Mum, get 2 copies! Get 2 copies! Get one for Auntie Dolores!

It's a bit weird, opening a newspaper and seeing you staring back at you. I don't like me anyway; I always seem a bit suss. When I catch sight of my big balloony face while shaving or in a shop window or via the mirror in my bedroom ceiling my first instinct goes back to those courses the office used to insist you go on; challenge this stranger. Who are you? What business do you have here? Why are you carrying those laptops under your arm? Will I accept this fifty quid to go somewhere else? Does the Pope shit in the woods?

I don't look like I think I look like. What do I think I look like? Fucked if I know, but the guy staring moodily off into the middle-distance on page 28 of the Irish News on Thursday 12th July isn't it. (click here to view the article)

I've wanted to be an author for the majority of my life, and at some point I guess I knew that if this pipe dream was going to succeed I was going to have to...you know...'scuse me while I get some mouthwash...promote myself a bit. I always had the comforting notion that this would be tempered somewhat by the nature of writing though. Wanna be an actor? Start making your face into a street corner and stapling thigh-high boots on your chin. Sorry, but that's the game. With writing though I'd always hoped it'd be slightly different. I'd much rather it was Danny Morrigan being interviewed on page 28 of the Irish News (and Mr Black glowering from the pages of the Business section, perhaps) than me, but it's a wonderful opportunity to promote the book.

The article itself is excellent and very importantly, it touches on the appeal of Folk'd to anyone who doesn't happen to hail from Ireland (or, indeed, Belfast). I had worried that the Belfastyness of Folk'd would put people off; whether it has done, I don't know. I suppose that's the risk you run when you start trying to be authentic to the setting and the setting isn't middle England or London. Roddy Doyle will always be known for his Barrytown books with their wall-to-wall bastards, Irvine Welsh for his Glasgow-set hard-as-nails (yet wonderfully whimsical) novels and short stories. I suppose I could with not that great a difficulty write books set in London and indeed I might if I wanted to tell a London story, but Folk'd is not a London story, it is a Belfast story.

In other news, I finished the rewrites of Book 2, Folk'd Up Beyond All Recognition and it is now sitting on the desk of my lovely publisher Jo. FUBAR and Completely Folk'd are, to me anyway, hugely more difficult than Folk'd to try to manage from a writer's perspective. Folk'd is quite a simple book. It starts off introducing everyone, then we have the classic screenwriter's "turn" where things go haywire and the plot kicks off, and then that's resolved (or, ahem, then you get a "to be continued...").
FUBAR is a very different animal; remarkable, really, when you remember this trilogy didn't even start off planned as a trilogy but as one big novel. It's much less linear than Folk'd - probably best to think of Lost for an example of what I mean. You'll get a bit of narrative, and then a sprinkling of flashback to help flesh out what's going on and fill in some backstory. It's set in at least 5 different time periods, ranging from Ancient pre-Christian Ireland to the 1798 Rebellion to the 1960s (and 70s), through to the recent past and finally present day. Any fans of Steve, rejoice; he gets quite a bit of screen time, and Ellie begins to develop from simply "Danny's missus" to a character in her own right. There's also a slanging match goes on between a grown man and a baby. I shall leave it up to you to discover who wins. 

Folk'd Up Beyond All Recognition will be with you  early August.

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