Monday, 1 September 2014

5 Things You Might Not Know About Alan Nolan

In the run up to the festival, we will be featuring a different children's author from the line up every day. First up is writer and illustrator, Alan Nolan. Watch out for Sheena Wilkinson and others during the week.

1. Alan was born with a full head of red hair. It fell out before he was six months old and grew back dark brown. It’s now falling out again!

2. His first comic was called Splat and featured a lazy superhero character called the Bedspread who travelled around in the Bedmobile (a double bed with wheels) and lethargically fought crime in Slug City. The Bedspreads arch-enemy was called Wakey Wakey.

3. Alan loves spiders, caterpillars and beetles (in fact, he loves all ‘creepy crawlies’), but he’s deathly scared of mice and rats.

4. He has read every Charles Dickens novel at least twice. His favourite is A Christmas Carol, which he owns fives copies of – one with illustrations by Arthur Rackham, and one illustrated with puppets made by Fluck & Law of Spitting Image fame.

5. He used to be a huge fan of Star Trek, and has a full Star Trek The Next Generation costume in his wardrobe. Unfortunately, over the years the shirt and waistband of the uniform trousers have ‘shrunk in the wash’.

Alan Nolan will be at Mountains to Sea on SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 13TH for MY FAVOURITE SUPERHEROS @ 10.30am-11.30am.


Saturday, 30 August 2014

Kamila Shamsie; A God in Every Stone

Kamila Shamsie
'Kamila Shamsie's new novel deals with vast sweeps of history. Within its 300 pages, a story unfolds that covers the travels of the fifth-century BCE explorer Scylax, working on behalf of the Persian king Darius I; an attempt by early 20th-century archaeologists to recover the circlet worn by Scylax; the outbreak of the first world war; the experiences of Indian Army troops on the western front and later as injured servicemen in Brighton hospitals; the rise of the non-violent independence movement in Peshawar and the bloody killing of non-violent protesters by the British Army in 1930, in Peshawar's Qissa Khwani Bazaar.
The story follows a young Londoner, Vivian Rose Spencer, from an archaeological dig in Turkey back to Britain where she works as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse during the first world war. After a crucial betrayal, she travels on to Peshawar. At the same time, the Pashtun soldier Qayyum Gul goes to Flanders with the 40th Pathans, who fought heroically and suffered devastating casualties during the second battle of Ypres in April 1915. Wounded, Qayyum is treated in Brighton before returning home to Peshawar to wrestle with his injuries and changed loyalties. Qayyum's brilliant younger brother, Najeeb, completes the circle by becoming Vivian's pupil, and later an archaeologist and "campaigner for the freedom from Empire for the peoples of India and Britain". On its way, A God in Every Stone takes in British women's battle for suffrage and the prelude to the Armenian genocide.
A novel that successfully connects and brings to life such a mass of material must be exceptionally brilliant, and possibly quite long. A God in Every Stone is an ambitious piece of work, and its pages are lit by Shamsie's eloquent prose'....Read more at

Kamila Shamsie will be in conversation with Xiaolu Guo at Mountains to Sea on Saturday September 13th at 6.30pm. This event will be chaired by Dublin novelist, short story writer and dramatist Mia Gallagher. Both authors were nominees for Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists 2013Get your tickets now!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Interview with author Lee Child 

about JACK REACHER and Tom 

Cruise's height!!

Jessica Mazo interviews bestselling author Lee Child, who writes the Jack Reacher Novels, at ThrillerFest in NYC. They discuss what it's like to get your books turned into films, and how he feels about Tom Cruise!

Get your tickets now to see LEE CHILD at Mountains to Sea 2014 on 14th Sept at 4.30 in the Pavilion Theatre.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Jack gets personal with rogue sniper

Myles McWeeney on the latest Reacher novel from Lee Child, already lined up for a Tom Cruise movie

Personal is the latest story in the highly successful series of adventures penned by British-born author Lee Child about Jack Reacher, a former hard man in the US Military Police who, by his own choice, became a rootless drifter roaming America righting wrongs and dispensing his own frequently lethal form of justice. 

