The Librarian’s Cellar: I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice

Ruth Fitzmaurice is a seriously good writer. I did not put this book down, not once, until I had finished it. It is an honest, beautifully expressed account of her experience raising five children and sharing her life with her beloved husband, filmmaker, Simon Fitzmaurice, the director of IFTA-nominated My Name is Emily, and shorts The Sound of People, Tilly and the Teeth and Full Circle.

Focusing on the effects of Simon’s Motor Neuron Disease and on the impact of it on their lives, I Found My Tribe is breathtaking in its honesty as Ruth shares her joys, her sorrows, her despair and her very human reactions to the adversities that have invaded the lives of not just herself, but of her family and friends also. The book is written from a deeply loving place, and in such accomplished prose, and is ultimately uplifting as Ruth determines the importance of love, friendship and the joy that she has found in her community. Her tribe. The book has a cinematic feel to it, so no surprise also that it has been optioned by Element Pictures. Publishing details for I FOUND MY TRIBE HERE

 

Caroline E Farrell is the writer and producer of films, In Ribbons and Adam, and is the author of the novel, LADY BETH.

The Librarian’s Cellar: ROOM LITTLE DARKER by June Caldwell

Much praise has already been heaped upon this collection of short stories, and rightly so. Caldwell’s writing exposes a brutally truthful voice, and perhaps, is responding to the fundamental underbelly of human nature – the murky and the painful – stuff that readers can relate to, however uncomfortably the narratives punch out from the pages. You may laugh, gasp, cringe or cry, each story with the capacity to leave you a little battered and breathless, but that won’t stop you turning the pages for the next assault on your senses!

ROOM LITTLE DARKER is published by New Island

 

Caroline E Farrell is the writer and producer of films, In Ribbons and Adam, and is the author of the novel, LADY BETH.

The Librarian’s Cellar: One We Sang Like Other Men by John MacKenna

This collection of short stories is a slow burner, in the best sense of the phrase. Each of the 13 stories stand alone, glimpses of other lives on journeys through very human themes – family, love, grief and death. Collectively, there is mystery, and tension, that connects these contemporary narratives with something that just might be other-worldly, each fractured character allied historically through their pasts. Lamenting the loss of  the man who once united them, The Captain – chieftain, messiah – leader of the pack. Now dead. Murdered. His loss is palpable as his disciples struggle in the void of the aftermath, a sense of trauma weaving through each story.

Published by New Island, more information on Once We Sang Like Other Men HERE

 

Caroline E Farrell is the writer and producer of films, In Ribbons and Adam, and is the author of the novel, LADY BETH.

LADY BETH, The Novel: Reviews and Stockists

Putting your writing out in the world is a risk. The risk of being criticised. Of being rubbish. Of being ignored. Sometimes though, the risk pays off and I am so grateful for the praise and encouragement I have received so far for LADY BETH and am delighted to share the good word and positive vibes here!

 

BOOKS IRELAND Review

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Cornflakegirlsmusings Interview and Review HERE

 

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From Liz Nugent. Author of Unravelling Oliver and Lying in Wait.

Sat down to read the first 30 pages of Lady Beth this afternoon and just kept turning the pages until I’d finished! Compelling grit-lit.

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From Martin Malone. Author of Black Rose Days, Deadly Confederacies and Other Stories, US, Valley of the Peacock Angel, The Silence of the Glasshouse, After Kafra, The Lebanon Diaries.

Given the author’s previous works, a vampire tale, I was a little concerned that the title of Caroline Farrell’s latest novel, Lady Beth, might have been of the same genre, ensuring that I would not have consumed a word beyond its blurb. I’ve had enough of those bloodsuckers. Described as an urban thriller Lady Beth is stylishly written and has Gothic influences in its telling, which lend a splendid and chilling atmosphere to the story.

