My Books and Stories

writing hut illustrating article about books and storiesI have been writing stories since childhood; not just for school work but I also did it for fun. I was born and brought up in Liverpool, England, and lived there until my mid teens. My father was an Irish emigrant from Wicklow in Ireland and my mother was born in Liverpool.

I then moved to Wicklow with my parents in the late seventies. I now live in Galway on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. There is more about me here.

I used to teach creative writing and script-writing but these days I write five to six days a week, 10-12 hours a day in this little writing hut at the end of my garden, though when the Galway wind is howling I tend to prefer to stay in the house.


I do have a home office but I get itchy feet and so I move from place to place with my laptop. Sometimes I will work in a nearby hotel as I do need a change. I find when I do this I can jump-start my productivity.

I write for adults and children: fiction and non-fiction. I am currently working on a large children’s project which is a series of books set in an imaginary and magical town that exists in a secret location somewhere on the Wild Atlantic Way.

The series of stories is linked to a website filled with extra stories, character profiles, images, and lots of information about nature and wildlife. You can find this at www.ballyyahoo.com


I have also written film drama, television comedy, serious documentary, children’s and adults radio, children’s animation, fiction books and non-fiction magazines. I have also directed and produced film and television. So I guess you could say I like variety and you would be right.

Like most writers I have had my share of up and downs as well as some success. Seeing my work broadcast on television and screened at film festivals, winning Best Irish Drama Award for my short film, winning a New Writers Fiction prize for one of my short stories and being shortlisted for the Commonwealth New Writer’s Prize with my first novel – was a high point.


Coming back to earth I admit I have also had some rather unpleasant learning experiences – like being unable to find a publisher for a book that I literally poured out of my soul and on to the page, and of course all those other rejections too but why focus on them?  A writer’s journey is not a linear path and neither should it be if we are to learn and improve.

Although I have written in many forms I would hate to be pigeon-holed into any of these categories because I love writing so much.

In fact the only kind of writing I don’t enjoy is essay writing and luckily for me I am past the stage where I have to do that now.

I have recently published Practical Creative Writing Exercises, a non-fiction book packed full of easy exercises and writing prompts to help writers find the stories they want to write and help them get started on their writing journey.

My first novel Piggy Monk Square was shortlisted for the Commonwealth New Writers Award and optioned for film by Willy Russell. It was also adapted for radio as book of the week by Ireland’s RTE 1 when it first was published.

After the rights returned to me I republished Piggy Monk Square to Amazon and despite my lack of marketing skills it is doing well.

I am currently finishing another adult fiction thriller and as usual the last thirty pages takes me longer than the first two hundred. This has always been the case for me. Maybe it’s a fear of getting the ending wrong when I have different choices I don’t know.
I love sharing my writing experiences here on the site and hope it helps you. It has been wonderful to hear from other writers from around the globe.
If you have a writing experience, or some helpful tips, or even a writing problem that you would like to share I would love to hear from you.
So go on, say hello and please do let me know how you are getting on in the comments box below.

Bye for now.




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2 Responses to My Books and Stories

  1. helen harrison February 2, 2015 at 12:01 am #

    Grace, ( one of my favorite names , and one of my favorite songs),
    I have finally begun setting down in computer folders, the story of my husband’s grandmother and my great grandmother. This story and the characters, and situations have been rolling around in my head for about 15-20 yrs.
    I am not a trained writer, so I have no idea if what I am writing is good just a fantasy of mine.
    My question to you is , where do I get my writings read and commented on by someone who knows what they are talking about . (Everyone’s a critic.)
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thank you,

    • Grace February 3, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

      Hi Helen, nice to hear from you. Sorry it took so long to reply. My suggestion is to join a writing group. Spend a couple of sessions listening to them and judge for yourself how much weight you give to the criticism,(yes, everyone’s a critic) There are some great groups out there, but there are also some mutual admiration societies masquerading as writers groups. Flattery is a waste of your time and theirs. Also, don’t bother with groups of people who sneer, or mock to try and appear clever – they rarely are. Look for writers who can make constructive comments and suggestions which improve the work.A few of them in a group makes a group great.

      There are people who charge for reading but I wouldn’t advise paying at this stage. Get some experience, write regularly and you’ll soon know whether you are a writer or not.
      Go for it! Let me know how you get on.

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