The Gamal by Ciarán Collins, Winner of The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and Le Prix Des Lecteurs Escpades, France. Author Blog-Ciar n Collins

Ciarán Collins 

Author Blog

Author Blog

My bullet point author blog will be updated religiously every thirty-five years.


      October 12th 1977 to March 11th 2013


·         Was born.

·         Learned to read

·         Read

·         And read

·         Lots of plays

·         Lots of novels

·         Had an idea for a novel narrated by a village idiot type figure

·         I thought the voice could give a writer the chance to do something a bit different

·         Wrote thirty pages, a synopsis and a cover letter

·         My girlfriend (now wife) and I emailed every agent we could find on the internet

·         Waited

·         Hoped

·         Got three emails from interested agents, all asking for another fifty pages

·         Wrote the fifty pages (instead of eating or sleeping) over a few days and sent on

·         Waited

·         Hoped

·         Had mixed emotions when the agents said to send on the rest of the book right away

·         I said I wasn’t really satisfied with the rest of the novel in its current form

·         I requested a few months to ‘rearrange’ it a bit

·         They didn’t say, ‘Stop wasting people’s time, you idiot.’

·         They did say, ‘Fine.’

·         Bought quarter of a tonne of Bewley’s Rich Roast coffee and got to work

·         Finished novel and sent it on to the three agents

·         Waited

·         Hoped

·         Reaction was positive

·         Spoke with Jamie Coleman of Toby Eady Associates over the phone

·         Agreed to sign with him, even though he sounded very posh

·         Worked through a few drafts with the excellent Jamie and then he sent it on to publishers

·         Waited

·         Hoped

·         After some interest, signed with wonderful Bloomsbury

·         Jamie said my new editor Helen Garnons-Williams would ring shortly

·         He said not to be nervous, as she sounds very posh

·         I said, “Jamie, you sound very posh.”

·         He said, “Really?”

·         I said, “Yes.”

·         Helen rang me then

·         She was extremely nice, even though she sounded very posh

·         My book was going to be published

·         Had a celebratory beer with my girlfriend who was now my fiance

·         My family, friends and the dog were astonished as I’d never told them I was writing a book

·         Enjoyed working through another couple of drafts with the brilliant Helen

·         Worked through the text with a copy editor

·         Helen asked me what kind of book covers I like

·         I told her I like ones with a human silhouette and ones that are quite dark in colour

·         I sent her some examples of covers I like and she sent them on to design people

·         Waited

·         Hoped

·         Cover arrived and I really loved it

·         Then the uncorrected proofs were sent out

·         Waited

·         Hoped

·         Was delighted when three brilliant authors were impressed with what they read

·         Edna O’Brien, Colum McCann and Gavin Esler gave fantastic quotes about it

·         Went to London to a thing

·         I met Bloomsbury staff, authors, book sellers and media people, all of whom were lovely

·         Realised that a lot of English people sound very posh to me

·         After that I met my agent for the first time, and he took me to a cool tapas bar

·         We spoke about my book, other books, soccer and the Irish sport, hurling

·         Lately had a very enjoyable dinner with some Irish booksellers in Dublin

·         Have a publicity thing coming up in Liverpool this week

·         And some press stuff in Dublin the week after

·         Early reviews and feedback have been very positive

·         It’s now a month from publication day

·         Waiting

·         Hoping