Set in the seedy world of drugs, the reader is presented with characters that are, too sadly, only too believable. The book steams ahead at a cracking pace, but not so quickly that we lose sight of what’s at stake, and who and what has been lost. The novel deals with loss, some serious secrets and the dark side of human nature, but there are redeeming traits in several of the characters, especially Frankie, who epitomises what it is to be a product of his environment.

Beth escaped a harrowing sub-existence to begin a new life for herself and her baby Jesse, who as a teenager is full of angst and rebellion; he travels the same route as his mother had done years before, to his detriment. When things in her life fully unravel, Beth sets out for revenge against the source of her ills; a confrontation with a brutal and controlling man known as The Poet…one wrong move from her, one hollow sentence, one false expression and she will not live to repeat another.

Lady Beth is a hugely entertaining read with well-crafted characters, and a strong plot-line. There are no vampires, but in hindsight, there actually are, but they’re defanged…which, by the way, makes some of the characters in Lady Beth no less menacing and no less dangerous. Really, a very worthy read.

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From Niamh Boyce. Author of The Herbalist.

This book is a real gritty urban thriller, it has a gothic feel too, with sensuous language, and a fascinating and complex lead character. Farrell is a wonderful storyteller, she ramps up the tension scene by scene to really satisfying ending.

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From June Considine (Laura Elliot) Author of Guilty, Sleep Sister and The Betrayal.

Reading the information details on the author, I wasn’t surprised to discover that Caroline E. Farrell is a screen writer as well as a novelist. Her style of writing is sparse and compelling, no wasted words, no overworked scenes, no slackening of an electrifying tension that vibrates throughout the narrative. Beth, her main character, comes across as a quiet, unassuming single mother. Someone who hides in shadows rather than the glare of normality. She has created a life style which she believes will keep her son, Jesse, safe from the grim, underbelly world she once knew. In doing so, she alienates Jesse, who has matured into a rebellious teenager, demanding space to be himself, and also to know the identity of his father. As Beth struggles to rein him in, and stop him following the dangerous path she once walked, she is swept unawares into an overwhelming tragedy. With nothing to lose, she can go in only one direction. Revenge. Lady Beth is a thriller that moves seamlessly between characters, allowing us to glimpse their complex personalities, but it is Beth, who emerges from the shadows to exact vengeance on the man who shattered her world. A thriller with style and punch, Lady Beth is guaranteed to hold your attention until the last, gritty page.

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From Lissa Oliver. Author of Sainte Bastien, Chantilly Downs, Gala Day and Nero.

Gritty warts-and-all crime thriller, a real page-turner. Plenty of twists and an array of well-drawn characters you care about, propelling you forward to the end.The heroine is a fiercely protective single mother who loses her son to drug addiction and can either cave in completely or seek revenge. Past demons add to her torment. You feel her pain as she hovers on the brink of that agonising choice, the interesting cast of characters around her ready to help in whatever direction she takes. A departure from the usual books I read and well worth it, the author has used an interesting and unusual narrative technique that really adds to the suspense and mystery.

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From Fiona Ashe. Filmmaker and Editor of 31 Years of Hell! 1914-1945

I was captivated first by the eye-catching cover of the book ‘Lady Beth’. As a huge fan of Noir, the imagery immediately drew me into that style. The story lived up to expectations. It’s a thrilling journey into a dangerous world. The story is fuelled by tension and high stakes. I became immersed in the desperate lives of fascinating characters who are all plagued by inner traumas. The book delivers multiple hard-hitting surprises, resulting in a powerful ending. A truly compelling read!

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From Lindsay J Sedgwick. Author of Dad’s Red Dress. Screenwriter of Punky, Wulfie and Barzakh. Playwright of Fried Eggs and All Thumbs.

I devoured it! The story was riveting and not at all what I expected – gritty and dark and very human and sad and a real roller-coaster of a ride! On every page, there were surprises. There’s a rawness to the writing and an energy and the characters are so complex. The choices they make are logical to them but not predictable ever.

