@OrlaMcAWrites Orla McAlinden #WritersWise on 20th Sept talks Swapping Genres Successfully. 9-10pm GMT. #TheFlightoftheWren.

20th Sept 9-10pm GMT. 

Topic: Swapping genres successfully from book to book.

T1: Do you have a favorite author who frequently swaps genre?

T2: Have you ever picked up a book by an author, whose work you know well, and been disappointed by an unexpected genre-switch?

T3: Have you ever decided not to read a book based on genre-specific cover art? Why? Did you ever change your mind, give it a try, and then love the book?

T4: Do you think prolific, genre-swapping writers should use pseudonyms or slightly different names/initals etc to distinguish their different types of books?

T5 : Do you think it’s more sensible to write what your established audience knows and enjoys, or to write the story that your heart desires to tell?


Orla McAlinden is a Pushcart Prize nominee, the Cecil Day Lewis emerging writer 2016, the winner of the BGEIBA Irish Short Story of the Year 2016 award, and other awards. Her debut collection The Accidental Wife won the 2014 Eludia Award from Sowilo Press in Philadelphia, and was published in July 2016.

Orla’s debut novel The Flight of the Wren and a second story collection Full of Grace will be published by Mentor Press, Dublin in Sep 2018 and January 2019 respectively.

 The Flight of the Wren

Ireland, 1848. Orphaned Sally Mahon has a choice to make. Lie down and die on the graves of her parents, or join the throngs of the dispossessed on the highways of Ireland. She turns her steps to the nearby town of Newbridge in Kildare, where she will carve a future for herself or die trying.

Tasmania, 1919. Spanish Flu sweeps through Hobart, travelling across the oceans with the soldiers returning from the war in Europe. Saoirse Gordon sits by her Grandmother’s sickbed. As the old woman cries out in her delirium, will the secrets Saoirse learns bring her peace, or destroy her forever? Have her Grandmother, her great-aunt and her mother been lying to her all her life? Saoirse races against time, and her grandmother’s illness, to unravel the secrets of her family.

Inspired by true events, the tales of real Irish women and girls weave throughout this poignant blend of fact and fiction. The Flight of the Wren explores the impact of the Irish famine of 1845-1849 on the women of Ireland. Acts of desperation, betrayal, courage and love illuminate this dark chapter of Ireland’s history in a complex and beautiful novel. Winner of the Cecil Day Lewis award 2016 and joint winner of the Greenbean Novel Fair 2016 at the Irish Writers Centre.

The Flight of the Wren purchase link here.

Our next #Writerswise tweet-chat is on Oct 11th with Sarah Webb. Children’s and YA author. @sarahwebbishere.



Writing sensitive, emotive topics in fiction with Jennie Ensor 13th Sept 9-10pm GMT.

Topic; Writing about difficult and emotive topics in fiction. 13th September 9-10pm.

Transcript of chat here.

Introductions and hullos. DON’T forget to use #WritersWise on ALL TWEETS for the hour.

T1. Do you ever read or write fiction with emotive, challenging and sensitive subject matter? (eg self harm, suicide, drug abuse, child abuse, sexual violence) Why? Why not?

T2. What are the essentials for writers to think of when tackling such challenging and sensitive topics?

T3. If the topics are personal to the writer, what might be the pitfalls?

T4. What books/authors do you feel cover difficult topics well? How do they achieve this?

Closing thoughts. 


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A Londoner with Irish heritage, Jennie Ensor began her writing career as a journalist, obtaining a Masters in Journalism (winning two student awards) and covering topics from forced marriages to mining accidents. She isn’t afraid to tackle controversial issues in her novels, either – Islamic terrorism, Russian gangsters and war crimes in her debut Blind Side (Unbound, 2016); child abuse and sexual exploitation in her latest book THE GIRL IN HIS EYES, a dark psychological family drama to be published by Bloodhound Books on 18 September 2018.

