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Current Projects

Fiction

The Optimistic Voices or, Pickle – A Novel    Quality Commercial Debut Fiction

 

Marcia Butler

 

Bestselling memoirist (the critically acclaimed The Skin Above My Knee) Marcia Butler’s debut novel.

 

When Jacob Kalisaart commits suicide off the pedestrian walkway of the George Washington Bridge, he unwittingly delivers his girlfriend, Junie Malifatano, into the hands of the McArdle family: Stan McArdle, his wife Karen, their dog The Doodles, and Stan’s identical twin brother, Pickle McArdle. Karen and Stan take the traumatized young woman into their home, a brownstone on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Junie becomes the guileless psychological pawn for the dysfunctional family; they use her as leverage against each other. Over five weeks, long-held alliances are threatened, shocking secrets are exposed, and love never looked so strange or felt so heavenly.

 

Stan and Karen run an architectural firm and are “working” alcoholics. Pickle, a cop, has been waiting for two years to move into the upper two floors of the brownstone they all purchased together. But Karen has put off the renovation necessary for Pickle’s half of the building. The reader discovers that Karen and Pickle are having an affair, and Karen fears that if Pickle moves into the brownstone, their affair will necessarily end.

 

As this relatively simple dilemma floats on top, a more complex narrative unfolds. Stan suffers from mild obsessions: counting, color-coding, lining stuff up, and is a bit of a savant; he grapples with life in this odd manner while being duped by his brother and wife. Stan resents Junie living in the brownstone, because he feels she cannot possibly understand his eccentricities. Simultaneously, Pickle has an immediate fascination with Junie, as does Karen, each for deep seeded reasons. All their lives quickly begin to whirl around Junie, who is simply trying to recover from the trauma of the suicide of her boyfriend. She functions as the person with whom Pickle and Karen can actually “be themselves” in a vulnerable way, and without deception. Pickle and Karen are both in love with each other and in heavy competition for Junie. Stan blocks the whole thing out; or does he?

 

As the McArdle Clan works out their various entanglements, they act out in degrading ways: Pickle is rough and unkind to Karen and later actually impersonates Stan in an effort to mess with their architectural firm. Karen is playing every angle she can think of to keep the status quo afloat: Stan and their business, Pickle whom she loves deeply, and Junie who she sees as a surrogate sister.  Karen and Stan play out their “George and Martha” relationship while attempting to get sober. Junie is the solar plexus of all their struggles.

 

A sometimes dark, quirky present day New York City story, with iconic architecture and the art world playing backdrop roles. Part Tom Wolfe, part Woody Allen, and part John Updike, the novel addresses the bond of identical twins, the hardships of booze, and the pitfalls of beauty. All of it is questioned, tested, and mangled, as so often happens in life.

 

Marcia Butler was a professional oboist for twenty-five years until her retirement from music in 2008. During her musical career, she performed as a principal oboist and soloist on the most renowned New York and international stages and with many high-profile musicians and orchestras—including pianist André Watts, composer and pianist Keith Jarrett, and soprano Dawn Upshaw. She is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, The Skin Above My Knee (Little, Brown US, 2017). 

 

Author's Home: New York City                                                             World Rights

 

All About Farida                               Commercial Women’s Fiction

 

Boman Desai

 

The life and loves of Farida Cooper, a modern Indian woman making her way through the turmoil of the changing world of the latter half of 20th century America and India, are vividly portrayed in this inciteful and evocative novel from Boman Desai.

 

Farida Cooper is too shocked by her husband’s treachery to talk about it, but by hiding her shame succeeds only in denying the damage to herself and making casualties of others, among them an infatuated seventeen-year-old boy. Farida, a native of Bombay, is vivacious, brilliant, gorgeous, glamorous, talented, and rich, not to mention spoiled and selfish, but her life is hardly as rosy as the appearance suggests. Her father, too wealthy to care what others think, makes a hobby of chasing women. The Cooper scandals are the talk of the town. Her mother grows hard and rigid and vindictive in consequence.

 

Farida’s saving grace is her Kaki, with whom she lives after her sixth birthday on a separate floor of the Cooper mansion, but this heightens the sense of her parents’ indifference and she learns to show nothing of her feelings. Instead, her feelings erupt later in a series of disastrous choices. Her story shuttles between Bombay and Chicago, spanning the years from World War II to the eighties, illuminating themes of love and marriage, feminism and friendship, art and academia, the ivory tower and the visceral world.

 

Boman Desai brings Farida’s conflicting passions to life as vividly as he evokes the disparate worlds of Bombay and Chicago.

 

Review of Boman Desai’s most recent novel Trio (Author House, 2015):

 

"A magisterial work ... clearly the result of astonishingly thorough research.... A riveting dramatization of musical history." –Kirkus Reviews (starred review and a Kirkus Top 100 Books of 2016)

 

Boman Desai was born and raised in Bombay (now Mumbai), but has lived his adult life in

Chicago. After studying Architecture and Philosophy, and getting degrees in Psychology and

English, he was set to become a market analyst when a chance encounter with Sir Edmund Hillary,

his earliest hero, brought him back to his vocation: writing novels. He got his first break when an

elegant elderly woman personally submitted a number of his stories to the editor-in-chief of

Debonair magazine in Bombay. The stories were all published, but the woman disappeared and her

identity remains a mystery to this day. He has published fiction and nonfiction in the US, UK, and

India. His first novel, The Memory of Elephants, was published in 1988 by Andre Deutsch in

hardcover and Sceptre in Paperback and was acquired and edited by Diana Athill. His latest novel

Trio: The Schumanns and Brahms, was published by Author House in 2015, receiving a starred

Kirkus review and named one of their top 100 books of 2016.

 

Author’s Home:  Chicago                                                                                 World Rights

 

Beyond the Horizon                    Literary Fiction    

            

Eoin Dolan Lane

 

Haunted by the power of the ocean from an early age, Connor Larkin has only one desire.  To paint.  The sea.  But it will take more than just talent to succeed.  Temperamental and headstrong, Connor must overcome self-doubt and follow his heart to achieve his dream.  But the path to success proves more troublesome than he can ever imagine.  Life can be just as unsettled as the weather patterns of the sea.  Where does the boundary between love and art lie?  And where can he draw the line between sky and water?  Connor must dig deep to uncover the truth, even if it takes a lifetime.

 

Beyond the Horizon charts Connor’s enduring love affair with the sea and his quest as a painter to find his way to that distant shore, far out beyond the known horizon, to a third dimension where the sky meets the water.  A place of the unknown and imagined.  A place of light and hope. 

 

Encouraged by his mother Eileen, Connor shows promise as an artist from an early age, but in art school, he struggles to find his own voice.  He finds a passionate mentor in the charismatic Adeline Bell and forms a close friendship with fellow student, Michael Murtagh.  But when Michael introduces him to his girlfriend Aisling, Connor’s world changes forever.  

 

Aisling and Connor fall in love at the expense of Michael.  A turbulent marriage in England follows, eventually leading to a return home to Connor’s beloved Ireland.  His marriage may be coming apart at the seams but his work as a painter is now maturing and evolving, and a new exhibition leads him to New York and New England and new impressions that will stay with him forever. 

 

But when he returns to Ireland, Connor finds Aisling has abandoned him for Michael.  Devastated and struggling to cope, Connor exiles himself in the lonely wilds of Glenmalure in County Wicklow, where his painting turns a darker corner, until Adeline Bell brings him back into the fold with a new exhibition in Dublin.  However, when Connor’s mother dies, he experiences a fresh heart-breaking sense of loss that knocks him back further again.

 

In Tuscany, he finds a new friend and lover in Rosetta Garibaldi, who helps restore his sense of self-worth.  But when Aisling falls seriously ill, Connor faces new challenges of love, loss and regret.  And there is something about Aisling’s death that disturbs him and which ultimately leads to an unsettling confrontation with Michael. 

 

Connor has spent a lifetime trying to come to terms with the loss of those closest to him, a lifetime spent searching for the light beyond the horizon.  Now he faces his greatest challenge yet.  To distil this lifelong experience into his final masterpiece. 

 

In a journey that takes him from Wicklow to Donegal and Brighton, America, Tuscany and India and eventually to the island of Inishboffin off the coast of Galway, Connor never gives up on fulfilling that early promise his mother first saw in him as a boy.  Here at last on Inishboffin, Connor finds that place both within him and beyond the horizon, which he has been searching for all his life. 

