Ever imagined what it would be like to launch your first book? Well, I’ve one word for it: WHOA! Two weeks ago, my children’s book, Elsetime, was officially launched, and WHAT A HOOT IT HAS BEEN! Though we were unable to celebrate at a typical launch party, after a whopping big breakfast and several gorgeous bouquets of flowers, I had a wild time visiting bookshops for signings. To kick-start the bookshop tour, I had my own celebrity-ish-moment (lol!) as I stopped footpath traffic for a photo-shoot with The Wexford People and Eason of Gorey.
We hit the road and, as we drove, what a buzz it was to hear my first podcast recording with the fabulous Nikki Gamble of Just Imagine / Exploring Children’s Literature. My kids where baffled: “Is that really you, Mom?“
Trish and Meriel at Halfway Up The Stairs in Greystones gave me the biggest, warmest hug-like welcome. Then something magical happened: Young readers began to turn up as they escaped from school – to have a child hold out my book and ask me to sign it was a dream come true.
Halfway Up The Stairs is a dedicated children’s bookshop and you would never guess they are only celebrating their first birthday this month – their shelves are stocked like a boutique museum of brilliant books, curated by the most amazing and dedicated booksellers who really know their stuff.
Next stop was to one of my long-term favourite bookshops – Bridge Street Books in Wicklow Town where Hilary and Joanna welcomed me with open arms and let me scribble on their Elsetime stock.
My phone buzzed and binged with well-wishes from old friends and new, both online and off, until it finally ran out of battery by mid-afternoon. A fancy take-away was soon followed by online bubbles with my wonderful writing crew – the Big Smoke Writing Factory gang. Much like the champers, my excitement was bubbling over so goodness knows what was said – all I know is that this bunch of people makes me so, so happy 🙂
The weekend that followed would have normally been spent at the Children’s Books Ireland Annual Conference so this year they showcased all ‘New Voices‘ on a YouTube Premiere as part of Culture Night – apparently, according to my kids, being on YouTube means I am now famous 🙂
Several days of Zoom calls, press reviews, radio interviews and even a TV appearance (thank you CBI & IrelandAM) followed, along with a brilliant blog-tour by some of my absolute favourite bloggers chatting about everything from treasure-hunting crows and ‘sch-m-ocking’ for hot treasure to hearing sounds in colour – all the inspiration behind Elsetime.
My head is still in the clouds but I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who helped me along the way (see my Twitter thread of thanks below!). As I wrote the countless drafts of Elsetime, I often (hourly) wondered if all the effort, rejection, backache, abandoned housework, un-walked dogs, rushed meals and late-night hours would be worth it: I think you can guess the answer to that! WHOA! x
Originally tweeted by Eve McDonnell (@Eve_Mc_Donnell) on September 17, 2020:
CLINK CLINK CLINK! IT’S #ELSETIME!
If you could close your eyes for a minute & imagine we are all tiddly at Elsetime’s book launch! That’s me you can see, standing at the podium, all wobbly with nerves, & it looks like I’d like to say a few words (I’ll be quick, promise! 🤣) 1/7
To my treasure of an agent, @josephine_hayes, Jordan Lees & the super @TBP_agency team, thank you for holding my hand & setting #Elsetime off on its magical journey. To @EveryWithWords who made it all happen, @LauraSmythePR & hands-down the world’s best designer, @hollydrawsinink 😍2/7
To my dear friends, @msniamhgarvey, @Hopewrites, @colinblackrock, @CiaraRightNow, @franquinnwrites, @white_aisling, @MuinbeoArchives and @kevinmoran87 at @bigsmokewriting and to @chennessybooks at the helm – where would I (and #Elsetime) be without you? 💖3/7
Each step of #Elsetime’s way, I met precious gems: @sarahwebbishere, @SJOHart, @inkwellHQ, @BathNovelAward & Steve Voake. @CarolineBusher, @ERMurray, @KieranJFanning, @MarcD_Weegem, @MuirNiChiobhain, @orandoyler & the EWW gang, thank you for helping me feel like I belong. 4/7
To @KatePoels & all amazing book bloggers out there – I’m so glad you are now in my world! For reading early copies of #Elsetime, thank you @kmlarwood, @HelenaDuggan, @nikkithornton! To @writingloris & fellow debut authors who didn’t let *anything* stand in their way! 👊 5/7
To @kidsbooksirl, and the librarians and booksellers who are championing children’s books and #Elsetime, you rock! Big hugs to @HalfwayUpBooks, @bridgebookshop, @ByrnesBooks, @BookCentreWex, @gutterbookshop, @rocketshipbooks, @TertuliaBooks. 6/7
And finally, to my family and friends – I cannot put into words how truly grateful I am (for once, I’m as good as speechless). WE DID IT! Let’s raise a glass of OJ this morning (mine has bubbles!) #Elsetime 7/7
Elsetime is available in all good bookshops! Some of my favourites:
The Book Centre, Wexford; The Gutter Bookshop, Dublin; Halfway Up The Stairs, Greystones; Bridge Street Books, Wicklow; Bookstation, Gorey; Eason, Gorey; Waterstones / Hodges Figgis, Dublin; Dubray Books, Dublin & Stillorgan; Tertulia Books, Westport; Kenilworth Books, Coventry; The Rocketship Bookshop, Salisbury
And you can order Elsetime here too: