I think every book written represents a journey of some kind for its author. The Songbird's Way for me was a very enjoyable musical journey which began and ended with the beautiful Christine McVie penned 'Songbird' - a song that was a huge inspiration to the book. This weekend I had the privilege of hearing Christine play it live here in Dublin at the end of a sensational concert by the legends that are Fleetwood Mac. It doesn't get much better than that :-)
Stunning sunset over the beautiful Kilkee Bay this evening #summerlovin #westclare
So last week on a bit of a whim I took a whirl across the country to the Shannon Estuary in Co. Clare in search of inspiration for my next book. And I'm so glad I did, look who showed up to say hello! [Irish friends, this is a resident pod - check out Sue and Geoff's for a fun day out for all the family - great time of year right NOW!)

Rest In Peace, lovely.
Thinking of Emma and her friends and family at this time x

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Breast Cancer Ireland

Breast Cancer Ireland wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the family of our dear friend Emma Hannigan who lost her battle with cancer earlier today. May she rest in peace.

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Author Emma Hannigan

‪This is Cian, Emma's husband. She is here beside me and has asked me to post this message for her.
Please help her hit her target by donating and sharing this

Dearest friends, Your support has meant the world to me.
Let’s work together to beat 100k in donations! #HelpEmmaHelpOthers txt CURE to 50300 ‬

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Nice piece in today’s Irish Times profiling some seriously #boldgirls! Well done CBI

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Children's Books Ireland added 4 new photos.

Our #BOLDGIRLS are taking over The Irish Times today! Pick up a copy to read some #BOLDGIRLS words to the wise from Louise O’Neill, Sarah Crossan, Fatti Burke, ...Sheena Wilkinson & Dee Sullivan.…/bold-girls-may-we-know-them-ma……/louise-o-neill-the-hardest-place-to…

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Much love to Emma and her family at this time. Her words to us all are so poignant - a heartfelt reminder of what life is all about. A truly lovely lady. As she won’t be able to promote it, if you can, please do help spread the word about her new book ‘Letters to my Daughters’ - it sounds great, and Dubray’s have offered to donate all their profits from the book to the Irish Cancer Society. Life can be so tough, it’d be lovely to see Emma’s fab book at number 1 next week. Thanks guys x

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Author Emma Hannigan added 2 new photos.

All good things must come to an end

The time that I knew was borrowed must be given back soon, so it seems.
The conversation I never wanted to have has been
My medical team have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at this fight but all avenues have now been exhausted.
To say that I am heartbroken doesn’t begin to cover it.
But I feel I’d like to say something, after all that’s what I’ve done over the years - say stuff, write stuff and tell you what’s going down. So I feel it wouldn’t be fair to leave you out in the cold right now.
I’ve gained such strength from all of you. We’ve shared tips and hints and stories over the years. For all of it – thank you.
Thank you for taking my hand when I needed it most and for posting all sorts from doggy snaps to moggy pics and the rest.
We’ve made a great team.
I have a new book out. I’m immensely proud of it and it’s titled ‘Letters to my Daughters.’
Usually I’d spend a next few weeks chatting about it and inevitably daring to wonder if you like it. Because this is the time when all authors want to hide in the back of the wardrobe in case nobody likes their new baby! I won’t need to hide unfortunately, but I sincerely hope you enjoy it.
These characters were as real to me as all the others. They grew on me and some annoyed me at times, but as always, they were mine. Enjoy them, curl up with some chocolate or some comfort food and a cup or a glass of what ever tickles your fancy.

Faced with very little time can I tell you what screams out at me? Love.
Nothing else has much meaning anymore. Just the love I feel for the people I hold dear. My two babies (ok they both tower over me, but I’m still allowed call them my babies) my husband, my parents, my family, my friends and readers. Yes you guys are up there on the short list. You’ve been an integral part of my existence and have championed me and held me in your virtual arms.
The love in my heart is all that matters now. I am broken-hearted at having to say goodbye so if it’s alright we’ll say farewell instead…
Mind each other. Be kind to each other and hold those you love close by.
Life is so very precious. We never know the day or hour that it will be whipped away. So fill your days with as much happiness as you can muster.
Stay away from drains, we all know them, they’re the people pull the good out of everything. The ones who suck the beauty from things and change colour to black and white. Leave them to fester – I think they’re secretly enjoying being grim.
Instead, gravitate towards the light and laughter. Like a moth to a flame, remembering not to get your pretty wings burnt. You’ll like it better there, I promise.
Farewell and thank you, I am taking a bow. Until we meet again may all that is good and decent be yours

Love and light

Emma x💗💗💗💗

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What a privilege and joy it is to welcome in another new year - another 12 months full of promise and intrigue. Whatever your situation, wherever you may be, whoever you may be with, may 2018 bring much joy, fulfillment and love to you and yours xx Carpe diem!

‘You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting....
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the other wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.’

Wild Geese - Mary Oliver

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Can’t wait to see Children's Books Ireland’s #BOLDGIRLS programme come to life in 2018:

‘BOLD GIRLS will highlight and review books that feature strong, intelligent, self-possessed female protagonists in children’s books, as well as celebrating twenty female Irish authors and illustrators, both emerging and established, who have made an exceptional contribution to the canon of Irish children’s literature.’

Great stuff!

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Children's Books Ireland added 3 new photos.