 

Eoin Dolan Lane was a finalist in the 2016 Greenbean Novel Fair for In the Shadow of Hermes. He was also the fourth prize winner in the inaugural year of the RTE Frances Mac Manus Awards 1986, when James Plunkett was the head judge. (The story was later published in the accompanying anthology by Mercier Press). In 2015, Eoin was shortlisted in the same awards for his story, When Blue Snowflakes Fall.  Beyond the Horizon is Eoin’s second novel. In the Shadow of Hermes, his first novel, is also available.

 

Following a degree in Fashion Design, Eoin worked with Vivienne Westwood in London, before designing in New York and Seattle, with spells in Hong Kong and India on behalf of Timberland and The Woolmark Company. After diversifying into public relations for the property and interior design sector in London, he then won a scholarship with The National Trust, and took charge of the formal gardens at Mount Stewart in County Down for eight years, where he hosted Prince Charles’ visit in 2010. 

 

Since 2011, Eoin has run his own restaurant, No14 in Greyabbey, County Down alongside his partner’s gifts and accessories shop. Also a painter, he exhibits oil on canvas landscapes with The Trinity Gallery Dublin and The Lavelle Gallery Clifden. Eoin lives in Comber, County Down with his partner Ian, their cat Shadow and Pomeranian X Terrier, Pepe.

 

Author Home:  N. Ireland                                                                                                                  World Rights

The Glass Door                  Quality Commercial Fiction

R. M. Clarke

The Glass Door is a haunting investigation into the deep, complex and often frightening labyrinth of the human mind, where three generations of Irish women learn to tread the difficult path of reconciling individual identity and social approval. It is a novel about absence and brokenness and longing, and a small and fractured family trying to figure things, and each other, out. 

The Glass Door is the story of thirteen year old Rosie, who recounts her chaotic childhood while under the hypnosis of Dr Waters, to find out why things have gone so wrong. From omniscient foetus to solitary teen, Rosie recalls the things she remembers, rather than what she was told, in order to find out the answers to the questions. The questions are: Why has Rosie such trouble making friends? Where does she go at night? And why is the little toy she carries in her pocket so important? Rosie must go deep under to find the answers.

Set in the 1970s and 80s between the east coast of Ireland and London, Rosie and her unwed mother Sandra chase her reluctant father across the sea, where he slips through their grasp and disappears, leaving emptiness in Rosie’s hand where a work-roughened palm should be, a void which Rosie must fill however she can. They are forced by failure and poverty to return home to the bitter embrace of Rosie’s grandmother, Marie, whose love for her daughter and granddaughter is poisoned by her desire for social acceptance.

 

But the strange child Rosie grows increasingly stranger, especially at night, when her unpredictable behaviour becomes both frightening and dangerous. Sandra, coming under growing pressure, both from Marie and the society she lives in, must find a new man to take Rosie’s father’s place. But things only get worse for her and Rosie once she does. Even the arrival of Dog and Peter into Rosie’s life cannot overshadow her terror of night time in the new house. After enduring years of an increasingly disturbed home life, everything comes to a deadly climax and Rosie turns herself into the police, forcing Sandra and Marie to accept that not talking about things doesn’t make them go away.

R.M. Clarke guides the reader though Rosie’s life and mind in deft prose which subtly pulls us along, in a novel reminiscent of the work of Kate Atkinson, combining quality writing with commercial appeal in this stunning debut novel.

R.M. Clarke is an Irish writer and voiceover artist. When she’s not in the studio recording, she’s writing. She wrote flash fiction for Dublin2020 and The Open Pen Anthology, and her tiny play, The Ice-Cream Robbery of Sherkin Island, was published and produced by Open Pen Literature Magazine. An excerpt from her first novel, The Glass Door, won the Discovery Event in the Dalkey Book Festival in 2012 and earned her a place in The Irish Writers Centre Greenbean Novel Fair 2016. She has written three currently unpublished novels: The Glass Door, The Horologist and The Apollonian. She lives in Dublin where she is a part-time crisis counsellor for the Rape Crisis Centre.

Author Home: Dublin                                           World Rights

 

 

In The Shadow of Hermes      Quality Commercial/Literary Fiction

Love…Deception…Guilt…Redemption

A Novel within a Novel

Eoin Lane

A ‘Big House’ novel with a difference, which is completely made up by a writer as an escape from grief but who finds instead that his characters, led by the eccentric 92 year old Lady Nerine, have very much taken him on his own journey of self discovery and awareness.

When Gerard, returns to Ireland, mourning the death of his partner Shane, he takes a job restoring the garden of an historic house. Inspired by the atmosphere of both house and garden, he begins to write his fictional Lady Nerine story as an escape from grief.

The novel opens with Lady Nerine. This razor sharp lady lives in a drawing room, gazing out at long herbaceous borders and dreaming of earlier days. Her mother’s ghost drifts amongst the corridors and garden paths and the Greek statue of Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, casts a long shadow across her mind.

She befriends a new young gardener, Hugh because he reminds her so much of Colm, a gardener she fell in love with when she was young. She takes us back on a trip to India where she spent unhappy colonial years with her husband, the ‘beastly’ Randolph.

In the separate diaries which are interweaved with Lady Nerine’s story, we meet Gerard, the grieving writer behind these characters.

Death now stalks the pages of both diary and story.

Hugh and Lady Nerine grow ever closer, but when Hugh has an accident and has to leave, Lady Nerine is so upset at losing him that she finally caves in and relives the night at the ice house. Revelation after revelation takes place, building to the murderous climax of the book and the truth about Lady Nerine.

In a final twist, the writer has some revelations of his own to make, which shed even further light on both the story and his own journey. Although, the shadow of Hermes eventually comes for Lady Nerine, in the end she remains more real than ever to the writer, as the fictional creation who rescued him from himself and his past.

Eoin Lane’s first novel is a stunning debut, both a highly commercial work and a highly literary novel that uses the big house format to deceptively capture the reader’s attention and take us on two different yet parallel journeys of love and redemption. It reads fast and is very accessible, yet what a beautifully written and compelling a story it is.

Eoin Dolan Lane was a finalist in the 2016 Greenbean Novel Fair for In the Shadow of Hermes. He was also the fourth prize winner in the inaugural year of the RTE Frances Mac Manus Awards 1986, when James Plunkett was the head judge (The story was later published in the accompanying anthology with Mercier Press), and , in 2015, he was shortlisted for the same awards with his story When Blue Snowflakes Fall . This is his first novel. Jis second, Beyond the Horizon, is finished.

After a degree in Fashion Design, Eoin worked with Vivienne Westwood in London, before designing in New York and Seattle with spells in Hong Kong and India for Timberland and The Woolmark Company. After diversifying into public relations for the property and interior design sector in London, Eoin then won a scholarship with The National Trust and took charge of the formal gardens at Mount Stewart in County Down for eight years where he hosted Prince Charles’ visit in 2010.

Since 2011, he has run his own restaurant No14 in Greyabbey, County Down alongside his partner’s gifts and accessories shop. Eoin also exhibits oil on canvas landscape paintings with The Trinity Gallery Dublin and The Lavelle Gallery Clifden. Eoin lives in Comber, County Down with his partner Ian, their cat Shadow and Pomeranian x Terrier, Pepe.

 

Author Home: Comber, N. Ireland                       World Rights

 

 

 

Her Kind                   Quality Commercial Women’s Fiction/Historical Fiction          

Tina Pisco

In the spring of 1894, a mysterious young woman arrives in a remote village in the west of Ireland. Some will love her, many will hate her, and one will fall hopelessly in love with her. But no one will be able to foresee or forestall the events and circumstances which conspire inexorably against her, leading to her downfall. Her Kind is a compellingly readable novel from a bestselling author and gifted storyteller, who engages you from the first sentence and draws you into the dark drama of a tragedy very much of its time.

In 1894, the small community of Kilkeam in West Cork is rocked by the sudden arrival of an enigmatic y​oung woman. A widow with a small baby, Maeve O’Leary intends to make her new home in the local Lodge, to which she holds the deeds. This means that she is now landlord to Mick Kelly, a brutish bully who for years has had a lucrative sideline in the production of poitín on Maeve’s property, with the help of his co-conspirator, the crippled and embittered Jack Ganey.

Beautiful, independent and free-spirited, Maeve quickly poses a threat not only to the illicit activities of Mick and ‘Gamey Jack’, but also to many other aspects of the established order in a village whose inhabitants are laid low by poverty and crushed by the absence of any hope of a better life.

Despite her frequent acts of kindness and generosity to those in need, and her gifts as a healer, Maeve is soon regarded with suspicion by the local women. Her disregard for convention and determination to do as she pleases make her the secret object of lust amongst the men of the village; her exotic beauty, uninhibited ways and penchant for the poetry of Yeats attract the admiration of the local curate, young Father Tom, who soon finds himself rushing headlong into a secret, illicit affair with her.

