Happy Christmas, lovely readers

Dear readers,

Christmas almost upon us once more! And I don’t know about you all, but I cannot wait for the festivities to begin …

The decorations are all looking twinkly and gorgeous. I’m almost finished wrapping my gifts. Just the grocery shopping to do now (both joy and hell at once. I don’t want anyone else to do it, yet I know while I queue for tills, I’ll wish I delegated to Rog!)

It’s been quite a year, filled with so many incredible moments, books wise.

The Woman at 72 Derry Lane became an Amazon and a Sunday Times Bestseller. In fact, it’s still in the Irish paperback charts. Fingers crossed, it remains there for Christmas! That would be wonderful. It was shortlisted by the Irish Book Awards, as Popular Fiction Book of the Year. While it didn’t win, it was more than enough for me to simply get shortlisted, alongside some of my writing heroes. We had such a great evening, celebrating all that is wonderful about Irish books.

With my editor Charlotte Ledger and Mr H himself, Roger

. My books even became a TV star for a short dazzling moment, with The Woman at Derry Lane, slipping into bed with Tina and Adam on Cold Feet!

Speaking of the TV show, Cold Feet, I was commissioned to write the official ITV novel, Cold Feet The Lost Years and that gave me my first entry into the UK bestsellers charts! I also had the absolute pleasure of meeting Cold Feet creator and writer Mike Bullen and the cast and crew, who were as they are on screen, charming, funny and witty.

I’ve had lots of fun meeting readers in libraries and at literary festivals. Speaking of which, I curated my fourth Wexford Literary Festival in May. It was wonderful to welcome back readers and writers who have been with us from the beginning and to see the festival grow, as new attendees joined us. We promise to make our fifth festival the biggest yet.

And together with my friends, Hazel Gaynor and Catherine Ryan Howard, we launched The Inspiration Project, a new form of writing retreat. This venture has been one of the most fun and creative things I’ve done and I cannot wait till January, for our first event.

Apart from all of that, I saw my books go international again, as further translations happened. I love seeing my words in different languages. The covers for all are so diverse, but equally gorgeous. And because of the power of social media, I’ve had the pleasure of chatting to some readers from all over the world and hearing their thoughts on my books.

I finished writing the first draft of my seventh novel, which for now, let’s just call Home. It’s central theme is around homelessness, which has caused me some sleepless nights, as I researched it. This will be published in Ireland in October 2018 and UK in spring 2019. I will be busy over the coming months polishing it and perfecting it for you all.

But by far, the best highlight is as it always is for me, the interactions I have with you, the reader. I adore hearing from you. Whether it’s on my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account, here on the website, or in person at events. Hearing your stories, how my books have resonated with you, means everything to me. Without all of your support, I couldn’t do this.

So I thank you and I wish you and yours, a Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

See you on the other side,

Carmel x



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