Feck-All Comes To Those Who Wait

So there I was, back in my home town, vacuuming my dad’s living room carpet and thinking how I really should ask my agent to send my  manuscript for Crusher to a publisher, when the phone rang.  It was my agent, and she already had, and the publisher she’d shown it to – Random House Children’s Books – wanted the book, plus sequels.  I had to sit down for a bit.

It’s official now – in The Bookseller, even – but I still can’t quite believe it.  When I went to meet Random House for the first time I was kind of hoping they wouldn’t find out I had written Crusher in thirty days as part of the NaNoWriMo event (see my blogs from last November.)  However they very sweetly pointed out that if I hadn’t wanted people to know how quickly I’d written the book, I shouldn’t have blogged about it (see my blogs from last November  – they certainly had.)

Of course, they knew it was not quite as simple as that.  The nuts-and-bolts writing […] Continue Reading…

A Spud By Any Other Name

For those of you having trouble, I officially pronounce my name Nile Lennard.

Back in the twentieth century when I used to wander around Dublin on behalf of the BBC I had a meeting with a  lovely woman who at that time ran the Irish Film Centre*.  ‘O yes,’ she said when we met, ‘You’re the guy who doesn’t know how to pronounce his own name.’  I suppose I’d set myself up for that because I used to, and still do, pronounce my name differently depending on the circumstances.

When I grew up Niall was quite an exotic name – hard to believe, because there’s millions of the buggers now – and the most popular way of spelling it was Neil or even Neal.

For the record, the most famous Niall in Irish history was Niall of the Nine Hostages, supposedly the last Irish king to die a pagan.  (I’ve always regarded that factoid with a certain amount of smugness to which I am no way entitled.)  In the Irish language the son of Niall, if he were called […] Continue Reading…

Pecking Parties

I once worked on a long-running TV series that aged, as these shows are wont to do, from a sparky comedy drama to a bland rural soap.  In the early days I and the other writers on the team tried to keep the show funny and unpredictable and to subvert the expectations of the audience, but as time passed it got harder and harder to do anything original or challenging, and it wasn’t because we ran out of good storylines…

(Digression: I have never got round to keeping track of traffic to this website, but I suspect it has spiked recently, given my association with a new author whose romantic fiction trilogy has recently gone supernova in the USA with no advertising or input of any sort from PR people.  Want some hot gossip and insight?  You’ve come to the wrong place – this is my soapbox, and she has her own. In the manner of a crotchety professor whose lecture hall is full of the curious hoping to catch a glimpse of a celebrity […] Continue Reading…