Maeve’s presence quickly sets in motion an unfortunate series of events within the small community, and soon the reader can only watch helplessly as larger forces conspire against her.

Inspired by and loosely based on the true story of the 1895 burning in Tipperary of Bridget Cleary (who was set alight and burned to the death because her husband and father believed her to be a witch), Her Kind explores the myth of the witch within the folklore tradition of Ireland, and the sense in which such beliefs were used to legitimise the casting out of those who did not conform. With the lightest of touches, the author also looks at the collision of town and country, of storytelling and science, of old and new, as well as, most significantly, the unhappy lot of ordinary women in the Ireland of the late 19th century.

Her Kind is the second book in the Magpie series (the first, the bestselling Catch the Magpie, was published in 1999 – see below). However, like its prequel, it can be read as a stand-alone novel. The author plans to write a third book in the series — Annie — which will follow the continuing fortunes of Maeve’s ancestors.

Tina Pisco was born in Madrid, Spain and lived mostly in mainland Europe before moving to West Cork in 1992. She has been a professional writer for over 25 years, working across the genres of prose, poetry and drama, in fiction and non-fiction. Her two previously published bestselling novels, Only a Paper Moon and Catch the Magpie (1996 and 1999, Poolbeg Press), have been translated into five languages. An acrimonious divorce in 1996 meant that for the next decade, Tina’s focus was entirely on bringing up her four teenage children. Now that all of her daughters have grown up and left home, she has been able to return to writing again.

Tina currently lives with her partner in a big house on the hill in Clonakilty, along with two dogs and three cats.

Author’s Home: Clonakilty, Ireland                      World Rights

 

 

 

The Confession of Peadar Gibbons   Literary Fiction           

 

Declan Varley

 

Pulitzer-winning, Irish-born writer, Lorna T. Cuddy was used to getting story suggestions from her Dad back home. Most centred on five-legged donkeys or villagers whose lives spanned the centuries. Always reluctant to dismiss them, cognisant of the many jobs he'd taken to put her through college so she'd be “good at the book learnin’ “, she would listen to each with an earnest integrity whenever he rang with a “Lishen Lorna, wait 'til I tell ya.” One had featured in a lengthy Vanity Fair piece she'd written. Another got a few laughs for an article she'd written for Irish America magazine. Another had formed part of the anecdote she told in her Pulitzer-acceptance speech, which had made her Dad happy. However, none fascinated her as much as the one he called her about the previous year. This time, he was more insistent. This time, he was part of the story. And so was she.

 

It seemed that his childhood friend Peadar Gibbons, had, on his fiftieth birthday, walked into his local Garda police station in a west of Ireland town, saying he had some things to get off his chest. But Peadar was deemed 'harmless’, a man who had lived on the fringes of society; extra-average. Not violent or cantankerous. Just another solitary life in a small town. A man who strove to be normal. And spent his life trying to be. A man stifling a howl within.

 

But it was a Sunday evening. A quiet one. And it was tea-time in the police station. Not a time for big confessions. So the officer sent him home with the advice to “write it all down” and come back to us. After all, Peadar was a writer, and a poet who wrote “posh poems that didn't rhyme”. He'd had a story read out on national radio.

 

So off home he went.

 

Taking down the Remington typewriter and punching out 50 chapters of a life less ordinary, Peter would later present the Gardai with was what they later described as the “most elaborate document of admission we have ever received”. 80,000 words of poetry and life. Written with the frankness and honesty befitting a man who wanted to be unburdened, to be noticed though not stared at; to be talked of and not talked about.

 

This novel sets out a journey of discovery, a modern tale of parochial Ireland where hidden beneath the shackles of faux class lies a life of isolation moulded through prejudice and dysfunction.

 

We see inside the mind of Peadar, a man who has a wonderful way with words but “sometimes a horrid tongue on him”; whose formal education was characterised by fear and abuse and whose personality is limited by the low confidence instilled by his small town environment.

 

The Confession of Peadar Gibbons is humorous and sad; emotive and stirring; pacy and energetic. Chapters of 1500 words and the strong use of the vernacular make the novel a fast read. External readers have spoken of the “just one more chapter“ effect. Of finding themselves engaging with this ordinary man who is anything but. Of pitying him then despising themselves for doing so, because Peadar didn't want to be pitied.

 

Peadar Gibbons is a product of an Irish education system that discarded many, one of the emigrant generation who stayed home and struggled to find his way in a changing Ireland. Not good enough to deserve a decent chance at home. Not confident enough to try his luck overseas. So stuck.

 

In a life of incidents. And consequences.  Left with nothing but his confession.

 

Declan Varley is a stunning new voice in the great tradition of Irish literary fiction. He is a man who doesn’t believe in wasting words. He uses them to their full potential, and understands their power and value. Whether it is a 140-character tweet, his award-winning weekly columns, or a chapter from novel, his use of the vernacular can be powerful, emotional, hilarious, and sad in equal measures.

 

Born in 1965, he grew up in the small town of Ballinrobe in County Mayo, Ireland. In his teens, Declan began his career in writing when he established a weekly magazine with a group of friends, selling hundreds of copies of their writings outside church every Sunday — that publication gave Declan the motivation he needed to use words as his trade. Not surprisingly, a successful career in Irish journalism followed, writing stories from the west for every national newspaper. Declan is currently Group Editor of the Advertiser Newspaper Group.

 

Every week, more than 100,000 people share his unusual take on the week’s topical issues. In 2015, he was awarded an International Golden Quill Award, an accolade which was also bestowed on him in 2003, listing his editorials among the top twelve published in weekly regional newspapers worldwide.

 

Declan lives in Galway with his wife broadcaster Bernadette Prendergast and their daughter, Giselle.

 

Author’s Home: Galway, Ireland                               World Rights

 


 

Lamplighters                                   Fantasy Crossover

Rebecca Reid
As the mark of death seeps through their world, a girl with hidden gifts discovers a warrior bloodline, culminating in the revelation of a contemporary Adam and Eve.
Nestled in the depths of a forest lies Mount Bygone, a community removed from society through fear of the city. They live a simple life, sheltered from modernisation and the restraints that come with it. Here they are free.
Megan is a girl like any other, or wishes she was, but beneath her calm demeanour she is tormented by a hidden gift, her ability to feel stained emotions. When the lamp is lit outside Mack’s house, following the death of his family from a mysterious illness, Megan realizes that in touching it she can feel everything about the people who reside there, their past and their present. With her Gramps’ encouragement she begins to listen to what it is telling her, let it guide her, not knowing that the journey will take her to the end of the world and back again.
As a deadly virus spreads through Bygone, killing members of every household, people begin to notice something strange – wherever there is a death, an outdoor lamp is lit. There seems to be no logic, no pattern to the illness, perhaps if there were no lamps, the thing would stop? Only after the rioting, when all the lamps are smashed, does a new mark appears. Every door branded with the mark of death knows what is coming. Panic fills the streets, forcing the local police to call for a forty- eight hour lock down in an attempt to stop it in its tracks. Meanwhile, Megan is confronted with more than the past when Luke, her childhood love, pulls her free of the rioting. She feels something in him that scares her, an ability to lead despite all odds and a God-awful smell.
As their society becomes vulnerable, Luke reveals the true reason he deserted Megan in the past - her father. Infuriated, she confronts her dad for destroying the best thing she ever had, but before he can ever truly explain, the mark appears on their door and he is dead by sunrise.
Bombarded by the darkness hidden in the people around her, Megan rushes to see Luke - but it is too late. He has volunteered to go to the city in search of answers. No-one ever comes back from the city. Will he?
As Luke enters a world controlled by microchips and core living he discovers that he has become the cave man in a new world, where people use virtual downloads to upgrade. This is a city controlled by holograms and force. Genome sequencing is carried out; people are chipped and streamed accordingly but despite all their control, the virus is here and it is running rampant. When Luke is captured and tested for his records they discover that he is not only a warrior but an EX1. It is only with the help of fellow Superior Mathers that Luke manages to escape, discovering in the process that only the lowly, non-upgraded people survive. This virus is unworldly, cleansing the earth of the unworthy.
Meanwhile Megan’s gift is getting stronger. She can see a pattern in the people who are dying; she feels their sins when she touches their doors. But as she discovers the reasons for their deaths, she also sees a path to the future. Frantically, she leafs through pages of the bible, and quote after quote jump out at her, none of which make sense, until Luke finally makes it home.
Luke has superior genes, Megan has remarkable gifts. This is the new beginning.

