Thursday, 13 May 2010

Cover Version

This morning I took delivery of a cover proof for the book. It's dead snazzy: the lettering's raised and everything. Proper classy, like. I'll have to stop wiping my nose on my sleeve before it's actually published or it'll ruin the whole illusion.

I think it's a great cover. Eagle-eyed readers of my other books will notice it's a total departure from my last few, but I think it's all the better for it. There had been talk of putting my stupid face on the cover; fortunately that hasn't happened. Someone must have realised that we want to sell some copies.

Now, the best bit about a proper cover proof is that you can bend it in such a way that it looks like an actual book and then swan around the flat with it being all la-di-da. I've never really been one to get that frisson other writers get when they hold a copy of their new book for the first time but, bizarrely, wafting a pretend one around has me donning the metaphorical jacket with leather elbow patches and sticking an imaginary pipe between my teeth.

So, all it needs now is around 100,000 words slotted between the covers and, hey presto, we're in business.

Ooh, incidentally, the Facebook page I set up on Tuesday dedicated to the book has already clattered through the hundred followers barrier (I'll pay for the damage). If you've not 'liked' it yet, you can 'like' it here. I'd like it if you 'liked' it. Like.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Our Man In Hibernia

In the summer of 2008 I emigrated to Ireland. ‘Emigrated’ is a strong word and sounds odd when applied to a mere decampment from London to Dublin, not least when Irish history is riddled with far more distant and traumatic emigrations than mine, but as the Leaving The United Kingdom forms I filed with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs confirmed (I thought briefly about enclosing a photo of my bare bottom and inviting them to pucker up), I’d left one country for another. I am that scourge of the right wing press: an immigrant.

Our Man In Hibernia follows my attempts to assimilate in Ireland, matching the image of the nation I’d gleaned through a couple of dozen London St Patrick’s Days, countless theme pubs and a low-wattage career as a musician on the UK Irish music circuit with the reality of living here. A kind of Driving Over Potatoes, if you like, only with worse jokes.

As well as chugging around the country getting into scrapes and making the usual fool of myself (although I should stress that at no stage did I ever take a fridge with me) I also set about tracing my hitherto unexplored Irish roots. What I found was an essentially Irish story and one that surprised me; shocked me even. It was a story that gave me an idea as to why despite being born and raised in London I’ve always felt drawn to the western side of the Irish Sea and why I am glad that Ireland is my home.

The book will be published by Little, Brown in September this year. This blog accompanies the book: with its regular updates and dispatches from this sleek suite of offices full of nubile and sexy young things, or something, it’s the internet equivalent of pressing the red button on your remote control.

About the author

Charlie Connelly is a bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster. He is the author of nine books including Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round The Shipping Forecast, And Did Those Feet: Walking Through 2000 Years of British and Irish History, In Search Of Elvis: A Journey To Find The Man Beneath The Jumpsuit and the forthcoming Our Man In Hibernia: Ireland, The Irish and Me.

His books have been selected as BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week on two occasions while Attention All Shipping was voted the second greatest audiobook of all time in a Guardian/Waterstones public poll. Audio versions of his books have been narrated by Martin Freeman and Julian Rhind-Tutt.

Before moving to Ireland in 2008 he was a presenter on the prime-time BBC television Holiday programme and co-presented the first three series of the popular BBC Radio 4 series Traveller’s Tree. He is a regular contributor to Radio 4’s Excess Baggage and in 2008 conceived, wrote and presented a documentary about Noel Coward’s poetry for the same station.

A popular public speaker Charlie has lectured at the Royal Geographical Society in London and sold out events at the Edinburgh Festival and Glasgow Concert Hall.

He has written for a number of newspapers and publications including The Irish Times, The Guardian, The Times, Irish Examiner, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Business Post and the Financial Times.

Born and raised in south-east London, he lives in Dublin with a large collection of ukuleles while pining for Charlton Athletic.