I have always enjoyed reading farm and rural memoirs. My copies of James Herriot’s books are dog-eared and have been reread many times since I was a teenager. The success of recently published farm memoirs proved that the rural memoir is as popular as ever, perhaps even enjoying a renaissance as various sectors of society (indeed, 47% of people in Britain) show an interest in leaving their city lives and dream of living on a smallholding or perhaps [...]
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 [...]
Writing a memoir was a slightly daunting task. I intended to share stories from over three generations of family farming, mainly recounting stories from our childhoods: my dad’s from when they moved to Garrendenny in 1945 when he was 7 years old, my childhood of the 1970s and also to provide stories from when we took over the farm in 2002 showing how why many things have changed, some elements remain very similar for children, no matter what era they [...]
The launch of my book Till the Cows Come Home has been and gone. I have to admit that in the run up to it, I was thinking to myself that never ever again will I be crazy enough to launch a book in the spring. Let’s just say that most farmers were at silage rather than thinking about attending book launches!