Rebecca Reid was withdrawn from school due to illness at fourteen. Being limited in the things she was able to do, she wrote all the time. At 16 she had her own page in the local weekly newspaper, the Bangor Spectator. At 17 she became a model, doing catwalk, photographic work, and TV. In 2008 she graduated in English from Queens University, Belfast, and she was awarded an Arts Council writing grant in 2009. Her first novel, The Coop, was self-published as an e book in 2012, to much attention and critical acclaim. Her debut paperback Thickets Wood was published by Liberties Press in 2014.

 

Author’s Home: Bangor, N. Ireland                          World Rights

 

 

 

In Between Jobs             Memoir

Duncan Pow

From a clearly talented writer, this book is gritty, sordid, vivid and compelling on so many levels – a very dark contemporary tale, tempered by an unexpected spiritual dimension . . .

I was 34 years old:

 

I am an actor. I am a son. I am a brother. I am a nephew. I am a drug addict. I am a sexual deviant. I am a lover. I am a fighter. I am good. I am bad. I am a Buddhist. I am all of these things. I am none of these things. I am everything. I am nothing.

 

I was making a cause. I was trying to change. Because the only thing that is constant is change. But my demon had other ideas. My demon wanted me for itself. A battle between light and dark. Between moving forwards and regressing. Between happiness and unhappiness. I was in between jobs.

 

Duncan Pow is an actor, originally from Scotland and now living in London. With no formal training but plenty of raw talent and formidable drive, at this early stage in his career Duncan was already a recognisable and successful television actor.

 

But Duncan was also a functioning addict, addicted to cocaine, success, pornography and dark, depraved sex, wherever he could get it. He was addicted to addiction itself, with its heart-breaking cycle of synthetic highs and crashing lows, where punitive purging follows increasingly sordid excess, and fresh resolve only ever ends in countless broken promises to the self.

 

Yet our anti-hero had lately discovered a more spiritual dimension in life and, in the tradition of Buddhism, he has ‘made a cause’: to change his way of being at the most profound level. As the endless cycle of his addict’s existence moves in ever-decreasing circles towards seemingly inevitable catastrophe, might it be that this new-found spiritual awareness will only serve to heighten Duncan’s inner turmoil, transforming an already potent cocktail of sex, drugs and addiction into a truly deadly one?

 

As this mesmerising, compulsive narrative hurtles towards its conclusion, the battle Duncan faces – between light and darkness, good and bad, life and death – ramps up to an almost unbearable pitch which, we know, cannot be sustained for long. In this dark night of the modern soul, the ending, when it comes is swift, brutal – and utterly unexpected.

 

NB: Includes highly explicit sexual content

Duncan Pow was born in 1977 in Edinburgh. He lived in Lockerbie until he was 11, when his family moved to the small medieval city of Wells, in Somerset. He is a highly successful film and TV actor, known for lead roles in Sky One’s Dream Team, Holby City (2008 - 2010), Law and Order UK, as well as Waterloo Road and The Wrong Mans (to name a few). 

After leaving school, Duncan studied Maths at Edinburgh University, and then did a degree in Multimedia Technology at Leeds Metropolitan University, where he graduated with First Class Honours. Prior to his career in acting, he worked as a barman, kitchen hand, forklift truck operator, pan cleaner, in a plastics factory, yoghurt packer, cameraman, editor, DJ, journalist, website designer and a script editor for a financial news programme.
In Between Jobs is Duncan’s first full-length work of fiction. In 2010, the author’s first short plays were performed in Somerset and he is currently working with producers in LA and the UK on a proposed TV series, which will be his first foray into writing for television.

Author’s Home: London                     World Rights

 

 

 

Glory Everyday: Selected Poems                      Poetry

Edmond Sheehy
For forty years Ed Sheehy has wandered through board rooms, airports and hotel lobbies. Later in life, he has been led by poetry to within view of the promised land. These poems, all composed after 2008, are, for all their varieties of style and voice, one long argument with God that we belong in paradise.
One of the 40 poems in the collection:
Southbound Metro North

Commuters shiver when they sit down.

Clipping my ear I then hear their personalized ring tones.

No one on this train notices

the moment when inertia is overcome.

The sun, just a streak on the horizon, 
they plunder pink newspapers for trading strategies
and dissect the Asian markets for auguries,
suburbanites with pressed shirts buttoned.
More earnest are they than any poets,
more driven than jazz musicians,
these magicians, who derive cash flows
from the fountains of others' despair.
The stars are no longer required,
dreams have been put away
the ideals of youth reclaimed
by the ironies on this moving train.
Natural impulses, long since subdued,
memories, left bleach on the lawns of Mamaroneck,
the anger of an earlier generation
has been quietly rebuked.
I thought that youth would last forever,
that I would never bargain with the man,
that I would be valiant, that I would stand;
I have settled for a tidy income and a 401k plan.
When I am old I will be kind.
When dying I will give advice.
Until then I will invest my dividends
and not think about it twice.
Vanities flash in the window,
the ambitions I had once;
I wanted change every day
and agitated for an end to sorrow.
I demanded charity and decency
and a more noble society.
My wife and child do not know me,
nor I, any past image of myself.
The sun blazes from the East.
The train races through shadow.
The face I raise to greet this day
is not the face I want to meet tomorrow.
Ed Sheehy was born and raised in the Bronx. He has a BA from SUNY Purchase and an MBA from Pace University. He has worked as a programmer and management consultant. He lives in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, but travels widely on business. He is married over 25 year and has two grown sons who work in China. He has turned to poetry out of desperation with his golf.

Author's Home: New York, N.Y                      World Rights

 

 

Pictures of Jesus [Working Title]                  Literary Fiction

Micheál Sheehan
In a series of interlinking episodes, this book looks at the lives lived out in quiet (or not so quiet) desperation by a cast of ‘ordinary’ individuals in a small town on the outskirts of Cork city in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland. The action centres on The Sugar Sugar Café – a small, ‘greasy spoon’ café in Rathluirc – but the story shifts between past and present, and encompasses other locations as far flung as Manila and New York city.
A bleak yet compelling narrative – told through the alternating perspectives of each of the key characters – suggests the extent to which, for such average people, daily life consists mainly of a gruelling struggle to simply get by, in which isolation and frustration are an inescapable part of the common routine. This sense of hopelessness is alleviated, however, by many moments of dark humour – and above all, by the rich and often surprising inner lives of these individuals, into which we as readers are afforded a privileged glimpse.
Alice is a middle-aged mother-of-one from New York, who works as a waitress in the Sugar Sugar café in Rathluirc, having followed her feckless Irish husband Mattie back to his home town. Since Mattie’s sudden departure, Alice’s life is a relentless battle to keep her head above water, and manage her increasingly unpredictable twelve-year-old son Billy. Diagnosed with ADHD as a young child, Billy himself finds it difficult to make any sense of life or other people, and acts out his feelings of alienation through seemingly random impulses of violence.
Jerry, the owner of the Sugar Sugar café and Alice’s boss, is an alcoholic who has been on the wagon for over thirty years, and hopes to resist relapse by focusing on his aspirations for the café and self-medicating on classical music and self-restraint. Carl, the café’s chef, is hoping for a fresh start, having been forced to return to Ireland after many years in the merchant navy, when in a moment of madness he abandoned ship in Manila (he has the tattoos to prove it).
Then there are peripheral characters such Burnt Toast, a regular of the café (whose nickname is synonymous with his usual elevenses order), who languishes in the desperate boredom of his life as an office clerk in a run-of-the-mill legal practice, but lives for his trips to the cinema and his unofficial career as an online film critic. Johnny and Ghostface are two heroin addicts who crash and burn in one glorious final run-in with the law, while Dixie is the low-life drug dealer well-versed in exploiting human weaknesses. Each character reaches a point of crisis in their own way, staging a private rebellion of sorts against the limitations of their lives, and of the many elements of modern society – family, church, romantic relationships, work, school, the justice system – which simply fail to live up to the hype. For some, disaster is looked squarely in the face, but thankfully, averted; others plunge into fresh setback with a kind of fatalistic enthusiasm.
By turns bleak and uplifting, dark and funny, this is a compelling read from a promising new Irish talent.
Micheal Sheehan (Micheál O'Síocháin) was born in Gorey, Co. Wexford in 1962 and grew up Co. Cork. He has lived and worked in Barcelona, Laredo, Washington DC and London, and has now returned to his hometown of Charleville. He currently works as a lecturer in accounting in LIT Limerick, and is married with three children. Since 2010, Micheal has had seven short stories short- or long-listed for national awards, including the William Trevor award, the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year competition and the Penguin/RTE short story award. The Sugar Sugar Café is his first novel.

