As of Thursday 1st March, The Liar’s Girl was out in Ireland and the UK as well as the US. Unfortunately Thursday 1st March was Day 2 of Snowmageddon, when the ‘Beast from the East’ met Storm Emma and Ireland turned into the set of The Day After Tomorrow. So I had to celebrate at home with a glass of bubbly…
We never get snow like that so we’re just not equipped to deal with it, and in the interests of everyone’s safety, the country effectively shut down. You couldn’t go anywhere and anyway there was nowhere to go. I did manage to snap a few pictures of the canal in the snow though…
Luckily the internet was still working, so:
‘My new book is called The Liar’s Girl. Chances are I’ll say this to you apologetically, perhaps with a sheepish grin. If I detect an imminent eye-roll, I’ll quickly follow up with some conspiratorial comment about my publishers, perhaps even joke that they want to call my next book The Girl In The Window Of The Train Whose Tattoo Is Gone. You’ll say, ‘I’m so sick of these girl books,’ or ‘I really hate that word’ or ‘Ugh, why does everyone feel the need to copy The Girl On The Train?’ even though that book came after Gone Girl and that book came out after The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and you are, in all probability, a former girl yourself. And I’ll nod and smile and mumble something that sounds like agreement because I don’t want to be a bad feminist – or is that what we’re supposed to be now? I can’t keep up, the rules seem to change daily – but I’ll already be hating myself for not saying how I really feel.’ [READ MORE]
And on the Sunday, I managed to trudge through the icy slush to visit The Gutter Bookshop in Cow’s Lane, which – thank you! – had The Liar’s Girl in their ‘Must Reads’ for March. (Yes, that day’s outfit was on a theme of LAYERS. It was feckin’ freezing.)
The snow stopped falling just in time for me to travel to Cork for Launch No. 1, which took place in Waterstones on Patrick St. That Waterstones is my bookshop, the one I went to on a weekly basis growing up, the place where I bought my first copy of The Writers & Artists Yearbook, and On Writing, and my first Michael Connelly novel, so getting to see The Liar’s Girl have its own window there was pretty amazing.
96FM’s Deirdre O’Shaughnessy was the MC on the night and we had a great chat about where the idea for the book came from, the importance of Post-It notes and, um, Inspector Morse. My uncle Tommy was the unofficial videographer so thanks to him, you can watch all the proceedings below.
The following day I collected cupcakes from The Cupcake Cottage on Angelsea Street and hit the road with my chauffeur, i.e. my brother John. I left a trail of signed copies in the Eason branches on Patrick Street, in Ballingcollig, and in Wilton, Mahon Point and Douglas Court Shopping Centres – and, of course, Waterstones too!
Thursday was the main event: the Dublin launch! I’d ordered a very special necklace which only arrived that morning, thanks to the previous week’s snow. I just figured that (a) I needed a statement necklace and that (b) I was going to be in a lot of photos so my neck was prime advertising space. Thanks, Tatty Devine!
The launch was held in the lovely Dubray Books on Grafton Street, where Liz Nugent (Unravelling Oliver, Lying in Wait) did the honours. Unbeknownst to me, she had been in contact with various individuals – who shall remain nameless and unforgiven – and got all sorts of dirt on me which she revealed in the speech. It was absolutely hilarious because I wasn’t expecting it at all, and I’d forgotten half of the stuff she’d found out I’d done! This picture sums up my reaction:
Afterwards we headed to Neary’s for bubbles and bites and it was such a fun night. I really enjoyed it. Thanks to everyone who came, and everyone who couldn’t make it but who still kindly bought the book. You can see all the wonderful pictures Ger Holland took on the night over on my Facebook author page. Also, my writing buddies give the BEST presents. (Look at that wine! Thanks, Carmel! x)
On Friday – and on very little sleep – I visited Eason stores in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Blanchardstown Centre, the Pavilions at Swords and Dundrum Town Centre. It never gets old seeing stacks of my books in the shops! You should be able to find plenty of signed copies there.
‘In this second novel, Howard’s emerging talent could not be clearer … This is expertly plotted, with a series of stunning twists.’ [READ MORE]
Saturday brought some media coverage and an incredible review in the Irish Independent which had me dancing around my living room in delight.
‘Solid plotting … propels The Liar’s Girl forward at a terrific pace, and there is nothing formulaic in the depiction of the main characters, all of whom are drawn with great sympathy. The imaginary St John’s College campus, set in Beggar’s Bush in Dublin 4, is a lively and believable invention. In this, only her second book, Catherine Ryan Howard has certainly pulled off, with remarkable confidence, the notoriously difficult task of surpassing a debut novel that was met with critical acclaim and garlanded with awards.’
Finally, this morning, I was interviewed on The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk. We talked about self-publishing, The Inspiration Project and books with ‘girl’ in the title, and Pat did an amazing job of reading from the opening page of the book. (Really, you should do audio books!) You can listen back here (it’s about 15 minutes into Part 2 of the 12th March episode).
What was funny was that a number of people at both launches who pointed to this page (above) in The Liar’s Girl and said something like, ‘Isn’t this the best bit about this?’ Honestly, it had never occurred to me until they pointed it out, but I think they’re right. The fact that this was second time around made everything so much easier for me to enjoy, mostly because I knew exactly what to expect. I was way more relaxed. I am way more relaxed.
But also because this isn’t just a once off anymore. Last time round, it felt like an achievement. This time it feels more like this is what I get to do for a living, and I love that I get to do what I love. Thank you to everyone who’s ever bought a copy of either of my books or plans to in the future, because you’re the reason why.
P.S. I’ve just four weeks of my four years left in college (I know, I can’t believe it either!) and afterwards, I think I might actually have some time to get back to this blog. In the meantime, the best place to keep up to date with all the shenanigans – and, let’s face it, they mainly involve coffee, Post-Its and Netflix – is my author Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.
P.P.S. Because of Snowmageddon, we had to postpone our second Inspiration Project event. It will now take place on the weekend of May 25-27 and, since not all our original bookings could transfer to these new dates, some spots have opened up. Book yours now for €449 here.