‘A multi-layered, thought-provoking collection that might bring with it a bout of sweet nostalgia’ – Where Have You Been? by Joseph O’Connor

          ‘And through all this diversity – one theme, of family and fatherhood, whether in a personal sense or maybe in a wider meaning of our relationship to our roots, to our countries, wherever they are. Of course, for O’Connor it is Ireland, but the torturous love to one’s native land mixed with sometimes pride, sometimes, pain and embarrassment, and often unresolved feelings that a child might feel for their parent – this love is something anyone can understand without ever setting foot in Ireland…’ Read the whole review here on Bookmunch.

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It’s all about the money, money, money…

I remember some years ago, at school, we used to have discussions such as ‘Will books be replaced by television and computers and disappear completely?’ Well I’m glad to see that this is much less likely to happen now than it looked back then. The Amazon book reviews scandal alone proves that books are not only very much alive but that we seem to be more interested in writing now than we were twenty years ago.Otherwise why would we be so passionate about what gets reviewed and how?

Another interesting thing is how writers used to care more about status and reputation whereas now the focus seems to be more on money. With the likes of Jordan and Britney Spears taking to writing books, and everybody and their dog having an E-book published,  the whole idea of being a published writer is taking on a completely different meaning. A few years back, only being published by a reputable publisher counted as the real thing. Now not so much. There are successful E-books out there, and successful self-published books too. Although what constitutes success at this point is becoming less and less defined. Is 50 Shades of Grey a success? Some people would say no, but then it has sold – as a trilogy – over 12 million copies in the UK alone. So is it all about sales? Is everything about sales nowadays?

On the X-Factor the other day, the biggest compliment seemed to be something along the lines of ‘you will sell a lot of records’. Is this our only measure of success? If so, then no wonder that some authors would rather spend their time writing fake reviews for their own books or bad reviews of their rivals’ ones than actually get on with writing.

A few years ago, someone told us, a group of creative writing students, to work out what success means to us. Being published, I thought then. Earning a living from writing. I still think these things are important. But the very core of that success is not in money, or sales figures. I doubt that this is what a writer would think about on their deathbed. The most important thing for me is to say what I have to say, in the best possible way, and hope that it would reach those who are supposed to read it.