Author’s Home: Charleville, Ireland                      World Rights

 

 

Band on the Run                   Comedic Fiction

Danny Morrison 
Frank woke up suddenly and shouted, “Linda! I’ve got it!” “Linda?” said Kate, rolling out of the dip in the murdered mattress over to her side, and letting the warm air escape. She punched her pillow twice, before turning back to the big face of her husband and said, “It’s okay. You’ll wake up in a minute and remember who you are and what age you are.” “I’ll explain all, Linda,” said Frank, unperturbed, grinning from cheek-to-chubby-cheek and princely patting down the duvet with his plump fingers.”
So opens Chapter one of Danny Morrison’s fifth novel, Band on the Run, the hilarious story of how 64-year-old Frank Murray, from the Shankill Road, a Catholic convert who lives with his wife Kate in Republican West Belfast, decides to realize a teenage dream of forming a pop band (The Commitments for pensioners, as one of his critics later describes it).
“I know the words of every song between the late-fifties and even some of the crap they do today. There’s a real market for nostalgia in our generation. And you will be my Linda!” “My Linda. Who to hell’s Linda!” “Linda McCartney!” “Linda McCartney? Am I gonna die and then you marry somebody with a bad leg?” “Honey-bun, you can learn to play the tambourine, and do backing vocals the way you repeat everything I say, like an echo. Why, you mightn’t even need to rehearse.”
Frank also has to fight the ridicule of his family, particularly his snobbish daughter Deborah, who is appalled at what her friends will think of a father, whom she does not believe has a musical note in his head, making a complete idiot of himself. But Frank is undeterred and has other things on his mind:
Frank was considering his stage presence: he didn’t know whether to wear something distinguished like a cravat or a striped jacket with a flower in the lapel, but wouldn’t want to send out the wrong signal; or a hat like that worn by the late George Melly or Van Morrison, who had once told him to fuck off when he asked for his autograph - which was why ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ or ‘Gloria’ would never feature in his repertoire.
Putting an (old) boy band together turns out not to be as simple as it sounds and so, with the help of his rakish brother-in-law Sean, they go in search of potential drummers and guitarists. They approach a former drummer, the slightly unhinged Petesy Gribben, who explains that he cannot help as he has decided to organise ‘pub crawl tours’ for visiting Europeans and Americans because the market for the ‘political and mural tours’ about the Troubles has been cornered:
“It’ll be based on famous bars of the Falls – or where they used to be before they were burnt down and blown up - whatever. In those bars still standing – the ones with the je ne sais quoi, the zeitgeist, or whatever-to-fuck you wanna call it – the ones where they still pull a pint, we’ll stop for a jar or two and I’ll give a short pragmatic, theoretical talk. So, if there’s Germans I’ll take them into The Beehive where Hitler used to drink before he was expelled from St Mary’s. Maguire’s on the Springfield Road where Yasser Arafat held secret meetings with the IRA and the ANC. Point out where the Oul House stood in Albert Street, where Paul McCartney first picked up the melody, or should I say, stole the melody for ‘Hey Jude’. “It’ll be a unique insight into how a small place like West Belfast has attracted Presidents and Lally Damas and influenced international politics, arts, culture and music globally, punching well above its weight… Of course, it’s total bullshit but you would be surprised at how many will buy into it, thinking that I’m the village idiot but that it was worth it for the laughs and to give the halfwit some pocket money. I’ll make a fucking fortune.”
Along the way we learn about the love between Frank and Kate, we get a snapshot of what life is like in Belfast in 2013 where despite a peace process (and a burgeoning peace industry of catering for ‘Troubles tourists’) the embers of the conflict still impinge on life, and on Frank’s life and past in particular.
“All my other novels and books of non-fiction,” says Danny Morrison, “have been a bit too serious so in Band On The Run I’ve decided to let down the hair I used to have and write something contemporary but funny which catches the characters − eccentric, warm, humane, extremely funny and ironic – of my native Belfast, and in particular Fat Frank, genuine, sincere, loyal and innocent husband, father and citizen.”

Danny Morrison was born in Belfast in 1953. He has written four novels and three books of non-fiction, has edited and contributed to numerous books and periodicals and has written a successful stage play. His short stories have been broadcast on BBC and RTE. He has written features and reviewed for newspapers in Britain, Ireland, Germany, Spain and the USA, and has reviewed fiction and drama for the BBC and RTE. In the 1980s he was the national director of publicity for Sinn Féin, and during the prison hunger strikes of 1981was the spokesperson for Bobby Sands. Morrison’s description of the IRA’s military and political strategy – as the waging of revolution “with an armalite in one hand and a ballot box in the other” (‘the armalite and the ballot box’) became the foremost quote of the last three decades of conflict in Ireland, and presaged his support for a peaceful and democratic resolution of violence as epitomised in the Good Friday Agreement. In the 1990s he served an eight-year sentence, having been framed by a British intelligence agent, a conviction that was later overturned by the High Court. In prison he wrote several books and short stories. He now writes full-time and is chairperson of Féile an Phobail (literally, ‘festival of the people’) in West Belfast.

Author Home: Belfast                                                             World Rights

Also available: 
Rudi General Fiction 
Danny Morrison
Late one wintry afternoon, in the mid-1960s, a man, over the bloom of youth, comes down a steep country road in a wooded area some miles from the city of Cork. His name is Rudi, he is from the north of Ireland, has no fixed address, and though not from an Irish nationalist background, he is, in fact, a sort of rebel, having left home and community just after the end of WWII, taken to the road, and eschewed the norms of society, after a bruising passionate love affair which sent him off the rails.
He is still trying to find his way, find peace of heart and find peace of mind.
A car pulls up and the driver offers him a lift. Rudi is befriended by the driver and his wife, Matt and Flo, and is particularly taken by their little “princess” of a daughter, Rebecca, who represents some communion with the past. Over subsequent years a powerful friendship is established from which Rudi derives vital succour and, sometimes, the dangerous lure of settling down.
But Rudi has judged that he is not deserving of peace of heart and peace of mind and struggles to negotiate his way through people and society, a passage to the eventual resolution of the meaning of his life.
Danny Morrison’s fourth novel is a modern treatment of Hermann Hesse’s 1915 book, Knulp, which is about a vagrant who has many friends in many towns who admire his freedom and innocence – though his way of coping with life has its complications.
Knulp is fortyish and dying of consumption, but something draws him back to his old village, just as old Rudi is drawn back to Drumbridge and the memories of his youth. But when he gets there, nothing is the same. In his youth, Rudi failed a promising scholarly career because of his obsessive love for Isabel, a love that changed and determined the course of his life.
To those he meets, the great, abiding thing about Rudi is his qualities of independence, pluck, inoffensiveness and generosity. But in old age his commitment is fading and in doubt, and he is paying the price of his passion in youth.
Borrowing from Hesse’s lyrical poems on the theme of homesickness, Morrison explores the meaning of anchorage, existence, life and death, the justice of one man’s life and the decisions he made.
Danny Morrison has written four novels and three books of non-fiction, has edited and contributed to numerous books and periodicals and has written a successful stage play.In the 1980s he was the national director of publicity for Sinn Féin, and during the prison hunger strikes of 1981was the spokesperson for Bobby Sands. Morrison’s description of the IRA’s military and political strategy – as the waging of revolution “with an armalite in one hand and a ballot box in the other” became the foremost quote of the last three decades of conflict in Ireland, and presaged his support for a peaceful and democratic resolution of violence as epitomised in the Good Friday Agreement. In the 1990s he served an eight-year sentence, having been framed by a British intelligence agent, a conviction that was later overturned by the High Court. In prison he wrote several books and short stories. He now writes full-time and is chairperson of Féile an Phobail (literally, “festival of the people”) in West Belfast.

