Lucy Caldwell Interviews Me on Child Narrators

Lucy Caldwell and Paul McVeigh discuss The Good Son

You can take the child out of Belfast:

two writers explore the challenges and rewards of using a child narrator

I was delighted to find this interview with Lucy Caldwell in The Irish Times which I’d forgotten about. I hope you enjoy it.

Lucy recently commissioned me as part of a new Faber anthology on Irish writing ‘Being Various’. I read the story for the first time at the International Conference on the Short Story in Lisbon. Look out for that next year.

Cork World Book Festival

Buy Here

Winner of The Polari Prize & The McCrea Literary Award
“I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more. ”
Bailey’s Prize-winner Lisa McInerney
“A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.”
Donal Ryan

Profile in the Irish Examiner

I found this profile I’d missed somehow by Sue Leonard in the Irish Examiner… and her view on The Good Son.

Tragic yet funny; sad yet redemptive; this sometimes hilarious novel encapsulates childhood in times of violence. Mickey will steal your heart.’

Cork World Book Festival

The Good Son – buy here

Winner of The Polari Prize & The McCrea Literary Award
“I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more. ”
Bailey’s Prize-winner Lisa McInerney
“A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.”
Donal Ryan

Writers in Conversation, Southampton

Writers in Conversation

Free Event!

I’ll be the Writer in Conversation filling the very large shoes of writers like Helen MacDonald and Jennifer Egan. It takes place in Southampton on Feb 19th. Know anyone in those parts? Please share.

You can check out the Facebook events page here.

Date & Time: Monday, February 19 at 7 PM – 9 PM

Venue: John Hansard Gallery, Gallery, Studio 144, 142-144 Above Bar Street, SO14

The Good Son 3rd Editon

Buy Here

Winner of The Polari Prize
“Pungently funny and shot through with streaks of aching sadness.” Patrick Gale
“I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more.” Lisa McInerney
“Funny, raw and endlessly entertaining.” Johnathan Coe

Appearing at Irish Embassy Kuala Lumpur

The Irish Ambassador to Malaysia is holding a special night at the Irish Embassy in Kuala Lumpur in my honour on November 30th. I’m so honoured.

I will read from my novel, The Good Son, followed by a Q&A. There will be music in between and a party after.

Thanks to Cat Brogan for all her help in organising this.

Thanks to Culture Ireland and Arts Council of NI for their generous support.

 

 

 

 

George Town Literary Festival Nov 24-26

I’ll be attending the George Town Literary Festival in Penang, Malaysia, 24/25/26. You can read about it The Malaysian Insight.

GTLFest

My first event is;

Conversations: The Monsters Within: Man versus Man

Speakers: Kosal Khiev, Paul McVeigh, Nisha Ayub

Moderator: Danton Remoto

Writing and talking about violence is painful but necessary. How do we deal with real violence and how do we deal with fictive violence? How do writers and activists resist and confront violence in themselves, their lives and their work? Here, we listen to three remarkable individuals who have overcome violence in their lives and have used the transformative forms of writing, poetry and activism to shape their stories and to help inspire others to tell their own.

Date: Saturday, 25 Nov at 11.15am12.15

Venue: Earth, Wisma UAB

 

My second event is a little unusual as it’s poetry – I’ve chosen the work of 3 Northern Irish poets to read Stephanie Conn, Padraig Regan & Stephen Sexton.

 

Poetry Marathon

Poets: A. Samad Said, Al-Mustaqeem M. Radhi, Takako Arai, Jérôme Bouchaud, Maung Day, Jelena Dinic, Ulrike Draesner, Kosal Khiev, Gerður Kristný, Lynne Lawner, Kirsty Logan, M. Aan Mansyur, Paul McVeigh, Laksmi Pamuntjak, Rahmat Haron, James Shea, Darryl Whetter and Gündüz Vassaf

A non-stop performance by festival poets, translators and their work. A celebration of poets, poetry and the world.

Date: Saturday, 25 Nov 12.30pm–2.00pm

Venue: Earth, Wisma UAB

 

My third and final event is;

When Immortals Walked Among Us

Speakers: Gerður Kristný, Paul McVeigh, Arshia Sattar, Zen Cho

Moderator: Jason Erik Lundberg

There are many commonalities in the world’s mythologies and cosmologies. Greek legends, Norse and Celtic sagas, and Hindu epics all had gods and goddesses who were anthropomorphic and therefore resistant to Joseph Campbell’s argument – ‘that the secret cause of all suffering is mortality itself, which is the prime condition of life.’ Did the immortals deny humans the right to live uninterrupted, guilt-free lives? What is the notion of ‘god’ and its mythos in literature? We examine some of our most enduring myths, the power they still wield in our everyday lives and narratives, and how these stories have evolved from then until now.

Date: Sunday, November 26 at 11:15 AM12:15

VenueBangunan UAB

I hope to see some of you there.

Thanks to Culture Ireland for their support.

