Goodbye 2011… Hello 2012!

And so, the obligatory end-of-one-year, start-of-a-new-year post.

I’ve blogged about my writing resolutions for 2012 over on so I’m not going to repeat them here. Instead you can skip on over there and read about why, for the first time in ten years, “get published” will not be one of my goals for 2012.

New Year Eve’s can feel like a bit of a downer sometimes, when you think back to the goals you set yourself 12 months ago and how some or all of them didn’t get achieved. I think a good way to avoid this is to focus less on what you wanted to happen and more on what actually happened. The things that, however unexpected, made you feel like you’d accomplished something. These are mine:

I got a BBC security pass (because I was on BBC Radio Ulster in their Belfast studio).

I was featured in Woman’s Way magazine…

… and in the Irish edition of the Sunday Times.

Mousetrapped sold its 10,000th copy, and Backpacked sold its 1,000th.

I finally got to see two places that, thanks to Formula 1, had been on my To Visit list for a long, long time: the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia…

…and pretty much all of Monaco, including lunch at Café du Paris.

I saw The Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch in the Prado Museum in Madrid, a painting that plays a big part in my favorite book by my favorite author, A Darkness More Than Night by Michael Connelly.

I was on the Marian Finucane Show on RTÉ Radio 1, which with an audience of 400,000 is the second most listened to radio show in Ireland.

I got to see Jurassic Park in a cinema when I was old enough to appreciate it (i.e. 29).

I got to spend 6 weeks in a beautiful little apartment in France, just writing. And that apartment was ten minutes walk from the promenade. And the promenade was five minutes walk from a picturesque Old Town where all anyone wanted to do was sit around drinking coffee and people-watching, i.e. MY IDEA OF HEAVEN.

I sat at a table signing books with a very long queue in front of me. (And no one in it was a friend or relative.) At Mousemeets in Birmingham. Photo credit: Laura Pearson Smith.

I giggled through a Pecha Kucha presentation during the Dublin Book Festival, and used the above photo in my accompanying slideshow to demonstrate what used to be every writer’s ultimate promotional dream. It got a big laugh.

I was asked to deliver the self-publishing section of Faber Academy’s first ever self-publishing and social media workshop in February 2012.

I got an idea for a novel—the novel whose first draft I’m nearly finished now—that I’m really, really excited about.

And even though it’s only 11.42 am as I type this, it’s already been a good news New Year’s Eve. First of all, Results Not Typical has made it into’s Top 10 Reads of 2011! Woo-hoo, etc. I’m so delighted, especially since Mousetrapped made it into their Top 10 Reads of 2010. Thank you Elle, for all your support, and thanks to everyone who voted for their favorite read!

Secondly if you live in Ireland, you can catch me in the Irish Times magazine today. Remember a few weeks ago when I said I’d had a photo-shoot where I’d had to stand against a wall with books on my head? Well, that was why. But I quite like the photo, I have to say. Even if seeing that much white in my eyes makes me look a bit scary and my left arm is sticking out a weird way. But bonus: the books went some way to hiding my roots…

UPDATE: You can read the Irish Times article online here.

So that’s all folks—for 2011, anyway. Happy New Year!

Click here to read my 2012 writing resolutions on

8 thoughts on “Goodbye 2011… Hello 2012!

  1. Alison Morton says:

    A great list! Agree that it’s more realistic to see what you’ve actually achieved in the year. Sometimes we surprise ourselves. My year started off with a very unplanned and pretty unpleasant family disaster, but looking back, I see that we sorted it out reasonably well. Check.

    I got to a number of conferences/seminars/lit festivals and met some inspirational speakers and generally fab people. Check.

    And started my third novel (which was on my ‘goals’ list). Check.

    2012? Things planned, including (hopefully) a 2 week immersion in ancient Roman stuff in Italy, but who knows what might happen?

    Catch up next 31 December…

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