Author’s Home: Belfast                            World Rights ex German Language

 

 

Tugboat Stories                          Literary Fiction

George Matteson

Tugboat Stories is a suite of linked stories based on the author’s career as a seaman and owner/operator of tugboats working in New York Harbor from 1971 to 1998. The work comprises both a portrayal of the socially complex and deeply traditional world of the harbor community and the narrator’s progress within that world from rank beginner to seasoned professional.
Within the context of this loose narrative trajectory the author provides a first-hand experience of a unique life − physically demanding, sometimes comic, sometimes crude, often lonely, and, at its core, spiritually compelling.
At the time the author entered the New York harbor scene, the tugboat business was still under the sway of 19th century values and practice. Binding agreements were forged by word of mouth. Skill was assessedwithin the community at large rather than by governmental process, and individuality − to the point of eccentricity – was easily accepted so long as the over-arching criteria of honesty and skill were met. The harbor was still a place where independence found equal place with self discipline and excellence.
In a deeper context still, the harbor and its people at that time shared an ancestry with the very roots of American literature. The Lower Manhattan shoreline where the narrator’s boat is tied is the same as that trod by Ishmael in the opening paragraphs of Moby Dick, the river in front is the same as in Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”.
The looming Brooklyn Bridge and the harbor dawn are the same as beheld by Hart Crane. The narrator walks in the footprints of the creators of “On the Waterfront” and learns many of the same skills and disciplines as did Mark Twain in Life on the Mississippi.
Tugboat Stories is a modern day Life on the Mississippi, exploring one of the core themes of a uniquely American experience − life on the river − written by one who has lived it in one of the great harbors of the world.
George Matteson lives in NYC and on the coast of Maine with his wife Adele Ursone, a painter, and their daughter, a student. He worked in and around NY Harbor and the Northeastern coast and inland waterways from 1971 to 1999, including running his own tugboat, the Spuyten Duyvil, for 13 years. For some of those years he not only worked but also lived on the water.
He is the author of The Christmas Tugboat, a children’s book from Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin, published in 2012, Tugboats of New York: an Illustrated History, New York University Press, 2005 and
Draggerman: Fishing on George’s Bank, Scholastic/Four Winds Press, 1979. He has contributed various marine, fisheries, and marine historical articles to Boating Magazine (1977-79), National Fisherman (1977-79), and South Street Seaport Museum/SEAPORT (1983-85). He is also an accomplished poet, with an anthology That Miraculous Land & Other Poems, East River Press, 1982, and contributions to many poetry journals. He curated an exhibition, As Tugs Go By: a History of the Towing Industry in New York Harbor, at the John Noble Maritime Collection, Sailors’ Snug Harbor, in Staten Island, New York in March, 2008.

Author’s Home: New York City                           World Rights

 

 

Non-Fiction

Morphine: The Blessing, The Curse           Narrative  Non-Fiction/Memoir                  

Dr Liam Farrell
Morphine is a double-edged sword. Due to its unique ability to control pain, every one of us will one day need it, but it has extracted a terrible price on both individuals and society. In this book, Dr Liam Farrell, family doctor, writer and broadcaster – and former morphine addict – explores the history and the science of the drug that almost destroyed him.
This highly unusual narrative will combine a lively, factual approach to the scientific and cultural chronology of the relationship between humanity and ‘the tears of the poppy’, with powerful personal testimony which draws on the author’s own experiences of morphine dependency and his battle to overcome that addiction. As a family doctor who, later in his career, specialised in Palliative Medicine, and subsequently became a postgraduate tutor tasked with educating other doctors in the use of morphine for pain relief in terminally ill patients, he was well-versed in all aspects of this potent drug – including the associated risks of addiction. However, as he demonstrates forcibly throughout the book, familiarity is no defense when it comes to a drug like morphine.
Hence the narrative will take us on two parallel journeys, whose paths will frequently converge.
In an objective, investigative vein, the author will explore how morphine become so important and why it is so effective. We will look at the discovery of the opium poppy and its properties: the astonishing cosmic accident whereby an obscure plant produces substances mimicking the natural chemicals in the human body which block pain. We will follow the chronology of the drug’s adoption by the medical profession for the relief of pain, especially in terminal illness. We will review the evolution of the recreational use of the drug and its place in our cultural history.
Punctuating this narrative, the author will recount his own experiences of the drug: firstly as a doctor and then also as a distressed relative, witnessing the seemingly magical relief which can morphine bring to the intense physical suffering of the terminally ill. Then, as a user, he will describe his first experience, the all-too-transient euphoria of the hit and, with habitual use, the tyranny of diminishing returns which the drug imposes on the addict, almost from the first time.
Returning to factual mode, we will look at the science behind the physiology of addiction, and the reasons why morphine dependency is so hard to break, both physically and psychologically. Again, the author will interject with his own experiences of withdrawal and what is involved in the battle to get clean. His testimony offers a graphic exposition of the truth that, relatively speaking, getting clean is the easy part – it is staying clean that represents the real, most visceral challenge. We will look at methods of rehabilitation used in different cultures and countries, and consider which of these might be the most effective, given that the traditional medical approach to drug addiction in this country has its flaws.
Ultimately, this book offers a message of hope and redemption – that addicts can get better, and that, with the right support, recovery in wider terms is also possible, and relationships with family, friends and society at large can survive, and even thrive, after the decimation of addiction. The author himself has been clean for five years – although he continues to take life ‘one day at a time’ . . .
Dr Liam Farrell, 57, is a former family doctor, an award-winning writer and a seasoned broadcaster. He has been a columnist for the British Medical Journal for 20 years and currently writes for GP, the leading publication for general practitioners in the UK. He has also been a columnist for The Lancet, the Journal of General Practice, the Belfast Telegraph and the Irish News. He wrote the entry on sex for The Oxford Companion to the Body. On Twitter he curates #Irishmed, a weekly ‘tweetchat’ for his 11.8k followers on all things relating to Irish medicine, north and south.

 

Author’s Home: Rostrevor, N. Ireland                         World Rights

 

 

 

The Young Widows’ Club Handbook            Self Help

Melanie Verwoerd, Pippa Shaper and Joanna Ross
The three remarkable women proposing to write this book have many things in common, but one of the most profound and painful of these is that each of them was widowed at a very young age. Pippa was 38, with three young children. Jo was 39, also with three children. Melanie was 43, with a son and daughter in their teens. While the circumstances of their partners’ deaths were very different, all three women shared the devastation and pain that the loss of a dearly loved one causes; each of them knows intimately how lonely, confusing and grueling the grieving process can be.
In 2008, Pippa and Jo, both British ex-pats living in South Africa, set up the ‘Young Widows’ Club’ – a grand name for their regular get-togethers at the time, sitting together in a bar, sharing stories over glass of wine. They found enormous solace in being able to talk to each other about their anxieties, and fears, daily and long-term challenges, and their hopes – indeed, they realised that only someone who has been through a similar experience can possibly understand just how hard it is. Melanie joined their number in 2010 when she returned to South Africa from Ireland after the tragic death of her partner. Soon of course, they began hearing of other young, newly bereaved women in need of support and advice and so their ‘club’ grew – and the next step was to draw together their experiences in this book.
One of the key aims of this book is to keep any advice about how to cope with the death of a spouse or partner as simple, practical and down-to-earth as possible. Having read between them just about every book that was ever written about grief – and found many of these very tough going and hard to get to grips with at a time when making a cup of tea seemed like an insurmountable task – the authors aim to use their own stories and experiences to give practical guidance on the challenges every one faces during the very difficult time after the bereavement, in the knowledge that it is really the insights of other young widows which can be of the most help.
The book will include chapters covering such issues as:
The immediate aftermath and how to cope with both the practical things needing to be done, and the emotional fall-out

Putting together a ‘dream team’ of friends, family and experts who will be able to guide you through some of the many challenges you will face

Dealing with finance and the estate

How to navigate other people’s reactions and responses: the things people say, and how to survive them!

Children: how to help and support them while looking after yourself

How to cope with anniversaries, birthdays and special time of the year, such as Christmas and holidays

How  to manage your own grieving process: being true to yourself and honouring your feelings

