By Brian Moore and Kieran O’Mahony
TWO West Cork writers, one from Coppeen, the other from Macroom, have both just published their debut fiction novels.
Young author Naomi Kelly (24) will see her first offering Trial by Obsidian sitting alongside Lightning Nerve by 16-year-old Coppeen writer Theresa Galvin, in their local bookshop, Fitz-Gerald’s in Macroom.
Naomi says a day without writing is a wasted one.
‘This is my first novel and I am delighted that I am launching it in my home town,’ said 24-year-old Naomi.
‘I starting writing seriously when I was in secondary school,’ said Naomi, who works in a body care shop in the city.
‘I was a big fan of the Twilight series and the Hunger Games books, and I began by writing small stories based on these books. I also began writing poetry and have written short plays for the Briery Gap.’
Trial by Obsidian, which is packed with myths, legends and magic, began as a short story.
‘I started to write the short story, which was supposed to be 4,000 words,’ Naomi said.
‘However, when I got to 50,000 words, I thought I’d better keep going. Then a year-and-a-half later, after writing, editing, a first reading, more writing and editing, there it was, ready to go.’
It tells the story of a young woman, Juniper, who comes from a family of magicians.
‘It’s the story of her quest to save her brother and collect crystals – with romance and adventure in equal amounts,’ Naomi said.
Not only did Naomi write the novel, she also designed the book cover and set about publishing it with the help of Amazon for the traditional paperback, and also an e-book with Kindle.
‘I wanted to go down the self-publishing route because I felt it was important to get my book out there and I got a lot of help and encouragement from friends and family,’ she said.
The book has already received a lot of pre-orders on Amazon and now, with it available locally as well, she’s hopeful of a good response.
The official launch will take place at Fitz-Gerald’s on Saturday September 28th at 3pm.
Meanwhile, a 16-year-old from Coppeen has succeeded in getting her first book published by a prestigious London-based publisher.
It’s every writer’s dream to get published, but now it’s a reality for Transition Year student Theresa Galvin, whose debut novel Lightning Nerve has been published by Austin Macauley Publishers.
Inspired by her love of geography, Theresa has been writing her novel on and off since she started first year at St Mary’s Secondary School in Macroom.
She based the story on the McGillycuddy Reeks and worked away quietly on it.
‘I finished it in second year and then I thought I might as well try and get it published. I knew that it’s very hard to get unsolicited manuscripts to publishers, but I googled Austin Macauley Publishers and posted it off to them,’ Theresa told The Southern Star.
‘I only told my mum and dad about the book when I sent it off, as they had no idea I had been working on it. The people at Austin Macauley seemed really happy with it and they didn’t know my age at the start, so they were really surprised to hear I’m 16.’
A spokesperson for Austin Macauley’s said that Theresa’s work drew them in because it features a strong female lead in the main character, Zara.
‘While powerful, she has very human traits that the reader is able to relate to,’ they added.
‘Lightning Nerve is an intricate fantasy, with dark elements and much-loved tropes of the genre. Full of mystery and intrigue, this is a piece that stayed with our editors long after the last page. We are positive that she has a bright future ahead as a published author and we are very proud to be part of her journey.’
Theresa said the recent launch of her book at The Auld Triangle in Macroom was a great experience.
‘All my family and friends were there and we had speeches as well as music, and the book was launched by my English teachers, European kickboxing gold medal champion Lily de la Cour, and Jennifer Murnane.’
As well as being a talented writer, Theresa is also an accomplished fiddle player, Irish dancer and a member of Comhaltas Baile Núis.
She even found herself performing with the group at Disneyland Paris earlier this year.
Not one to rest her pen, Theresa said she has an idea for a second book and is currently working on it.
Lightning Nerve is currently on release and is available from all good bookshops, including Fitz-Gerald’s in Macroom.