Jennie Ensor’s short story ‘The Gift’ was placed in the Top 40 of the Words and Women national prose competition; her poetry has appeared in many publications, most recently Ink Sweat and Tears. In her spare time, Ms Ensor cycles, sings in a chamber choir and dreams of setting off on a long trip with her Kindle.

Author Links

Author website & blog: https://jennieensor.com

Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JennieEnsorAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jennie_Ensor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennieensor/

Jennie Ensorwww.jennieensor.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JennieEnsorAuthor
Twitter: @jennie_ensor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennieensor/

Forthcoming book THE GIRL IN HIS EYES out 18 September 2108, published by Bloodhound Books

BLIND SIDE (Unbound, 2016)
Paperback edition available from your local bookshop (UK only), including Waterstones and independent booksellers

Amazon (paperback & e-book): https://geni.us/bldsd


Our next #Writerswise is on Thursday 20th with Orla McAlinden on Genre Hopping Successfully. 


Writing Compelling Characters with Maria Hoey, Thurs 6th Sept 9pm GMT.


Topic for 6th September is, ‘How to write compelling characters.’

Format for the chat from 9-10pm GMT;

Introductions and hullos. 

T1 What is a compelling character?

T2 How can a writer create flawed but sympathetic characters?

T3 How can we keep our characters compelling throughout the course of the story?

T4 Is it possible to hate the main character in a book but still not be able to put it down?

Closing thoughts. 

Radio Interview with Maria Hoey.

Maria’s books are below.

Our guest-host is Maria Hoey, author of On Bone Bridge and The Lost Girl. Maria Hoey has been writing since she was eight years old. Her poetry has appeared in Ireland’s foremost poetry publication, Poetry Ireland, and her poems and short stories have also appeared in various magazines. In 1999, Maria won first prize in the Swords Festival Short Story Competition. In 2010, she was runner-up in the Mslexia International Short Story Competition and was also shortlisted for the Michael McLaverty Short Story Award. Her debut novel, The Last Lost Girl, was published in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Annie McHale Debut Novel Award 2017 and the Kate O’Brien Award 2018. On Bone Bridge being published in July 2018. Maria was raised in Swords, County Dublin, and has one daughter, Rebecca. She lives in Portmarnock with her husband Dr Garrett O’Boyle.

Our next #WritersWise chat is on Thursday 13th Sept with Jenni Ensor on Writing Fiction on difficult and sensitive topics. 



Aspects Festival talks Literary Festivals Programmes on 30th August 9-10pm GMT.

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Transcript of the tweet-chat HERE

Aspects Festival website and details for 2018 events.

Chat on 30th August will be with programme and festival director Patricia Hamilton. 

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Topic – Programmes for Literary Festivals. 

T1. What literary festivals do you like to attend? Hope to attend?

T2. What events do you/would you like to see at literary festivals?

T3. Do you speak at events and how do you get involved? 

T4. What are the advantages of attending festivals and events?

T5. Share the links to your writing events with us and pls RT Aspects website and details too. Thank you. 

Closing thoughts. 

The next #Writerswise will be with Maria Hoey on Writing Compelling Characters on 6th Sept.



Vivian Conroy back with us Talking Surviving being published & beyond.’ 9th August. 9-10pm GMT.

@Vivwrites. Vivian Conroy will celebrate the release of her new book with us.

Here is the transcript of the chat – Surviving Publishing and Beyond.

The Butterfly Conspiracy.  Her 10th book!!!! YES 10th. 

The Butterfly Conspiracy

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Perfect for fans of Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell mysteries comes the enchanting series debut from Vivian Conroy, The Butterfly Conspiracy.

In late Victorian times, when new inventions cause both excitement and terror, a mysterious death at a zoological lecture brings together two unlikely allies in a quest through London’s upper crust and underbelly to unravel the ingenious murder method and killer behind it.

Miss Merula Merriweather is not like other women her age: instead of hunting for a husband at balls and soirees she spends her time in a conservatory hatching exotic creatures. As the Royal Zoological Society won’t accept a woman’s accomplishments, she has her uncle Rupert take credit for her achievements. But at a zoological lecture, the guest of honor dies after contact with one of Merula’s butterflies, and Merula’s uncle is arrested for murder.