- Dating and, when the time is right, getting married again
However, in putting together this book, the authors intend to go further still, since there is one more important thing which unites then: a determination to survive and heal after everything that happened. Hence there will be a very positive and ultimately uplifting aspect to their narrative: ‘Of course we are not the same women we were before the day our lives changed forever. And yes, years later we still have some very sad and difficult times – but we have survived and we are enjoying life again. We are able to laugh, and even love, again. 
And so - if you are recently widowed, we want to give you some support over time and space. Through our experiences we hope you will find some comfort, support and advice, while feeling slightly less isolated, desperate and alone. Above all we want to give you hope and reassurance that you will get through this. As impossible as it might seem now, colour will return again to your life if you want it to – we promise.’
Melanie Verwoerd grew up in South Africa during the height of apartheid. At the age of 20, she married Wilhelm Verwoerd, the grandson of South African Prime Minister, HF Verwoerd, who is generally regarded as the architect of apartheid. In 1990, after meeting Nelson Mandela, she became a member of the ANC. In 1994, at the age of 27, she was the youngest female MP to be elected to the new democratic parliament in South Africa.
After seven years as an MP, Melanie was appointed as South African Ambassador to Ireland. After her term of office ended, she became the Executive Director of UNICEF Ireland, a position she held until 2011.
Now divorced from Wilhelm, Melanie met the well-known Irish broadcaster, Gerry Ryan in 2008. They fell deeply in love and became partners. In 2010, Gerry died suddenly from a heart attack. This resulted in not only a period of deep mourning for Melanie and her two teenage children, but had devastating repercussions for her personally and professionally.
She is the author of When We Dance (Liberties Press, 2011), The Verwoerd that Toyi-Toyied (Tafelberg, 2013) and Our Madiba: Stories and reflections from those who met Nelson Mandela (Tafelberg, 2014).
Joanna Ross grew up in Winchester, Hampshire, prior to many years of globetrotting. She spent many years at the BBC as a journalist, specialising in East Asia and then world news for the BBC World Service, before moving to BBC News Online, where she was an editor of interactive media. She was working as a freelance journalist for the BBC in Cape Town when her husband died suddenly of a stroke, leaving her with three children under five years old. It was this experience, and that of other widows she has met subsequently, that inspired her novel, Moving On. Joanna also wrote Lhamo: Opera from the Roof of the World, whilst teaching English to Tibetan refugees in India.
Pippa Shaper started her career in retail in the United Kingdom before she settled in South Africa in 1992. In 1995, on hearing of Sisters of Nazareth’s efforts to help children with HIV/AIDS, Pippa offered her services to Nazareth House in Cape Town as a fundraiser. In early 2004 Pippa’s husband, the well-known British songwriter Hal Shaper, died after a nine-month battle with cancer. At the time of his death, their children were aged five, eleven and twelve. The period that followed was one of great sadness and enormous adjustment for the whole family. Four years later, Pippa met Sean, and two years after that they married, thus completing the happily-ever-after part of the story. Pippa is the co-founder of a NGO in Cape Town, called Home-from-Home, and is a trustee of the Elton John Foundation.

 

Authors’ Home: South Africa                              World Rights

 

 

 

Are You the F***ing Doctor?                    Medicine/Memoir

Selected Writings
Dr Liam Farrell
‘Hospital doctors are fortunate. Their medical specialty is more predictable and they can apply more scientific rigour; their maps are complete, easier to plot. General practice is the great unknown. We stand on the cusp of the beyond. Science takes us only so far, then the maps stop in the grey areas of intuition, imagination and feelings: here be dragons. Lurching from heart-breaking tragedy to high farce, we are the Renaissance men and women of medicine; our art is intangible and almost impossible to pigeon-hole. Anything can walk through our door . . .’
Family doctor, Irishman, musician, award-winning author, anarchist and recovering morphine addict, Liam Farrell began writing 20 years ago when he entered a contest in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and was subsequently named best new medical columnist that year; by 2005, he was the first doctor to win Columnist of the Year in the Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) awards. He went on to write for many major publications, winning a series of prestigious awards.
The proposed book contains a selection of Liam’s best work, from his columns in the BMJ, The Lancet and GP magazine, as well as from his blogs and short stories.
It opens with a visceral and compellingly honest chapter on the author’s morphine addiction. This bleak, riveting account of the ‘horrible, squalid vice’ that ultimately cost him his profession as a doctor stands in stark, but telling contrast to the rest of the book.
From then on, we are taken on a wild, hilarious and often surreal journey through Liam’s life as a GP working on the rural border of Northern Ireland.
We learn that a typical day for such a doctor can entail absolutely anything – from fending off cunning and ungrateful patients bent on extracting unnecessary antibiotics, sleeping tablets, sick notes, sex and home visits, to the delicate and largely unfunny task of tending to the life-threatening wounds of passing paramilitaries in the thick of The Troubles – no questions asked.
There’s the patient who needs a Viagra prescription for successful solitary sex, the awkward, elderly lady who finally bonds with Dr Farrell over their mutual love of old Danny Kaye and Groucho Marx movies, and the granny who simply will not die, much to the dismay of relatives who have gathered from all corners of the globe at great expense to witness be at her side for the crucial moment.
No subject is taboo. Lust, birth, death, Catholic aunties – they’re all here. Surgery life is no bowl of cherries, and a GP needs all his life skills to cope – not just the stuff he learned in medical school.
And finally, there is the nation’s favourite institution – the NHS. Or rather, those who seem intent on dismantling it. A fierce defender of the National Health Service, the author takes his sharpest scalpel to a succession of Secretaries of State for Health, the GP ‘Inspektor’, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (not NICE) and the Care Quality Commission – as well as all the bean counters and politicians who, it seems, have always got in the way of doctors and nurses simply doing their jobs.
Brilliantly funny, clever, glittering with literary allusion and darkly wicked humour, this book is much more than a collection of stand-alone anecdotes and whimsical reflections . . . With chapters loosely organised by theme – big, important themes such as death, sex, family, birth, addiction and yes, Christmas – this is a compelling chronicle of the ever-changing face of public health policy, the never-changing nature of our collective obsession with matters medical, as well as the daily struggles – and ultimate disintegration – of a doctor at the coalface.
For those of us who are non-medics, this will be a fascinating glimpse into what we as patients look like from the other side of the table/end of the stethoscope – didn’t we realise that we aren’t unique in ‘bigging up’ our symptoms so’s we can get holdof those antibiotics? For other doctors, and especially GPs, it’s a wickedly funny account of the typical dilemmas, and plain hard graft of dealing with the public on an everyday basis. For all readers, it is a deeply human story of one man’s efforts to survive the daily grind, and a humorous but ultimately moving study of the strategies and coping mechanisms he must develop to simply get by.
Dr Liam Farrell, 57, is a former family doctor (based in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh in Northern Ireland), an award-winning writer and a seasoned broadcaster. He is married to Brid and has three children, Jack (24), Katie (21) and Grace (16).
Liam has been a columnist for the British Medical Journal for 20 years and currently writes for GP, the leading publication for general practitioners in the UK. He has also been a columnist for The Lancet, the Journal of General Practice, the Belfast Telegraph and the Irish News. He wrote the entry on sex for The Oxford Companion to the Body. On Twitter he curates #Irishmed, a weekly tweetchat for his 11.1k followers on all things relating to Irish medicine, north and south.

Author’s Home: Crossmaglen, N. Ireland                     World Rights

 

 

Zen, Mindful Meditation and the Learning Zone              Mind Body Spirit

Felicity Heathcote
 ‘Hundreds of years ago, in combat between Japanese swordsmen, a flicker of fear in the eyes of an opponent meant that he had lost concentration and would be killed. It made sense to me, since meditation was the basis for the martial arts, which for centuries were a matter not of sport, but of life and death, that the Asian culture had probably developed one of the most effective forms of concentration. There was, I realised, no reason why using the same techniques to attain a state of heightened focus shouldn’t work in a Western context, and in fact for any activity which requires intense concentration.’

In this book, drawing on over four decades of teaching children in very diverse circumstances, Felicity shows how much this approach, which combines elements of cognitive psychology, Mindfulness and Zen Meditation, can bring to an educational context, helping children and students of all ages to achieve far greater focus and maximise their potential in exams and other stressful situations. These insights will be invaluable for teachers, parents, carers and anyone facing the prospect of examinations in any context.

In the mid-1970s, Felicity Heathcote, a clinical psychologist heading up the psychology department at a Dublin teaching hospital, left her job to follow her husband to Tokyo, where he was serving his first posting in the Irish diplomatic service. The three years Felicity spent living in Japan – lecturing at Sophia University and studying Zen under Professor William Johnston and Professor Kadawaki – would have the most profound impact on her life and subsequent work. When she returned to Ireland, she made it her mission to incorporate Zen thought and approaches into the western psychotherapeutic methods in which she originally trained.
In 1979 Felicity was approached by the coach of the Irish Archery team for the Moscow Olympics, who was hoping that she could help a member of his team who was consistently underperforming and who couldn’t seem to achieve the mental focus known to be essential for success in archery: ‘a state whereby internal and external distractions are not attended to, whereby everything flows, temporal and spatial dimensions are altered and the target cannot be missed’.
This state has been called the ‘flow state’ or the ‘zone’. Felicity realised that this was the same state which could be attained by the practice of ‘Zazen’, Mindful Meditation, which she had learned about and practised in Japan. She would go on, as official psychologist to Irish Olympic teams in Moscow and then Barcelona, to develop a programme for the athletes which would enable them to tune into this mental ‘state of excellence’ whenever required through sustained mindfulness practice. The success of this approach was borne out in the results achieved by the Irish teams during those Games.
True Zen is, in fact, a very rigorous discipline and even many adults would rarely be prepared to put in the time and effort necessary for the full training. Over the three decades which followed however, Felicity developed a adapted form of Zen training which fits more easily into a Western context, and which, through meditation, can enable people of all ages to attain a state of heightened awareness in which an individual can achieve his or her personal best in all aspects of life.
After her work in sports psychology, Felicity was asked to pilot the same techniques with student and younger children in teaching and recreational situations. Living all over the world due to her husband’s diplomatic tours of duty in a number of countries, she was able to hone this programme in many different contexts. In Iran she used the programme with children suffering from traumatic stress. In New York, she developed the ideas with younger children in school. These ideas were then continued in Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank to help students deal with lack of focus in schools because of the violence around them.

