The start of the calving season is always a slightly anxious time. We’re looking forward to a new year of healthy calves, seeing how new heifers in the milking herd perform, hoping that all calvings go well and that the cows adjust well to leaving their winter hibernation and getting back to work by providing us with milk twice a day. It’s always a good feeling once the first few calves are born and all is well. We had been [...]
To self-publish or to seek an agent and a publisher? Which is the best route? It’s a question that many writers, myself included, often ask and I’m going to attempt to answer it.
I self-published my first three books. I hadn’t planned to write a trilogy but that’s how it worked out. They focused on farming, using tongue-in-cheek humour to reflect on farming life past and present. All are non-fiction. I didn’t try to find a publisher. I decided to self-publish [...]
This time last year, my editor and formatter Sally Vince was putting the finishing touches to the book I had just finished, a social history of the Collegiate School Celbridge. The all-girls school had merged with the boys’ school Kilkenny College in 1973 (where I went to secondary school in the 1980s as it happened) and past pupil, teacher and headmistress Miss Freda Yates, now in her 90s, had been looking for someone to write a book about [...]
Do people amble and relax and meander as much as they used to? Do we meander and daydream and stare into space as much as we should? Mobile phones are great but they mean we are never bored, not bored enough to daydream. I know that if there’s a ten-minute wait when I’m collecting my teenagers that I spend the few minutes checking twitter or sending an email or making a phone call or reading an article. If I’m waiting for them [...]
When I started writing my first book Would You Marry a Farmer? I was genuinely surprised at the number of single women who told me they really wanted to marry a farmer. Part of the reason for my surprise was because farmers definitely weren’t seen as a good catch in the 1950s when draughty farmhouses, lack of electricity and piped water, living with your mother-in-law and hard work were the norm for many. However, in the twenty-first century, farmers are [...]