In an attempt to safeguard evidence to prove his innocence, Merula almost gets killed but for the timely interference of enigmatic Lord Raven Royston. Viewing natural history as a last resort to regain respectability lost by too many dubious business investments, Raven didn’t expect his first lecture to take a murderous turn. Feeling partially responsible because he encouraged Merula to release the gigantic butterfly from the glass case in which it was kept, Raven suggests they solve the puzzle of Lady Sophia’s sudden death together by looking closer at her relations with estranged friends, long suffering staff and the man groomed to be her heir, so close to her money and yet unable to touch any of it.

With the police looking for them, and every new discovery raising more questions than answers, especially about the murder method which left no traces of foul play on the body, Merula will have to risk her own life to get at the truth and save her uncle from the gallows in The Butterfly Conspiracy, Vivian Conroy’s enchanting series debut.


We are taking the topic ‘Surviving being published and beyond.’

T1. How do you know what idea to run with?

T2. Who do you listen to?

T3. Where can you find opportunities?

T4. How do you celebrate milestones?

T5. What makes publishing nerves easier and how to survive the stress?

Closing Thoughts. Next #WritersWise coming soon. 


Viv has planned her responses in this lovely graphic. 

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Bernie McGill talks ‘Historical fiction and short story writing.’ Thurs 28th June.

Topic is; Historical fiction and short story writing.
introductions and hullos.
T1 Do you write short stories or longer fiction? Both? Why?
T2. Tips for writing short stories? Have we any?
T3 What draws you to historical fiction?
T4 What draws you to a particular location?
T5 What are you working on now?
CT – Closing thoughts.
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Guest-host is Bernie McGill.

Bernie McGill is the author of Sleepwalkers, a collection of stories short-listed in 2014 for the Edge Hill short story prize, and of The Butterfly Cabinet (named in 2012 by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes as his novel of the year). Her latest novel, The Watch House, is set on Rathlin Island in 1898 at the time of the Marconi wireless experiments. She has been published in the UK, the US and in translation in Italy and the Netherlands. Her work has been placed in the Seán Ó Faoláin, the Bridport, and the Michael McLaverty short story prizes and she won the Zoetrope: All-Story award in the US in 2008. Her short fiction has appeared in acclaimed anthologies The Long Gaze Back, The Glass Shore and Female Lines, all by New Island Books, and for the theatre she has written The Haunting of Helena Blunden and The Weather Watchers. She works as a Creative Writing facilitator, as a Writer in Schools with Poetry Ireland, and as a Professional Mentor with the Irish Writers’ Centre. In September 2018 she takes up a Fellowship with the Royal Literary Fund at Queen’s University, Belfast.



Evie Gaughan talks ‘Being a Hybrid Author.’ 21st June 9-10pm.

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Transcript of Evie’s chat on Being a Hybrid author here.

Evie Gaughan is a novelist and lives in the medieval city of Galway, on the West Coast of Ireland. Her books are an eclectic mix of genres, incorporating her love of history, folklore and finding magic in the everyday. She graduated from the Universite de Paul Sabatier, Toulouse with a marketing diploma in 1996 and spent the next few years working abroad and discovering that she didn’t like marketing one bit. Evie abandoned the corporate world to follow her dream of becoming a writer and an artist. Since then, she has written two novels, The Heirloom and The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris, and contributes articles to The Irish Times and Women Writers, Women’s Books.

Her third novel, The Story Collector, was published by Urbane this month (June 18).


Topic for the chat is – Being a Hybrid Author. 

Introductions and hullos. 9pm. Questions are posted at intervals until Closing thoughts at 10pm.

T1. What is a hybrid author?

T2. Benefits of self-publishing?

T3. Benefits of traditional publishing?

T4. Who can become a hybrid?

Closing thoughts.

Next #WritersWise in on 28th June with Bernie McGill on literary fiction.