In this book, drawing on over four decades of teaching children in very diverse circumstances, Felicity shows how much this approach, which combines elements of cognitive psychology, Mindfulness and Zen Meditation,  can bring to an educational context, helping children and students of all ages to achieve far greater focus and maximise their potentrial in exams and other stressful situations. These insights will be invaluable for teachers, parents, carers and anyone facing the prospect of examinations in any context. 

Felicity’s programme/system combines a simple but highly developed Meditation Programme with practical exercises which can be incorporated into the child’s daily life, and an accessible but highly effective and spiritually attuned psychological ‘recipe for successful living’, which is based around the key concepts of Japanese Zen philosophy and the most resonant aspects of Eastern spirituality – those which emphasise the importance of living in the moment, the value of ‘really seeing rather than just looking’, the importance of achieving an uncluttered, unbiased mental state, the reframing of difficulties as challenges
The idea of achieving ‘the zone’ by meditation is still a relatively new concept. The author’s belief – supported by many years of practical experiences and results in private and clinical practice – is that this state of focused calm and clarity is an essential and highly effective toll in enabling children and students of all ages to maximise their learning potential.
Felicity Heathcote is a Dublin-based clinical psychologist, lecturer and writer. Born in England, she has also worked in Iran, Japan and the USA. She has published two books in her field for the general trade: Peak Performance: Zen & the Sporting Zone (Wolfhound Press, 1996) and The Learning Zone (Merlin, 2000).

Author’s Home: Dublin                             World Rights

 

 

The Colour Red                 Photography

Photographs by Alain le Garsmeur
When renowned photographer Alain Le Garsmeur was going through his collection while planning for the future, he began to notice the colour red as a thread that seems to wind its way, in so many guises, through much of his work. In 100 stunning photographs, taken in all corners of the globe, the colour red appears, sometimes boldly, sometimes much more subtly.
Together, these 100 images, taken between 1970 and 1985, create a compelling portrait of a life lived through photography. It is a life in which the photographer’s vision strikingly captures and celebrates the serendipity by which the world presents itself to us every day.
Click here to view the book:  www.redcolour.net
Alain Le Garsmeur is an acclaimed photographer who has worked for many international publications, including the Sunday (London) Times, Observer and French Geo Magazines. He has travelled the world and photographed it for over 40 years. In 1986 he was awarded a World Press Award for his photographs of China. He moved to Northern Ireland in 1995 and has since published a number of photographic books, including Yeats: Images of Ireland, James Joyce: Reflections of Ireland, Strangford: Portrait of an Irish Lough, and his latest, Lough Erne.

Author's Home: Kearney Village, N. Ireland                     World Rights

 

 

Humour Titles from Ray Strobel:                     Humour

Bear and the Rocketman: The Sad but True Tale of Two Double Purebreds and Their Two Mixed Breeds
A heartwarming, sometimes funny, sometimes sad remembrance of a wonderful dog name Bear.
Ray’s most recent book, How to Raise a Superchild (2008) was published by HCI. The Ultimate Cats’ Catalog (2002) and A Black Eye Isn’t the End of the World (2004), were both published by Andrews McMeel. Ray's latest book, Dog Treats, was published by Sourcebooks in 2012.

Author's home: Chicago, U.S.                    World Rights.

 

 

Wilfred, Fanny and Floyd: Autobiographical Sketches from a Culinary Genius


Humor/Cats

Wilfred Ginge with Gayle Curtis

Author's Home: Norfolk, England                                               World Rights

My name is Mr. Wilfred Ginge and I am a very famous, handsome ginger cat from the Mcginge clan in Northern Ireland, I'm sure you've heard of me. I will be sharing my extensive culinary knowledge and experiences for one cat year by attempting and sampling various recipes from cooks such as Mrs. Fanny Crackhaddock and the like and reporting on the results. I will also be giving useful household tips for those of you, like me, who have baked beans on your paws instead of fingers.

E BOOK AVAILABLE: Click here: Wilfred Fanny & Floyd

also available by Wilfred Ginge:

The Letters and Journals of Mr. Wilfred Ginge           Humor/Cats

Wilfred Ginge with Gayle Curtis

Wilfred Ginge, aspiring author and ginger cat from the McGinge clan in N. Ireland, writes to famous authors for publishing advice, assisted by his faithful friend Gayle, who lives with him rent free. Illustrated.

 

 

Carsten Krieger Photography

Carsten Krieger Photography Projects:
Emerald Land: The Landscape of Ireland

A comprehensive portrait of Ireland: Its landscape, history and legends. The book will feature 14 distinctive Irish landscapes. Each chapter will explore the natural history of these places as well as the men made heritage. Image topics will range from landscape and built heritage to nature and wildlife. The text will mingle scientific facts with the rich heritage of legend and folklore an will be an important part of the book.

Ireland’s Wild Places

This book will feature portraits of Ireland’s National Parks, Nature Reserves and other ‘wild’ places. Images will show landscape and wildlife, the text will tell the history of the parks and reserves, the natural history and description of the habitats, flora and fauna.

Made in Ireland - A culinary journey
This book will feature the best of Irish food. It will be a combination of portraits of Irish chefs and other food creators and the local food producers they source their ingredients from. The text will feature biographies of each chef/food creator (as well as food producer) and 2 of their favourite recipes. The aim of the book is to follow the food from the field to the table and highlight the beauty of locally produced food. Photographs (portraits or documentary style images of people as well as landscape images from the area) will accompany the text.
Carsten Krieger is a landscape photographer based in Ireland. His first book was The Fertile Rock: Seasons in the Burren (Collins Press, 2006), which was followed by The West of Ireland
(Collins Press, 2009). His next book, The Ireland’s Glorious Landscape, was published by O’Brien Press in Spring 2010 and was followed by The Wild Flowers of Ireland, published by Gill & Macmillan in Autumn 2010, Ireland’s Coast (O’Brien Press, 2012) and The Irish Wildlife Year (Gill & Macmillan, 2012). His latest book, Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way, was published by The O'Brien Press in 2015. His next two books, Ireland's Ancient East and Ireland's Beautiful North are both due in 2016.

Author’s Home: County Clare, Ireland                    World Rights

 

 

101 Excuses ™ Humour
Written By David Feldstein
Illustrated by Frank McCourt
It all started one cold, dark, wintry night in the northern reaches of Canada. Indoors on a sheet of ice 146 feet long and 14 feet wide, with 16 granite rocks and 2 teams of 4 men each. The sport of the great white north ... CURLING ... David and Frank met on the curling ice in Canada. Yup, that was the birthplace of 101
Excuses ™.
Here’s how it started.
Curling is a sport that requires extraordinary teamwork and skill in order to be played well. Being the ultimate team sport, it’s also a very social game. One of the first things one notices is that no matter what happens on the ice, it’s not your fault. It could be the broom's fault, the rock, whatever, but "excuses" are flying around all over the place.
Then it came to them. Someone needed to assemble these excuses for posterity and to arm curlers, both new and experienced, with the excuses they need to survive the ice. David and Frank got to work. Before long they realized that excuses weren’t unique to curlers. In fact excuses are the universal language. Everyone uses them, and everyone needs them.
So was born the 101 Excuses™ series. Of course the two of them had plenty of excuses as to why they couldn't do the series, but in the end they realized it was their mission to supply man & womenkind with the excuses they’ll need in their journey through life. The rest, my friends, is history.
Titles include 101 Golf Excuses, 101 Sex Excuses, 101 Curling Excuses, 101 Banking Excuses, 101 Political Excuses, 101 Homework Excuses, 101 Cooking Excuses, 101 Contractor Excuses, 101 Fashion Excuses, 101 Employee Excuses, 101 Auto Repair Excuses, 101 Poker Excuses, and many more.

101 Curling Excuses is available as a printed book and an e book in the USA, UK and Canada:101 Curling Excuses

Author's Home: Toronto, Canada                      World Rights

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