Print

Appearing in Kuala Lumpur Dec 2nd Readings@Seksan

I’ll be reading in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the Seksan Gallery on Saturday afternoon December 2nd.

Thanks to Sharon Baker for the invitation and organising.

I hope to see some of you there.

Thanks to the generous support of Culture Ireland and Arts Council of NI.

The Good Son 3rd Editon

Buy Here

Winner of The Polari Prize
“Pungently funny and shot through with streaks of aching sadness.” Patrick Gale
“I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more.” Lisa McInerney
“Funny, raw and endlessly entertaining.” Johnathan Coe

 

The Good Son: Now in Hungarian!

Hot on the news of selling The Good Son to Russia, the Hungarian version of The Good Son is in shops now. Called A jó fiú it is translated by Laura Lukács and the word from Literature Ireland is that she has done an excellent job.

Hungarian Cover

I’d like to thank the amazing Literature Ireland who have given translation grants to the publisher which is the third time they have supported The Good Son – also French and German translations.

I love the Hungarian cover. What do you think?

You can even read an extract here.

The novel is with Typotex Publishing as part of their World Literature Series. You can buy it in shops and online now!

 

 

Number 1 in the Charts!

Stephen Nolan
Wow! What an honour. Thanks to The Stephen Nolan Show making The Good Son Book Club Choice of the Month on BBC Radio in conjunction with (and thanking especially for all their support) Libraries NI – it was the most borrowed adult fiction title from libraries across Northern Ireland in September. 
Enniskillen Library

This was an event I did for Libraries NI last month

Here’s to libraries!

The Good Son Goes to Russia!

Some exciting news. The Good Son will be translated into Russian! I’d never have imagined that a story about a young boy who barely leaves his street in Ardoyne, Belfast, would have something to say to readers in Russia. I’m over the moon!

Russian contract.jpg

Last year The Good Son was chosen out of 160 books by The British Council and The Literary Platform to be one of 12 to take part of The UK-Russia Year of Language and Literature. I now know this lead to the editor-in-chief of new publishing house Arkadia in St Petersburg reading The Good Son and wanting to publish it. So many thanks to The British Council and The Literary Platform.

The publishers are discussing translators and are currently considering either the Russian translator of Kingsley Amis, Richard Adams, Agatha Christie and Michael Ondatji or the translator of Dorothy Parker, Anne Enright and Richard Ford.

Just – wow!

Thanks to my wonderful agent Carrie Kania and the foreign rights team at C&W for their all their hard work.

Secret Library Podcast

Recently I did an interview with writer Caroline Donohue and you can listen to it as of today. Caroline asked excellent questions and we had a great chat – I talk far too much! Here’s what Caroline says on her site. I hope you enjoy it.

The Secret Library

Paul McVeigh wrote a story in an afternoon that took twenty years.

How is that possible? We gather images over time, trying to figure out how they fit together. Paul had pieces of a story that didn’t quite fit until suddenly, they did. And then the story came out almost all at once in a single sitting. How do you know when it’s time to write a story? And how do you know when to give up on an idea? These are questions that have plagued so many writers and my clients. Paul was the perfect person to discuss them with. Having written fiction, theater, comedy, and a writing teacher himself, Paul has a breadth of experience and a sensitivity to this topic that will blow you away. His debut novel, The Good Son won countless awards and becomes a favorite of everyone who reads it.

This conversation was both deep and funny, an incredible dive into the places where writing comes from and how to know when you’ve got a story that won’t let you go. This promises to be one you’ll listen to more than once. I have been waiting and waiting to share this one! I’m so glad it’s time for you to hear it.

Discussed in Episode 69 with Paul McVeigh:

  • Turning the original short story into the novel The Good Son | Mentioned: Article about the process on Paul’s blog
  • How ideas evolve into stories
  • Getting clear about what is meant and how people often say things to cover up what they mean
  • Writing for the stage and what it taught Paul about dialog
  • Why you’re bananas if you don’t keep a notebook
  • The elements of the story Paul wrote in an afternoon after pondering for 20 years
  • Collecting three distinct elements to build a story
  • Creating a story that is the duration of a hug
  • Stephen Johnson’s spark file
  • Why good writing is never wasted
  • Paul is waiting for this ability to match his intention
  • Being a risk-taker as well as a writer
  • The real question: What will possibly go wrong if I give it a try?
  • Making friends with the best writers and how this will help your own work
  • Connecting by going in with an offer, not with an ask
  • Find writers who are better from you and learn from them
  • How working with actors helped him find meaning behind the dialogue
  • Turning the short story into a novel
  • Writing with a child as protagonist
  • How writing about the Troubles in Ireland forced Paul to relive that time
  • Going deep with your writing so it becomes more universal
  • Learning to look back with kindness and forgiveness
  • The importance of intention in writing
  • Basking in having completed the book.

The Good Son 3rd Editon

Buy Here

Winner of The Polari Prize

“Pungently funny and shot through with streaks of aching sadness.” Patrick Gale
“I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more.” Lisa McInerney
“A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.” Donal Ryan