Ireland’s biggest book-club host meets Ireland’s biggest book-fan!

So thrilled to be onstage for the first time at the annual extravaganza that is Kildare Reader’s Festival!

Every year I sit in the audience and watch and listen as my literary heroes strut their bookish stuff on the stage. That’s where I met Anthony J Quinn, whose Celcius Daly detective is the best I’ve ever read.  This year I met Paul McVeigh (The Good Son) and Lisa McInerney ( The Glorious Heresies) and Sara Baume (Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither) and a host of others. (Swoon.)

But this year, the icing on the cake of a magnificent weekend hosted by Kildare County Library and Arts Service, was ME! (Well, I write this blog, and I’m allowed to tamper with the truth.)


Before the panel discussion at 8pm on Saturday night, Rick O’Shea, the founder of Ireland’s largest online book-club, presented me with €1,500 , the financial aspect of the 2016 Cecil Day Lewis emerging writer’s bursary from Kildare County Arts. So the drinks were on me later. (Only joking – Rick shuffled off very decorously afterwards and there was no alcohol, what a shame!)


Then the audience was treated to my sweet tones as I read the first pages from my Pushcart Prize nominated story “The Visit” and no-one fell asleep. Afterwards, I managed to press a copy of my debut collection The Accidental Wife into Rick’s hands. I’m sure he receives hundreds of books per year, but I hope and trust he’ll find time to read mine! Fingers crossed.

(Thanks to Ger Holland, the official KRF photographer for permission to use her images.)

me-at-krfaccidental wife final cover





  1. I love the story ‘The Visit’ from your book. You look great in the photos. A few celebratory drinks needed some night. Champagne on you!! Sonniva xx

  2. Huge congrats on the award and your book. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet but it’s first on my list for the Hallow’een half term!

  3. Dear Orla: You look radiant in your photos. Thank you for sharing your journey. I enjoyed reading The Accidental Wife and look forward to your next one. Cheers, Cheryl Romo in California

    • I cannot wait to read your book. The waiting is so frustrating, I am sure. I remember how it felt, waiting and hoping and then the excitement of seeing the cover design for the first time, and then more waiting!!! I can’t find you online anywhere? I’ll respect your privacy! Track me down at orlamcalindenauthor (at) gmail (dot) com anytime

Am I right? Am I wrong? Tell me which and why?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s