• December

    2000 - all events


    Thursday 9 - 09.00 - School event at an all girls primary school in Booterstown, Dublin. MY FIRST EVER EVENT!!!!! approx 50 - 60 people
    Thursday 9 - 11.15 - School event at ILAC Centre Library, Dublin.
    Friday 10 - 10.00 - Three school events in O'Mahony's Book Shop, Limerick, for World Book Day. approx 50 -60 at each event
    Wednesday 22 - 10.00 --Two school events in O'Mahony's Book Shop, Ennis, County Clare. (THIS WAS ALSO THE DAY THAT MY WEB SITE WENT LIVE!!!!)
    Thursday 23 - 11.30 - School event in Baltimore, County Cork. (This was video-linked to another school in Cork -- the first time that I've done an event to two schools at the same time!!!!!)
    Thursday 23 - 13.30 - School event in Skibereen library, County Cork.
    Friday 24 - 11.00 - School event in Schull, County Cork. (This was also video-linked to another school -- the second and, to date, final, time that I've done an event to two schools at the same time!!!!!)
    Friday 24 - 13.30 - School event in Bantry, County Cork.
    Friday 31 - afternoon - Two school events at Askeaton primary school, County Limerick.

    Wednesday 5 - a.m. - School event at library in Donaghmeade, Dublin.
    Wednesday 5 - p.m. - School event in Coolock library, Dublin. (Had to cut this one short, as rather than monitor the students, the teachers stood at the back, talking rather loudly, which led to chaos!!)
    Thursday 6 - a.m. - School event in Ringsend library, Dublin.
    Thursday 6 - a.m. - School event in Pembroke library, Dublin.
    Thursday 6 - p.m. - After-school event in Rathmines library, Dublin. ("Flighty" librarian arranged what proved to be my first PUBLIC event -- 6 kids were there!!!!)
    Friday 7 - 10.00 - Two school events at an all girls school in Terenure, Dublin. (First time I used a microphone at an event!!) approx 100 people in each event

    Saturday 20 - 11.30 - CBI event at Marino Institute of Education, Dublin. This was an event for adults, mostly librarians and teachers -- my first ever event for grown-ups.
    Tuesday 23 - 10.30 - School event in New Ross library, County Wexford.
    Tuesday 23 - 15.30 - Public event in Waterford library. My first official public event -- got a pretty good crowd.
    Friday 24 - p.m. - Two school events in Glin, County Limerick.
    Tuesday 30 - p.m. - School event in Pallaskenry primary school, County Limerick.

    Friday 2 - a.m. - Panel event at Listowel Writers Festival, County Kerry.
    Saturday 17 - 13.00 - Public event at O'Mahony's bookshop, Ennis, County Clare. This was my first public event at a weekend -- it was disastrous, with a crowd of just 7 or 8 kids!!!

    Tuesday 11 - p.m. - Public event at Ballymun library, Dublin.

    Saturday 26 - 10.00 - Public event at the Edinburgh Book Festival, Scotland. This was my first time at a Book Festival. I had a crowd of about 50 people, which I was delighted with! I fell in love with Edinburgh and the Festival, and have been back every year since!!!

    Monday 16 - 11.30 - School event at Tallaght library, Dublin. approx 80 people
    Tuesday 17 - 10.45 - School event at Ballymun library, Dublin. approx 110 people
    Tuesday 17 - 13.00 - School event at Ballyfermoy library, Dublin. approx 20 people
    Wednesday 18 - a.m. --Two school events in Galway city library. approx 60 people at each event
    Wednesday 18 - 15.30 - Public event in Tuam library, County Galway. 10 kids turned up! As I noted in my diary, "post-school gigs are a BAD idea!" New writers about to launch your careers -- take note!!!!
    Thursday 19 - 10.30 - Two school events in Eason's, County Limerick. approx 30 people in each event

    Monday 23 - p.m. - Public event at The Walker LIbrary, Newcastle. This was my first event in the UK, and it was an unmitigated disaster!! The train up to Newcastle from London took 4 hours, it took 4 and a half hours to get back, and only 20 or so people turned up the event!!! To cap it all, when I got back to my hotel that night, there was no hot water!!!!!!! A very inauspicious start to my UK touring career ...
    Tuesday 24 - 11.00 - School event at Electric Theatre, Guildford.

    Wednesday 25 - 15.00 - Public signing at WH Smith, Paris. This was my first ever public signing, and some genius had the idea of letting me make my public signing bow in a foreign country, where there was no translated version of my books available, only English language copies. Nobody came. Not even one. Quel surprise!! Even all these years later, I'm still astonished by how somebody, somewhere thought this was a good idea!!!

    Tuesday 31 - a.m. - Two school events in Mayflower School, Billericay. These were big groups, and they bought lots of books. Was signing for an hour and a quarter, my busiest signing session to that date.

    Wednesday 1 - a.m. - Did four (!!) school events in City Of London School, London.
    Thursday 2 - a.m. - School event at Smallwood School, London.
    Thursday 2 - a.m. - School event at Melcombe Primary School, London.
    Friday 3 - p.m. - School event in Hampstead, London.
    Friday 3 - p.m. - School event in Elliott School, Putney, London.

    Monday 6 - a.m. - School event in Gaelscoil O'Doghair, Newcastle West, County Limerick.
    Monday 27 - a.m. - School event in Monaleen National School, County Limerick.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    An interesting first year on the road! The difficult thing when you're a new writer is trying to take your work to people. If you can establish yourself, it's easy -- schools, book stores and libraries come looking for you. But in the early days you have to struggle to convince them to take a chance on you. The staff at Collins had to actively go hunting for libraries and schools and stores to take me in. It wasn't easy, and every event was a notch on our belt of success, even those where the numbers were small. As word spread that I was good at talking to kids, and that kids were interesting in my books, ears pricked and invites began to trickle in. But we had to work VERY hard to stimulate that interest. You can't afford to be picky when you're starting out in this business -- you have to go wherever you're wanted, say yes to as many events as you can squeeze in, and do all that you can to create a bit of noise, to attract attention and move on to bigger things. I was lucky, living in Ireland -- because it's a small country, word spread quicker than it might have in a larger place, and I was able to build up a buzz here which helped propel me on to tackle the UK and other countries. I've never forgotten how much I owe those librarians, teachers and book sellers who gave me a chance in the early days -- it's why, no matter how popular I've become abroad, I always work in at least a few Irish events every year -- for me, this is my home territory, where I learnt most of my lessons, and without the early support here, I might never have gone on to have my success elsewhere.
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