom arrived (the older fat furry cat puss who we LOVE too) but he was alone without his side kick, Spike. I didn't mention anything to the kids at that point. But he hadn't returned by the time I collected them from school so we had to go hunting. We've put notices everywhere, informed all the vets, police (yes I honestly did file a missing puss notice with the local station and no I don't care if they thought I was insane) and we've sporadically driven all over the Bray area all week end. We haven't found a body and there's no sign of our gorgeous little stripy man. I keep hearing meow's and thinking I see him in bushes and on the side of the road. For those of you who don't 'do' pets I know you are widening your eyes, raising your eyebrows and shaking your heads slowly justifying my insanity by thinking I've been through a lot of sickness and maybe this is how it's manifesting itself. But no! It's a pet owners privilege to forget that our furry friends are not human. They become part of the family. Fair enough they might have more hair than some of us, but it's so hard not to become ridiculously attached to them.
When you have children sobbing at four in the morning and asking you to 'please bring Spike home,' it's not fun. He may come back but for now we just have to hope that he's either in a great big cat bed in the sky or being loved and minded by someone else.
I've done a very grown up thing during the last month which could be another excuse as to why I've been so lax with my blog and twitter and facebook. I've moved into an office. I used to work from home you see. I had a lovely room which my hubby made into an office. It's a brilliant space to have and it was a God-send while I was too sick to leave the house. I will use it still but only in the evenings or at week ends. The only problem with it is the fact that it's attached to the rest of my house and life. I've no issue with discipline when it comes to writing. I love it so much that it's never a chore for me to sit and write. In fact I have to make myself stop so I can go to the toilet, make a coffee, eat or function. But at home there's always something that needs to be done - that isn't work. So I've taken an office in Bray my local town, and it's very business like. I almost feel as if I have a real job now.
I moved my desk top computer and my salt lamp (if you don't own one you should - a big hunk of solid salt which gets plugged in and glows in a lovely sunny way and allegedly emanates good ions...) and my special bad-back helping chair and I was all set. So far I'm a few weeks into it and it's working really well. It's great for my psyche to have an actual work space where I know I can forget whether the washing machine has just finished a cycle or if the dishwasher needs emptying. Fair enough all those things are waiting for me when I get home as I still haven't found a magic fairy to do all that stuff for me, but work time is purely for writing. Bliss!
Health-wise I've had a bit of fun with my back. I managed to banjax my lower back - an MRI showed I've a ruptured disc followed by a squashed one followed by a bulging one. Not the nicest disc sandwich imaginable and I wouldn't recommend it. Having said that I was in so much pain and barely able to hobble around that we (Saint David my oncologist and the nurses) all figured I'd better have scans to see what was going on. I had that awful time when I tried to remain rational and keep things ticking along while I assured myself it was just 'normal' disc stuff. But anyone who's had cancer will agree - each twinge raises a very loud alarm bell. Thankfully I'm just a crock and have gammy discs.
In fact all my scans were totally clear of cancer. It was such a wonderful feeling to know that I've reached six months without a recurrence! I am nervous all the time that the cancer will return. I've never been in this position before you see. I've never had this much time lapse between diagnosis. Don't get me wrong it's bloody brilliant! It's better than that - it's a miracle. But this new sensation is one many people have written to me about and described. But it's my first time being here. I hope I will get used to being well. I hope the cancer stays away for a bit longer and I can get to grips with the concept of being OK. But right at the moment I'm a bit like a small furry animal sitting in a large empty field waiting for a piano to fall out of the sky and squash me! Fingers crossed the piano has joined an orchestra and won't have the inclination to land on me!
I'd better go and do some work. There's another book on the horizon you see. A Christmas one which I think I've mentioned before. It's called 'Driving Home for Christmas' and that'll be out in time for all things tinsel and trees! No rest for the wicked as they say! I hope this finds you all well. I hope to have a peek at the cover of 'Keeping Mum' very soon and I promise to share it with you as soon as I do. It's out in Ireland in July, so hopefully you'll all think of taking it on holiday with you? Ah go on pleeeeease...
Take care where ever you may be. I hope the weather is better than here in Bray. We've had thunder and hailstones all week end. Not very summery in fairness.
Love to you all and I'll catch you again soon,
Emma x x
p.s. here's a photo of furry Spike just in case you come across him