Some Service to the State
Wednesday, 17 August 2022
Well, since the publication of The Undiscovered Country, a lot of you have been asking about follow ups, and what happens to the characters next.
So, over the last year or so I have been writing a sequel entitled, "Some Service to the State." It's about the repercussions arising from the search for a missing girl in the border country of a newly partitioned Ireland in 1925. I finished…
The Undiscovered Country, one year on...
Friday, 8 October 2021
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude”
– A.A. Milne
Well, The Undiscovered Country has been out in the world for just over a year now. Some people have loved it: The Irish Times did, after all, call it a “smart and pacy debut”. Some people have hated it with the bright and shinning passion…
Read All About It!
Thursday, 4 February 2021
Hope you are all keeping well during this second winter of Plague.
Just before Christmas I had a very nice conversation with Paul Cuddihy for his excellent podcast, Read All About It. In this Paul chats with various guests about
1.Their favourite book from childhood
2.Their favourite book from their formative years
3.A book they would recommend to anyone
4.A book they could…
Go on! Go ON! GO ON!
Friday, 9 October 2020
I wrote to you all on the 3 August preuming that you all had received your copies of The Undiscovered Country. HOWEVER, the lovely folk at Unbound have just sent me a note to say that there are 32 of you, that's right one for every county in Ireland, who have not received your copies yet.
The reason? You have not confirmed your delievery…
What do you think? Shall we Zoom?
Friday, 2 October 2020
The Irish Times called The Undiscovered Country a “smart and pacy debut that throws light on a historical period worthy of further exploration.”
The Sunday Times Crime Book Club complained a bit about its bad language.
More importantly though is what you all thought about it, all the folk who have supported this project from the its earliest days.
Marty Sandler, American National Treasure…
It's a bit gritty, but that's the modern world - Father Ted Crilly
Monday, 3 August 2020
I hope by now you have all received your copies of The Undiscovered Country. I know that some of you have already read it. I can't tell you how delighted I was to hear how much most of you have enjoyed it.
I know that some of you may be a bit upset by the language of my characters. ("Feck this. Feck that... and of course the other "F" word. The BAD "F" word. You know the one I mean…
Thursday, 5 December 2019
Well it has been a long and winding road, but finaly - FINALLY - we have a publication date! Fingers crossed: subscribers will receive their copies of The Undiscovered Country this coming May, with the book going on general sale in August.
Thanks to all of you for all of your patience and support these long months.
Keep well and stay safe
Proof that things are moving along!
Tuesday, 28 May 2019
Proof copy arrived in the post on Saturday, so I'm currently working my way through it, looking for typos.
It's a slow enough process, but we're getting closer to the day when I get to share with you all this tale of dark deeds in the wild west of Ireland.
Keep safe all
So... what happens next?
Monday, 4 March 2019
So sorry that I haven’t posted an update in a while. But I’ve been working away at various edits of The Undiscovered Country to get it ready for publication. I’ll keep you posted as the book design progresses and publication dates become clearer.
As I was editing I began to wonder what happened next to some of the characters who survive the pages of The Undiscovered Country. I began to ponder on…
Third review is in!
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
I'm very grateful to be able to post another review in this occassional series. Today I'm delighted to be able to post one by my friend Nick Kinsella. I first met Nick about 12 years ago when he was heading the UK's Human Trafficking Centre, and leading on the creation of more effective policing responses to crimes of contemporary slavery in the UK. Nick is, as you may have gathered, a PROPER detective…
The second review is in!
Sunday, 30 September 2018
Very grateful to my friend Meena Varma, connoisseur of crime - and champion of human rights - for being so kind as to find the time in the midst of her tireless struggle against caste-based apartheid as Chair of the International Dalit Solidarity Network, to write a review of The Undiscovered Country.
I wanted Meena’s opinion of the story from early on not just because, as a someone who appreciates…
On the road to publication
Monday, 24 September 2018
Just wanted to let you all know I’ve now submitted my manuscript to Unbound. I’ll update you all with news of progress as I receive it.
I wanted to also say enormous thanks to all of you who have been so supportive and encouraging from the first inkling of an idea sitting over dinner one night in Geneva reading Charles Townsend’s The Republic, to finally hitting the 100% mark in the funding drive…
It’s in extraordinary situations that you really find what people are made of
Friday, 7 September 2018
Noel Adams, a journalist with Belfast’s best newspaper, The Irish News, did an interview with me at the beginning of August, which has just now been published. It’s about life, war, humanitarian response and the writing of The Undiscovered Country. I probably rambled a bit - I was doing the interview on a bad phone line from the bowels of the UN in New York. But I hope you enjoy.