In this story he is in Seattle when the army reaches out to him. An expert sniper has a shot at the French president and the army brass suspects the shooter could be a former American Special Operations operative called John Kott. Reacher and Kott have history, because 16 years ago Reacher had tracked him down and put him in prison after he had committed a rather messy murder. The army wants him to do that all over again.
Reacher is sent across the Atlantic in the company of a young female CIA operative called Casey Nice, first to France to assess the scene of the unsuccessful assassination attempt, and then to London, where a G8 Summit is due to be held which will be attended by the President of the United States.
The US military are convinced Kott is targeting a head of state at the G8 Summit, but Reacher has come to realise that Kott is actually seeking revenge for the 15 years he has spent in prison and that he himself is the real target. Reacher discovers that Kott is in the employ of Little Joey, a vicious London crime lord, and to flush him out into the open he must penetrate the crime boss's secure base.
Packed with arcane and fascinating detail about the mechanics of sniping and a whole range of other subjects, Child's almost trademarked and seriously addictive clipped prose and dialogue keeps Personal clipping along at breakneck pace with the tension ratcheting up satisfactorily to the inevitably bloody conclusion

- See more at:

Book your tickets now for Lee Child in conversation with Declan Hughes, on Sunday Sept 14th @ 4.30pm

One Day to go to the first event 
of Mountains to Sea 

Martin Amis we await you!!!

Listen out for On Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival Curator Bert Wright talking books with Edel Coffey after 11am on Today with Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio 1.
Matin Amis talks to Pat Kenny on NewsTalk this morning after 10.30 am.

Monday, 25 August 2014

 Don’t miss Mountains to Sea’s first cabaret event!

We are delighted to announce that Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Writer in Residence for 2014-15, Colm Keegan, will present an eclectic mix of arts and entertainment in the Maritime Museum on Friday 12th September @ 7pm. Colm contributes to RTÉ Radio 1’s Arena and his debut collection, Don’t Go There was released in 2012. 
Since he started his residency, he has seen the reopening of Blackrock Library and the move into the new dlr LexIcon in Dún Laoghaire where he has a dedicated room on the top floor.
With poetry from acts due to feature in the upcoming Lingo Festival in October, music from Ailie Blunnie, comedy from Eleanor Tiernan and more, this will be the springboard event for a series showcasing Dublin’s burgeoning independent live arts scene. Get booking now

It all sounds a bit like the Rose of Tralee – but even scarier...

Robert Dunbar's review of Louise O’Neill’s remarkable debut novel, Only Ever Yours (Quercus),  from the Irish Times on Saturday 23rd August. Louuse o'Neill will be at Mountains to Sea for 'Going Too Far? Panel Discussion on Young Adult fiction' on Saturday 13th September at 4.30pm in the dlr LexIcon. Elaina Ryan, CBI Director will be chairing this discussion. Get booking now!

'Louise O’Neill’s remarkable debut novel, Only Ever Yours merits attention and commendation on several levels. In one sense, and particularly because of its structure and suspense-fuelled plot, it qualifies as an easy read, but in terms of its content, little about it is easy: numerous moments may well remind readers of those television news programmes that warn viewers that they may find certain images in the bulletin distressing.....

The novel is set in an unyieldingly strict boarding school where the student body (a phrase which here assumes a special significance) is exclusively female, the students being known as “eves”. As they approach their 16th year they prepare for “the Ceremony”, the final stage of the destiny that has awaited them since their creation, their entry into a world that in one way or another is male-ordered and male-controlled. Some will end up as “companions”, some will become “concubines” and some will remain, as “chastities”, teaching in the school.
In a book with many brilliantly realised sequences involving high drama, cruelty, exploitation and manipulation, the depiction of the particular selection process described here stands out as utterly compelling. A superb set piece, it all sounds a bit like the Rose of Tralee – but even scarier.
From such a scenario O’Neill has created a picture of young womanhood tortured by misogynistic demands and societal expectations into a grotesque caricature, overly concerned with their appearance, their sexual attractiveness and their standing with their peers.
This is, fundamentally, an extremely serious book, although along the way are pointed witty asides on today’s obsessions with the absurd trivia of our pop-culture world. Labelling it dystopian merely makes for facile categorisation: it has a much sharper focus than the term generally implies...'