The Space Between | Writing Update

Hello, it’s been a while!

If you’ve been around a little while you may have seen me mention a project called Mouse. Mouse was a verse novel I started working on around this time last year when my agoraphobia and depression were at their worst. Well, we’re now only 25 days away from the official publication day of Mouse, now called The Space Between!

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It’s been months but I still can’t quite believe it’s being published, especially by a publisher I adore so much. Little Island Books were my very first choice, my dream publisher, so even the fact that they liked my manuscript still baffles me!

I filled this book with everything that I had. It got me through being housebound with agoraphobia, anxiety and depression. It gave me somewhere to go when I disassociated. It gave me the words to open up to the people in my life about what was happening. Writing this story, Beth’s story, helped me work my way through my own and I am so, so proud of it.

It is also very gay, which makes me very happy.

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I’m so excited, so nervous and so happy that my little book baby will be out in the world soon.

If you’d like to pre-order The Space Between you can do so here or here.

If you want to add it on goodreads, here you go!

Meg

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What I’ve Been Reading | Week 9

Quick, everyone pretend it’s Monday!

Here’s what I read last week, it’s a mixed bag but overall I had a pretty good reading week. I may have even found a new favourite, ooh mysterious…

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Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers

I kicked off my month of Irish reading with a quick illustrated kids book, Imaginary Fred. I’m a recent Eoin Colfer convert having just fallen in love with Artemis Fowl (more on that in a min!) and have always had a deep, deep love for Oliver Jeffers.

Fun fact: Ci and I met him a few years ago and he doodled me a moose, it was an excellent moose.

Pretty much everything about this book had me hugging it to my chest and all but cooing over it. It’s beautiful, a wonderful story with a great message and just so much fun.

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Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin

Artemis Fowl was super popular when I was a kid. People in my school read and raved about it, it was always waiting on the shelf on my weekly thursday trip to the library and I knew it was about fairies. So even now I’m still confused as to why the heck I never read the series.

It’s by Irish author (and Laureate na nOg!) extraordinaire Eoin Colfer and set largely in Ireland so it seemed like the perfect addition to my March TBR. I was hyped, confident I would love it and more than ready to jump into Artemis’ world when the deal got even sweeter: I found out that the books have been adapted into graphic novels. If you’ve been reading my blog or subbed to my youtube for a while you’ll probably know I love graphic novels. They’re my favourite things to read and collect and I could ramble about them forever. So of course I immediately dove into the first graphic novel and adored it. It’s fun but never patronising, balances the light-hearted and heart-shattering aspects perfectly and features some gorgeous art and colours. And fairies.

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One by Sarah Crossan

One is written in free verse which has a special place in my heart and on my shelves. I love reading and writing free verse and novels written in that style almost always have an emotional and creative impact on me. But One took it a whole new level.

Grace and Tippi are teenage conjoined twins who are starting public school for the first time and have some big decisions to make. The story is told from Grace’s perspective and her voice is so clear and distinctive that it reads like a conversation with a friend. The book deals with tough family life, terminal illnesses, eating disorders and addiction as well as the difficulty of navigating a crush,the importance of friendship and how people can often be more than they first seem. I laughed, cried (a lot) and felt completely changed by the last page.

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The only non-Irish book I’ve read so far this month was Fangirl, I started it at the end of February and didn’t finish before March 1st.

I have mixed feelings about Fangirl. On one hand it is incredibly relatable, Cath is starting college and her anxiety is definitely getting in the way. All she really wants to do is write Simon Snow fanfic (and her thousands of fans agree) but life has lots to chuck at her.

The book handled mental health relatively well, although I much preferred and was much more invested in another character’s journey as Cath’s mostly faded away after a few chapters. The fanfic sprinkled between chapters was wonderful, so much fun to read that eventually I mostly looked forward to the end of chapters so I could check in on Simon and Baz.

I was sometimes uncomfortable with how much the book relied on a love of Harry Potter (and really bothered by the mention of Harry Potter…why??) and used the nostalgia and love we already have instead of creating it’s own emotional impact. Basically, I finished Fangirl and immediately watched Harry Potter and had a cry about how much of my heart is in Hogwarts. So while Fangirl did illicit an emotional response, it had very little do with the book itself and everything to do with the dredging up of old Potterhead tendencies. Not that I mind, Potterhead for life.

 

What have you been reading?

Meg

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What I’ve Been Reading | Week 8

Hello everyone! Welcome back to my weekly reading wrap up which I’ve now officially moved to Mondays. This week was a small one book-wise but I did face, battle and defeat the dreaded flu so I’m letting myself off easy!

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The Year I Met You by Cecelia Ahern

Jasmine’s life revolves around her job and her sister so when she finds herself jobless and stuck on garden leave for a year she doesn’t know what to do with herself.

The Year I Met You has a really interesting narrative style and genuinely compelling characters. I loved the focus and deep study of so many different relationships within one life and the profound differences in the impact they each make. As always Cecelia Ahern’s writing is fluid and beautiful and her characters so layered they feel remarkably real.

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Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour

Emi is finally finishing high high school and can focus on doing what she loves, set design for films. She’s talented, driven and has been given her brother’s apartment for the summer so long as she fulfils his one request: she must do something epic.

I literally just finished Everything Leads To You five minutes ago and I’ve already been struck down by every bookworm’s nemesis, the book hang-over. I adored every page, every character, every twist, every detail of this book and wish there were a thousand more pages. It was one of the first times I’ve ever read a YA book about a lesbian character that wasn’t doom, gloom and oh wow doesn’t coming out suck. Emi’s sexuality is handled perfectly and for the first time I could read about someone like me without feeling too aware of how we’re different. As a total lover of contemporary fiction I’ve always wanted a book that I could fully delve into without the awkward disconnect of ‘yes I’m sure he is dreamy but I just don’t care‘.

Emi’s relationships feel real, her passion almost tangible and her flaws realistic and relate-able. She’s talented but not perfect, gifted but still learning. The book handles tough themes with care and a soft touch, it’s never harsh or too painful but always resonates. It discusses privilege, race and class seamlessly.  I could go on and on forever but I’d hate to spoil it so I’ll leave it at this: this is one of my favourite books I’ve ever read.

What have you been reading? Let me know!

Meg

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