First review is in...
Tuesday, 7 August 2018
I mentioned a few updates ago that a few people have actually read The Undiscovered Country, and it was, in the main, their encouragement that led me to embark on this publication project. So I thought rather than just have me write about the book in these updates I would ask a few of them to compose reviews of the book to share their thoughts. Kind people that they are most of them didn't even need…
I bet that Plato fella never had these problems...
Sunday, 15 July 2018
Tantalus was a figure in Greek mythology who, starving and thirsty, was cursed to stand for eternity in water that would recede from his lips when he bent to drink from it, and beneath a berry tree that would withdraw from his grasp when he reached for food.
Greek mythology is full of chaps like that – Odysseus blown back out to sea to continue his wanderings for years more just as he sees the…
Human is wolf to human, but not always
Friday, 15 June 2018
Last month I was in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh (photo), in the camps of that are now home to almost three-quarters of a million Rohingya refugees, driven from their homes by the government of their own country. Those camps will now, due to the monsoon rains, look like a First World War battlefield, a quagmire of mud in which people have already died.
Appositely enough, Karma is an Indian word
Friday, 8 June 2018
My PhD supervisors once advised me to set aside my thesis for a couple of months and then to reread it. It would be like looking at it with new eyes.
So, because this week I have passed the 82% funding level and hopefully will very soon be able to share this story with you, I have been going over The Undiscovered Country again, for the first time in several months. I’m trying to catch typos…
Hold on! I have a cunning plan!
Friday, 25 May 2018
Some of the fellows I was at school with I haven’t seen in over 30 years. Yet they’ve been among the first to get their credit cards out to subscribe to the publication of my book, The Undiscovered Country. Adolescence is one of the most miserable times of your life. But the bonds that arise from enduring it together, in our case in the shadow of British Military Occupation securing a “hard” border…
Approaching anniversaries: The Undiscovered Country
Monday, 21 May 2018
I went to see Sean O’Casey’s play The Plough and the Stars a few weeks ago. It was the celebrated 2016 Abbey Theatre production which got a belated transfer from Dublin to London.
O’Casey wrote the play to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 1916 rebellion. It caused a storm. After one particularly rambunctious performance WB Yeats, a co-founder of the Abbey, confronted a disruptive audience…
Getting there: The Undiscovered Country reaches 70% funding
Thursday, 3 May 2018
I just wanted to send you all a note to say that I’ve reached the next big milestone on the road to publication of The Undiscovered Country, and finally passed the 70% threshold. Lore in Unbound, as I’ve mentioned before, is that all books which pass this threshold get published, which is enormously encouraging, but still a little way to go before we see it coming hot off the presses.…
Belfast: what was once, might be again
Thursday, 26 April 2018
Last week I visited Belfast to speak at an event commemorating Belfast’s role in the anti-slavery struggle of the 19th Century. It was a memorable visit for a number of reasons.
The event, organised by Reclaim the Englightenment, a group set up to remember Belfast’s radical heritage, was held in the Shankill Public Library. It was the first occasion I ever spent any time in this, the heart…
Easter reflections on The Undiscovered Country
Monday, 2 April 2018
This week I’ve been reflecting on Easters past.
Easter Week 1916 was the beginning of the Irish War of Independence. Historians still argue over how necessary or justifiable that war was to achieve Irish independence. But whatever the rights and wrongs of it in the grand, historical scheme of things, at the most basic level it followed a bloody path of ordinary people doing…
The book they don’t want you to read: The Undiscovered Country
Sunday, 18 March 2018
Memo found in the archives of the Irish Bureau of Military History :
To: Colonel Dan Long
Officer in Charge,
Bureau of Military History,
Cathal Brugha Barracks
4 Sept 1954
Please find attached the portion of former Volunteer Michael Gerard McAlinden’s submission to the Bureau that I mentioned to you, the…
The Undiscovered Country: Half way there!
Monday, 5 March 2018
So, after a long, sometimes gruelling, month in Myanmar/Burma I’m back in London and delighted that The Undiscovered Country has just passed the 50% funding milestone en route to the publication.
One hundred thousand thanks to all of you whose incredible generosity and support has got me this far. I am looking forward to sharing the finished novel with you all, sooner, I hope, rather than later…
Discovering other countries
Friday, 2 February 2018
“Too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart” - W B Yeats, Easter 1916
This past few weeks I have been travelling through some parts of the world affected by more recent and bloodier conflicts than the one I describe in The Undiscovered Country. And yet here the truth that Yeats recognised when reflecting upon the oppression and violence…