Hello World!

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.

Trish Hennessy of Halfway Up The Stairs, Greystones

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.

Joanna Hamilton of Bridge Street Books, Wicklow

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:

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:

The Book Depository    |    Foyles     |      Hive Books


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