‘How’s the book coming along?’ is a question that writers are asked over and over and over. The answer generally goes along the lines of, “I’m a teeny bit stuck/We’ve decided to consciously uncouple/I hate it more than fascism/Oh look, a pigeon! Sorry, must dash…”
Today, I can happily report the book is going well in that it’s done (I think) and someone out there likes it. Fundamental Things has made the runners-up list for this year’s Irish Novel Fair run by the Irish Writers Centre. I’m hugely encouraged that the judges, broadcaster Rick O’Shea, novelist Yan Ge and journalist Madeleine Keane, saw something in my quiet tale of old films and new grief, mongrel biscuits and mocking seagulls, and selected it for the top 24 out of 300+ entries.
Congratulations to the 12 finalists (full list here) who will get to pitch their novels to industry figures in the New Year, and huge thanks to the three judges, who read every single entry between them. I must also say a big thank you to all at the Irish Writers Centre, who do sterling work in giving writers so many opportunities to further their writing careers.
This is the second time this WIP has made the Novel Fair longlist, previously placing in 2015. The competition has gone from strength to strength in the intervening years, resulting in publishing deals for many of the participants, including Big Girl, Small Town by Michelle Gallen, OONA by Alice Lyons and Words to Shape My Name by my wonderfully talented friend Laura McKenna, due out in January. So I’m very, very happy to have made it to this stage.
I’m off now to practice my ‘Get Happy’ dance. Luckily I’ve already got the costume: