Friday, February 10, 2012

New & Noteworthy: Dublin Invasion!

Right, so. A weekend trip to a place I frequent at least once a year hardly counts as an "invasion," but the news sounds much more salacious that way, don't you think?

There is news, readers, which is that the bane of my existence  the source of my drinking problem  my unpublished novel has been selected as one of the winners in the inaugural first novel contest sponsored by the Irish Writers' Centre. The centre received over 570 entries and I was honored to learn that my novel, Dear Dirty Dublin, was one of 20 selected for the honor. A full list of winners can be found here, as well as 15 writers selected for honorable mention. I'm flying myself out to Dublin next month to attend the Novel Fair, which will give me the opportunity to share my work with Irish publishers and agents. Whether or not I get any nibbles or offers remains to be seen, but I'm going into the weekend with great enthusiasm and curiosity. The novel's heart is in Dublin, and it feels fitting to return there. I would be very happy to find it a nice home.

To any of my Dublin friends, I hope you'll join me at Sweny's pharmacy the afternoon of Sunday, March 11, where I'll be reading from the novel and providing tea and goodies to celebrate the occasion. I realize it's unusual to give a reading in a pharmacy, but Sweny's (which prides itself on being "quite possibly Dublin's worst pharmacy") is a wonderful combination of used bookstore, historical diorama, soap mongers, and pilgrimage for James Joyce fans: Sweny's is where Leopold Bloom goes to buy Molly a cake of lemon soap in Ulysses. It's currently staffed by ridiculously friendly volunteers and kept alive by their generous spirit and shared love of literature. I can't think of a place I'd rather share my work.

The trip will be a swift one, but I'll be sure to fetch a few numbers while I'm over there -- and to raise a Guinness or two in sheer relief. Toiling in obscurity has its charm, but I'm ready to see what it's like to seek and find some fresh new readers. And naturally, should it find its way into glorious, pulpy, inky print, you'll be among the first to know. Till then, I think this sign says it all:
If this clock is broken, may it never be fixed.