A Night of Book Launches!

Despite the wet weather it was great on the eve of World Book Day to go along to Dubray Books on Dublin’s Grafton Street for the launch of Ryan Tubridy and P.J. Lynch’s new picture book Patrick and the President which is about US President J.F. Kennedy’s visit to Ireland during the summer of 1963.

President Kennedy had a rapturous reception in Dublin before travelling down to New Ross to see the family homestead. His great-great grandfather Patrick Kennedy and his family had fled from there to America during the Great Famine. Ryan has a huge interest in JFK and has written about him previously but decided to do a book for children about the visit.

It was great to meet my good friend and former head of the National Library of Ireland, Pat Donlon there and to discover that P.J. had used her grandson Paddy Kelly as the model for Patrick, the boy in the book. Young Paddy is absolutely delighted to be on the cover of a book.

I headed off to nearby Idelwild afterwards for the crowded launch by Michael O’Brien of The O’Brien Press’ spring list with a wonderful array of new books and some brand new authors.

After a quiet January and February it is lovely to greet the spring with everyone talking about new books and writing.

Books and Bealtaine Festival

Marita with Sarah Webb and Cormac KinsellaI am having one of these madly busy weeks. Just got back from talking down in Scoil Mhuire in Abbeyside, Waterford and headed to The Ark in Temple Bar to take part in the Bealtaine Festival at an event with Sarah Webb and Cormac Kinsella. Lots of lovely book talk!

On Tuesday night it was off to Hodges Figgis for the launch of Sam Blake aka Vanessa O’Loughlin’s new crime thriller book Little Bones. It is set in Ireland and I’m sure will be a big success. Vanessa has done so much to inspire and help other people get into print, so now it is her turn to write a best seller. Met lots of lovely ladies who just happen to be crime writers too, so be prepared – there will be lots of fictional murders heading your way!!!

Finally I am delighted to hear the very good news that my friend the illustrator PJ Lynch is the new Children’s Laureate 2016.