I was delighted to be invited to a book launch the other evening. Hosted and published by Liberties Press. It proved to be a great evening. Do I tire of book launches. The answer is no. I love literature, in all shapes and sizes. I live fiction, fact, fantasy, autobiographical, history, comedy. I don't bore of books. If you really love something, like your husband you don't bore of it. Frankie Gaffney is not my husband. Well for one I'm too old. For two I'm not interested in love. For three, well their isnt a three. I have taken a six month part time break. That is I decreased my workload. My hair is growing back. I have gained weight. I'm not crying from exhaustion. Submitting the final draft of a book is excruciating. Mentally, physically, emotionally there is no escape.
So what about Frankie Gaffney's new book, its of the fictional variety. Hes from the Hood. Well what we would call the Hood in the States, the United States of America. Its where real life takes place. Well everywhere is real life. But Dublin, inner city, its normality. Its what we are used to. Electricity bills, shopping, school books, dinner, Eastenders, the pub, hair, nails the crack with the family about who robbed whose clothes.
I guess in some areas something else creeps in. Not everyone wants to go to school. What do we do with our kids if they really dont want to go to school. Do we say do an ECDL computer course. Do a sewing course. Drive a bin van. I dated a bin man once. I lived in blanchardstown.
Good pay, reliable wage. Food on the table every week, bits left over for nintendos, TVs all coming up to Christmas. So me and the kids had a good life provided by a bin mans wage. He was sexy he was cool. He used to take us to cool places. Places where he used to the drive the bin van.
"U2, Bono, lives up there"
"Their all in IT, computers up that side"
"Thats the one from RTE up there"
It was a posh bin run. But we had a bloody good Christmas. We had good clothes, we went to cool concerts, there was always petrol in the car and fruit on the table. It was a good life. These are the lives which arise from these estates. The estates we all come from. What did I take away from Frankie Gaffney's book, Dublin 7. Like in any section of society, things can go wrong. The Fast Lane, Cocaine, living it up in the city, getting it on with the girls. Some people just go missing. We never find out what happened. Lots of hushed whispers.
"Era he was only around for a cup of tea, slice of cake, a few biscuits"
No, that was not why the sergeant from the special branch was around. 101 things float into minds. Sometimes a life is destroyed by careless whispers. The whispers of the ignorant. Its fast its furious. Their is lots of dirty sex. I'm not reading the sex scenes. I write sex scenes but their not my own. So I'm not sure I want to read Frankie Gaffneys sex scenes, what if their his own or mixed with someone else, fantasy, fiction. I'll skip that bit. It was nice to meet him. He was so delighted. He took himself and his experiences and produced a damn good book.
He just finds it, the bag of tables. His mind swirls and stumbles, their is so much, what are the drug for. Has he become a big coke dealer, out of his depth, Shane. How the hell are they all going to get out of this one. Its trainspotting meets love/Hate. Fast furious, highly well written. A dialect of inner city tone. A man with intelligence, at home in D7. Congratulations. I hope you do very well. I am going to read it. But I going to skip the sex scenes. I still get embarrassed. Even though I write so many of them myself. But its not me in them.
Available now from Liberties Press
Hodges and Figgis, Dawson Street, Dublin
In all Major Bookstores Nationwide
Sometimes I go on holidays. Sometimes I watch TV. Sometimes I get my hair and my nails done. Sometimes I go to the swimming pool. Everybody can do that. That is if they chose too. I like to keep my writing light. We have to face things. Sometimes I cant face it. Bringing it up over and over again. Just when the pain is fixed, they come back.
"Your not human"
"You are a dog"
"Your DNA is different"
Once upon a time I went on holidays to Washington DC. I visited the Holocaust Museum. I received an identity card. It was quite similar to the ones given to the Jews as they stepped off the train in Auschwitz. We are shown, the experiments, the torture, the humiliation, the degradation of a human being, massacre, genocide, and more.
We are shown how a man with a family, a doctor goes from being a proud upstanding member of the community to being what they believe is a dog.
"Your DNA is different"
"Your DNA is contaminated"
"You are an alien"
"You are from a different planet"
"You have no right to work"
"To have a child"
"To get your hair or your nails done"
"You are an animal"
"Repeat after me"
"I am a dog, I have an owner"
"You are not entitled to a car"
"To a bank account"
I cant talk about the rest. We should stop this from happening in society.
By doing this we must look to the past, which leads me onto my next book.
Of course it is from my fantastic American Publishers, America Star Publishing. I didnt have a star. I dont know what it is to be in a concentration camp. But then again the Jews did not know the trains, sweaty and sticky filled with fear was bringing them to concentration camps. We must stop this from happening. We must look to the past. It starts with this. Then it leads to your religion, your colour, five generations back, three cousins removed, their religion, he looks like one, she kissed one, before you know it, millions are massacred. Then the jets fly over. 20 years later their on the run, but they still believe in their minds, the ethnic cleansers what they did was right. They were wrong. They must be brought to justice and not hidden. We must look to the past to stop these massacres from happening again. Because half way through if it happens again, we dont realise were in one. Heres my next book. Look to it, read it, so things like this never happen again. If your in the states visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. Even husbands put their own wives to death, children, that was during the Nazi era. We never want to go back to that.
Ámame o déjame - Mónica Naranjo - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdZ74DbH8vA
Fall in love with Spain, fall in love with Spanish. I have.
"Who do ye think ye are"
"This is Ireland"
Now its my turn, I'm Irish. My kids are Irish, the illustrator is Irish.
Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole, woohooooo.
We lost the run of ourselves. We got carried away. The noble peace prize in Literature. It wasnt our turn this year. Most likely the kids would never have went to school again.
"Ah jaysus, Tayto, Into the West"
"We won, we won"
It wasnt our time. But we are all so honoured to be nominated. Delighted with the nomination. The experience of the Noble Peace Prize. I'm still going over why we lost.
Was it when I compared it to the Eurovision. Was it when I said, I'd get a gorgeous dress, just like the oscars. Was it the way I'm go off on tangents, Im not serious enough. I dunno. All I know is we got lost the run of ourselves.