For the centenary of women’s suffrage in Ireland in 2018, Children’s Books Ireland’s BOLD GIRLS project celebrates strong, confident, intelligent, brave women a...nd girls in children’s books, giving them much-needed visibility alongside their male counterparts. Read all about #BOLDGIRLS. We're delighted to be working with Fatti Burke who created the BOLD GIRLS imagery and visual identity. Watch this space in the new year as we announce the 20 featured BOLD GIRLS artists throughout the month of January.

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Jennifer Barrett updated their cover photo.
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It could be you! Great opportunity to attend a wonderful writing retreat with a difference on full scholarship. Apply now to be in with a chance..…/

Here at Inspiration Project HQ, we have some very exciting news to share. After revealing our ‘writing retreats with a difference’ in October, we were amazed at the response. All 20 pla…

Found this little gem by accident - Roald Dahl talking about his writing life. Very interesting. Love the quote at the end, ‘When I am gone, let it be said, my sins were scarlet, but my books were read’

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BBC Four

A fascinating clip of Roald Dahl from our colleagues at the BBC Archive. If you like this, you may also be interested in the BBC Radio 3 download series, The Essay, featuring Jeremy Dyson, Frank Cottrell Boyce and others.

Any aspiring or established writers interested in a weekend of inspiration in beautiful surrounds will be in great company with bestselling writers Carmel Harrington Hazel Gaynor and Catherine Ryan Howard from 12-14 Jan

Dream. Dare. Do.

Chance to win tickets to a play in a bookshop.. sounds great!

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The Gutter Bookshop, Dublin

*COMPETITION CLOSED* Fancy seeing a play on Saturday evening? Fancy seeing a play in our bookshop as part of Dublin Fringe Festival? Fancy seeing it for FREE?! ...We have a pair of tickets for 'End Of.' the Fringe Festival play that Sugar Coat Theatre company are putting on in our bookshop, to giveaway. Just 'Like' this post and in the comments below, tell us which Oscar Wilde play contains the famous Lady Bracknell line "A handbag?"... and feel free to tag & share! (The play starts at 7.30pm on Saturday night and runs for 60 minutes, the winner's tickets will be held on the door for collection on arrival) If you don't win but still want to come (a play in the Gutter - who wouldn't?!) you can purchase tickets at - COMPETITION CLOSES 6PM FRIDAY EVENING & WINNER WILL BE DRAWN RANDOMLY FROM ALL THE CORRECT ENTRIES. Good luck!

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Great to see airline take this initiative to encourage young people to read more. Great idea.…/libraries-added-to-easyjet-f…

It is a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a flybrary…

Really delighted to see this review of a super book for young people, especially (but not only) girls. It's full of real life stores of amazing women whose 'happy ever after' didn't rely on them meeting their Prince Charming, getting married and living happily ever after! Instead in many cases they triumphed over adversity and achieved their success by hard work, commitment, some luck and much talent - which, let's face it is a teensy bit harder than squashing a foot into a glass slipper to win the hand of an over-privileged heir who forgot to ask for her number in the first place!!
Can highly recommend (the book, not the Prince!).. just wish I'd written it!

What does it do girls’ ambition if they they are reduced to silent ciphers or pretty princesses? Several new books for young readers challenge the cliches and raise the bar
Jennifer Barrett added 11 new photos to the album: Retreat to Tasmania — in Sandford, Tasmania.

I am just home from a wonderful artist’s residency at All That We Are/1450 ( in Hobart, Tasmania. After a week of work in Sydney I was so lucky to be able to add on a glorious week writing, with a sprinkle of sightseeing, in this beautiful part of the world. And what a gift it was – spending time in this artistic haven was just what the doctor ordered to get the words flowing. Stunning views over the lagoon and beaches and many fabulous writing nooks whic...h make it so easy to be creative. My sincere thanks to my gracious hosts, Simon and Victoria, artists themselves, who were so kind and welcoming. Tasmania is just beautiful too – lovely weather, clean air, space, friendly.. It has it all (aside from a problem with a rogue car rental company, but we won’t dwell on that!). As one little person commented in the guestbook ‘I a little bit want to stay here forever, and I a little bit miss my bedroom’ Perfect! I a little bit could have stayed forever and certainly hope to be back some day. Thanks SO much Vic, Simon, Seffi and Piper xx

Here's a wee poem I penned about the experience:

All That We Are

The retreat:
A once-weary soul arrives and
instantly recognises its embrace, like that of an old friend.

A welcome embodied by gracious hosts
and a pair of placid pooches.
Generously they share all that they are with the former stranger.

Colourful characters peek down from the walls,
concealing their stories, revealing their charm.
Knowingly, they encourage and inspire.

Settled. Refreshed.
She contemplates the splendid vista and the milky way
Attentively, she listens to the songbird’s tune and the distant waves.

And as if by magic, a winged idea lands with precision on its perch,
She catches it with a pen,
Hatching her tale with a smile.

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Looks like a great day out for young readers. Dun Laoire is the place to be on 14th Jan

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A good and wise pal introduced me to ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’ by Dr Seuss six or seven years ago. I so wish I had this book 20-25 years ago tho – it might have saved me a lot of angst over the years! The realisation that life can be messy and bumpy, then wonderful and smooth, then messy and wonderful all over again was quite a relief. So it’s not just me then?! Phew!
2016 was another such year – but as with every year, thankfully the many Highs, big and small, beat the mean ...ol' Lows hands-down.
SO... with a deep breath and “my head full of brains and my shoes full of feet” bring it on 2017 – we’re ready for you!

“So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
And remember that Life’s
A Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
.. you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So . . . get on your way!”

Thanks so much for your support in 2016 and happy 2017 one and all!


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