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.)
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
thanks very much. I love that character Alo O’Donovan.
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!
Oh, you’re so busy right now, I’m surprised you even have time to eat! Bets of luck and I hope you enjoy The Accidental Wife when you get round to it.
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