Seems like Northern Irish writers just don't rest.
What a week!
Ian Sansom is running a series of NaNoWriMo workshops from the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen's University every Wednesday at 1:00 pm throughout the month of November. I attended the first one, and was once again blown away by what an energetic, funny and excellent creative writing teacher he is. And who says those who can't teach? Next guy that does, I'm lobbing a copy of The Delegate's Choice at them.
Tomorrow's workshop will include a Q&A with Stuart Neville. I'll have to get there early and get a good seat.
And I told you about Brian McGilloway, right?
Sam Millar, media junky that he is, had even more kind words splashed about the papers this week.
Bloody Terrifying (This was the large headline across the page and cover of Bloodstorm).
Bleak, but written stylishly, this grim thriller frightened me to death and I don’t mind telling you it scared the living daylights out of me. I was almost trembling as I finished each page and began the next one. So much so, I’ll be sticking to Maeve Binchy for a few days, just to get over the shock of reading Bloodstorm.
So if you’re a man or indeed a woman who finds satisfaction in seeing the crime solved at the end, thought quite often seeing the baddies get away with it, then you’ll love Bloodstorm. If you don’t mind threading where angels fear to tread, this book is for you. Definitely not one for the faint-hearted.
As I said at the start of my review, I’m now delving into my Maeve Binchy collection to try and purge the nightmare imagery of Bloodstorm from my mind. An accomplished but absolutely terrifying read.
Sharon Owen, editor, Belfast Telegraph, Books Weekend
Yes, when you write the kind of hard-hitting fiction Sam specialises in, these are indeed kind words.
What else? Well, he may not be crime fictiony, but he is Northern Irish, and his last two book launches were held at No Alibis, so that qualifies him. Ian McDonald's latest novel, Brasyl, was long-listed for the Warwick Prize for Writing, which kicks back a monetary prize as generous as the Man Booker does.
And speaking of Norn Iron writers who launch their books from David Torrans's fine establishment, literary Belfast man, Glen Patterson did a bit on Good Morning Ulster while I was stuck in traffic in an effort to teach the nation how to use the humble apostrophe. Green grocers, take note.
And Tony Bailie is still plugging away over at ecopunks. He has some interesting stuff to say about John Banville/Benjamin Black.
No doubt McKinty, Bateman, Downey et al those unmentioned also did some marvellous things this week, but I'm meant to be writing here. I've signed myself up for NaNoWriMo and I've still 35K words to write. Thank you, Ian Sansom and Stuart Neville.
One more thing. Check out Tammy Moore's revamped website. On this page alone you'll find articles aplenty I wish I'd written.
What you waiting for?