Another year over … almost

… and as I plan on taking some time off at Christmas, I thought I’d take a look back at 2016 now.

Other than doing a little present wrapping with MrH, I’m pretty organised for Christmas. I thought I’d never finish shopping but I’m done!  We’ve been to see Santa and thank goodness he confirmed we are ALL on the nice list!

We got elf’ed at AmberSprings Santa Train

2016 has been such a mixed bag for me. Incredible highs – mixed with some not so good lows. I suspect that’s the same for many.

But I’m only focussing on the highs now – and a lot of them came courtesy of books!

Here’s what happened in 2016 …

Well, I published 6 books! Yes 6!

The Things I Should Have Told You in Ireland. French &  German editions of Every Time A Bell Rings.Norway, Sweden and Finland editions of The Life You Left. Pretty cool, right?

And to my joy, The Things I Should Have Told You was an Irish Times Bestseller and was also shortlisted for a BGE Irish Book Award! Even though I didn’t win, I genuinely felt like a winner on the night, just being there.

This book has given me so many wonderful moments – two book launches – interviews in national media – window displays around the country – including a 1000 book signing marathon in Easons! And just yesterday I found out that it was voted as one of Woman’s Way best reads of 2016. I also signed foreign rights deals for Hungary, Finland, Norway and Sweden translations in 2018.

Marathon book signing at Easons, 1000 copies!

Window display at Dubray’s Grafton Street

Wexford Book Centre window display

Woman’s Way Best of 2016

I wrote my fifth novel, 72 Derry Lane which will be published June 2017. This story nearly broke me. It’s perhaps the most high concept plots I’ve done so far. It’s also the most emotional. I had to go to a writers retreat twice to finish some scenes that were particularly hard to write. I worked later into the night more times than I can count but now it’s done, I can’t wait to share with you all the story of three very special women -Skye, Rea and Stella. My editor Charlotte says it’s my most emotional read yet. Tissues and chocolate at the ready … 😍

It wasn’t all work though, I’ve met some incredible people at the  pretty cool parties I’ve attended, courtesy of my publisher – Harper Collins. And got to drink gin and cocktails with my writing pals.

With Jilly Cooper and my editor Charlotte Ledger

Fionnuala Kearney, Hazel Gaynor, Cally Taylor & me

With Claudia Carroll

With Anouska Knight, Fionnuala Kearney, Hazel Gaynor

With Rachel Allen, Cecelia Ahern, Claudia Carroll, Alex Barclay, Charlie Redmayne

With Claudia Carroll and Eoin Colfer

With Melissa Hill, Caroline Grace Cassidy and Hazel Gaynor

With Deirdre Purcell

With Paul Young

With Donal Ryan

With Sinead Crowley

With Cecelia Ahern

With Paul O’Connell

With Barbara Taylor Bradford

I laughed my way through lots of magic moments as one of the panelists on TV3’s Midday show. They even managed to persuade me to show my Spanx!

With Elaine Crowley and the Midday gang

I started doing book reviews for South East Radio and I did some fun author talks in libraries, festivals and schools!

And speaking of festivals – I curated Wexford Literary Festival for the 3rd time and was elected Chair.

Yep, it’s been quite a year! I cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store for me. I’ve a feeling it might be my best yet! In January, I start writing book 6, which you guys won’t see till 2018.

This book will be handled by my new agent – Rowan Lawton, because I’ve I signed a new agency contract with the James Grant Group. Over tapas in London, we have plotted our plans for this book and I’m so excited to see these realised.

My website is getting a much needed overhaul in January, so there might be a short disruption. I’m goin self hosted – so outsourcing this job to a company who know what that actually means 😂

Oh and speaking of overhauls – my backlist got new covers too!

The bit that means the most to me, is the support I’ve had from you all, the readers. Thanks for reading, thanks for being my biggest cheerleaders and thanks for sharing my book news. I’m very grateful to you all. I’ll never take that for granted.

Btw , If anyone hasn’t read Every Time A Bell Rings – it’s been reduced to 99p across most online retailers – so a good time to download!
Oh and on 26th January, the year will start with a bang as The Things I Should Have Told You goes on sale in mass paperback format and audio format in UK and Ireland.

Until then, I’m wishing you all the happiest of Christmasses and loveliest of New Years … because other than doing Midday on 21st and 22nd, I’m officially on holidays …

Much love

Carmel xxx


  1. Wonderful post Carmel and lovely pictures as well. What a great year. So happy to part of it. I hope that 2017 is an even better one for you. I am certain it will be. xx

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