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From Bob Gillen. Author of Understanding digital Storytelling, Filmmaking Basics: how to find your creative voice, Apart, The Man at the Door.

Don’t miss this one. A truly dark story, rising up out of the deeps of urban Dublin. A woman lifts herself up from a sordid, soulless past to build a normal life in the light of day. But darkness follows her, waiting for its moment. A death forces her to face her dark realities again, to confront the pain she masked for years. Is redemption possible? The author does an excellent job creating a tight story. Lots of twists and reveals. Strong characters. An exciting read. Caroline Farrell is not afraid to reach down into the dark to pull it back up into the light.

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LADY BETH is available from the following outlets:

KENNY’S BOOKSHOP, GALWAY. With FREE Postage and Packing worldwide: HERE

ALAN HANNA’S BOOKSHOP, DUBLIN: HERE

O’MAHONY’S BOOKS, Limerick, Ennis and Tralee: HERE

LADY BETH is also available from AMAZON Stores Worldwide.

Signed copies are also available from this website HERE

Lady Beth: Free until Tuesday!

Lady Beth, the ebook, is FREE to read until Tuesday. And sure why not!

Check it out HERE

And all the good vibes HERE

 

Many, many thanks for your support.

Talking about writing: Featured Interview

Many thanks to author Wanda Dehaven Pyle for this feature interview on her blog.

https://wandadehavenpyle.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/interview-with-caroline-farrell/

Animation in Irish Short Film: Maynooth Film for All Short Film Programme 2016 – 2017

I was once again delighted to be asked to curate another short film programme for Maynooth Film for All [MFFA], a joint partnership between Kildare Library & Arts Service and the Department of Media Studies in Maynooth University. The film club is also affiliated with access>CINEMA.

Hosted by the University and generally held in the IONTAS Building on the first Wednesday of every month, the short film programme ran from October 2016 to May 2017. Each of the films I selected screened before the main feature. All were very well received and attendance figures were consistently good.

I decided to theme the programme around Animation in Irish Short Film, to further showcase some of the fantastic Irish talent that is out there, but also to take an opportunity to screen a wide variety of different themes and styles of filmmaking. Unfortunately, I couldn’t screen every film I viewed, which is a pity, but here are some of the best!

 

LOVE IS A STING

Struggling children’s book writer Harold Finch gains an unexpected house guest in the form of an ageing, hyper-intelligent mosquito named Anabel.

Written by Benjamin Cleary and directed by Vincent Gallagher.

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ANYA

ANYA is a five-minute animated film, charting twenty years in the life of a Russian orphan. It is a unique initiative with To Russia With Love to help raise funds for the charity. 

Written and directed by Damien O’Connor

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Morgan M. Morgensen’s Date with Destiny

Morgan M. Morgensen nervously survives his first date with the love of his life, Destiny.

Written by Sarah Daly. Directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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THE DUEL

Inspired by Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, the film was created and directed by Giant Animation as part of the Animation Hub, a work experience programme set up for students to work on live projects.

Directed by Alex Sherwood, Ben Harper and Sean Mullen

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DEADLY

The story of Boney, a working stiff who doesn’t care about his dead-end job. That is until, he has a run-in with a spirited old lady named Bridie…

Written and Directed by Aidan McAteer

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SECOND TO NONE

Frederick Butterfield has been second place his entire long life, but when his slightly older twin brother becomes the oldest person alive, Frederick sees an opportunity to finally take first place. ‘Second To None’ follows Frederick’s attempts to make it to number one.

Written and Directed by Vincent Gallagher

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CITY OF ROSES

One Halloween night a smouldering suitcase was pulled off a bonfire in Dublin and thus was saved a true story of love, loss and hope.

Written and Directed by Andrew Kavanagh

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My thanks to all of the featured filmmakers. Astoundingly talented, all of them! Also, big thanks to the enthusiastic audiences who came along to the screenings, and to Brenda Brady and Denis Condon for the continued facilitation of Maynooth Film For All.