I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks, for a couple of reasons I’ve been quite busy writing and doing the advertising and promotion side of things. I was also trying to make progress on the first draft of the fourth book. There is lots of editing and redrafting ahead. Including new drafts of the other books to get them ready for publishing.
When will the second book be out? A good question, and the honest truth is I don’t know. I have meetings set up with the publisher in the next couple of weeks to discuss this.
The sales and reception of Under The Bridge have been good. It has been well reviewed, and has seen reasonable media coverage both here, in Ireland, and a tiny bit in the USA. Hopefully there will be a bit more on the way in the USA. I would like to find publishers in both Ireland and the USA too, but step by step for now. So fingers crossed and whatever happens I will post the news here first.
Just over a week ago I did the Liverpool Writing on The Wall Festival, John Maguire from Liverpool Writes and Arts Groupie was the interviewer. Everything was set up and ready to go, I had been having some problems with my laptop, there’s this weird thing where the battery runs down while the charger is in, so its not charging properly. On this day everything seemed ok. We were online early for a chat with the organisers checking the setup and everything seemed fine, sound test ok, picture quality good, we go live in 1 minute.
The audience is waiting. Wife and kids in the next room on another laptop (with no camera) waiting to see me live. No time for last minute nerves.
My laptop flashes ‘Low Battery’. Shit…. I check. 2% battery life left. This is catastrophic……. There is one possible trick, if I can click to release the battery and slide it out there is a 50/50 chance the mains AC supply will takeover without interrupting the power supply.
Amy from Wowfest says “One minute to going live.”
I click to release the battery, shit or bust, and ………..black screen, the power is off..
Panicking I put the battery back in turn the laptop on, then have the worst case ever of ‘a watched kettle never boils’ as the Microsoft circle thing goes round and round – for ever.
Eventually I’m back in. Time to try the battery trick again- this time the 50/50 is in my favour the battery is out but the laptop is working fine.
I go to google mail to find the link, and I hate the way google mail is organised, not logically by date, but some super clever association that groups emails from the same person together but means I can never find anything. I’m panicking, hands shaking as I search for the zoom link. Then a moment of realisation and quickly send an email asking the organisers to send a new link. Which they do, and I get online.
I went live about 5minutes late and conducted the interview. John did a great job of asking the questions, and hopefully apart from a five minute delay, giving the people at Wowfest and my agent Clare a heart attack, no one noticed. Underneath the calm exterior my blood pressure was through the roof, my heart was pounding, and it took a while for my hands to stop shaking.
The second reason for not posting, is just the weight of the news, first we had the report into the Ballymurphy killings, for which no one has ever faced trial. Later the same week Phil Scraton a leading campaigner for Justice for the Hillsborough families and victims, addressed a Wowfest21 event spelling out the extent of the coverup. Then as if on cue, a judge drops the final criminal conviction case against two coppers. Sometimes there seems little point in anything we write or say, but we have to keep going.
One of the reasons for writing Under The Bridge was to show that we as people have been through, similar times before, no contracts, no sick pay, no rights, and we came out of it with the eight hour day, equal pay act, Health and Safety at work act, because of the fights of our parents generation. That fighting spirit is needed again, and one thing is for sure it won’t come from people like Cummings who were up to their necks in it just weeks ago. Writing, talking, organising are the only things we have, so if you can offer your support, get involved wherever and whenever you can.
My blog is here https://jackbyrne.home.blog/
You can buy Under The Bridge here
Kindle – http://ow.ly/rL4T50CNBKg
Ebook – http://ow.ly/atft50CNBKe
Paperback – http://ow.ly/F0Wd50CNBKf
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