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December 2013

Dear Folks,

Okay, so I know it seems like only yesterday since I was in touch. It was, in fact, last month, but I accept that it still feels a little like I'm one of those blokes who says goodbye at a party, ostentatiously kisses everyone or shakes their hand, wishes festive greetings to all, departs in a blaze of good cheer, and then returns five minutes later to look for his hat.

On the other hand, I am offering free stuff, and the only thing better than free stuff is—well, nothing, really. You can't do better than free. It's, like, a law or something...


Because I am a being of almost inconceivable generosity, the kind who gives and gives and then, just when you think he can't possibly give any more, squeezes out just a little extra giving for the road, I've written a pre-Christmas bauble entitled "I Live Here," a 32-page essay-cum-ghost story, to coincide with the inaugural Grand Author Signing at Dubray Books in Rathmines on Thursday, December 5th.

In case you haven't been following developments, the nice folk at Dubray Rathmines, one of my local bookstores (and I admit that I am spoiled by having not one, not two, but three bookstores within walking distance of my house) are holding an author evening—with wine!—to be attended by the following local scribes, all of whom will be ready and willing to sign copies of their work as Christmas presents:

John Connolly
Jennifer Ridyard
Maurice Curtis
Alan Glynn
David Graham (winner of the John Murray Show/ RTE Guide /Kazoo Pub competition)
Sarah Harte
Arlene Hunt
Rosemary McLoughlin
Sean O'Connor
Susan Stairs

In addition, the store will have a selection of signed titles from various other national and international authors on hand, because you can't beat a signed book as a Christmas gift.

As a small thank you, anyone who comes along on the night and buys a book—any book!—or even orders something from the store will receive a signed limited edition copy of "I Live Here" to go with it, produced by Nicholson & Bass, the printers who put together the limited edition of THE WANDERER IN UNKNOWN REALMS. Okay, "I Live Here" is a slightly less lavish production—I do have to eat, you know—but it's still a nice little collector's item to put in a stocking.

Further details are available from the store by email at, by calling +353 1 4979722, or just pop along to the Swan Centre, Rathmines on Thursday, December 5th from 6.00pm.

Pub Quiz Flyer


I shall be hosting a pub quiz in Brady's of Terenure on Tuesday, December 10th, convening at about 8:00pm for 8:30pm. Proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity, which is sending a group of teenagers—one of my fine young sons included—to help build housing in developing countries. The entry fee is €10 per head, with a maximum of four members per team. We'll have a fantastic raffle and great prizes, and every participant will receive a free signed copy of one of my books, so your entry fee is already pretty much covered by the value of the book.

If you'd like to reserve a table, drop an email to, or simply come along on the evening and we'll look after you. Remember: nothing captures the true spirit of Christmas like showing off how smart you are.


Finally, it wouldn't be the Christmas season without the beloved annual ABC to XTC holiday music show—that is, it would be the Christmas season, but it wouldn't be the same Christmas season, and it would not be nearly so festive nor filled with excellent music, if I do say so myself, and I do.

This year's tribute to the punk, post-punk, and synth-soaked holiday music of the late 1970s and 1980s will air on RTE 2XM at 10:00pm GMT on Tuesday, December 24 and again at 9:00pm GMT on Saturday, December 28. Join me for tidings of comfort, joy and perhaps a little moshing. A very little. I'm not the young man I used to be, you know... Even as I write this, I continue to revise the playlist for the Christmas show, but so far it's looking good for Squeeze, The Waitresses, The Alarm, Stiff Little Fingers, Cristina and Aimee Mann, among others.

Greetings of the season to one and all of you, and in the words of the immortal Kinky Friedman, may the God of your choice continue to bless you and your families. Thanks, as always, for your friendship and support. I'll be back soon after the first of the year with some announcements to make about the next Charlie Parker novel, THE WOLF IN WINTER: something to look forward to in 2014.

Ho, ho, and indeed ho,


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