Hey, Author!

Hey, Author! is my very own place to find out things about my favourite authors that other blogs just don’t ask. The nitty-gritty. The dirt. The skinny.

Not stuff about their forthcoming books, or their writing process, none of that high-brow shenanigans thank you – no – Hey, Author! is about getting to know the person behind the bestseller.

So let’s get to it.

Jax Miller hit the headlines with her debut thriller Freedom’s Child in the summer of 2015. This American girl now has both feet firmly in Ireland, so I was very keen to catch up with her and find out all the stuff her readers want to know.

jax

So, Jax Miller.

Freedom’s Child was a super thrilling read. We’re waiting with baited breath to hear when your next book will be out. So while we wait, you need to tell us, what is your:

Favourite night out in your hometown?

Well, my current hometown is in County Meath, Ireland (I was raised on Long Island, New York), where a night out could be pretty boring, as it’s a farming community. But if I had to entertain guests, I’d take a short train ride to Dublin and do some karaoke and sushi…. This reminds me, I really need to get out more! (I write nights.)

sushi

Favourite skincare/haircare product?

Hmmm… I’m old fashioned and don’t use anything fancy. I do have a skin secret though, and that’s coffee grinds. Tightens things up!

(I KNEW there was a reason writers drink so much coffee!- Ed.)

coffee grounds

Favourite book of all time? (Just one!)

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.

screwtape letters

Favourite clothes shop?

I enjoy the shops off the beaten path, especially vintage and retro. In Dublin, where I’d shop, there’s a few good places in Temple Bar. To be honest, I couldn’t even say the name of any of the places!

Favourite restaurant anywhere in the world?

Oy, that’s a tough one. Popei’s in Coram New York. It’s a seafood place out on Long Island, food to die for.

Favourite bar anywhere in the world?

I don’t really do bars anymore. I worked at many (before I was a writer I bartended a lot). I’d say The Church in Dublin. It’s an old church turned restaurant/bar that has a great history, with a congregation that once saw some great attendees, the likes of Arthur Guinness and Jonathan Swift. Some historical figures are even buried there! Yikes!

The Church

Favourite movie?

The hardest question in the world, as I’m a MASSIVE film buff (as blasphemous at it is, I love film more than books). If you had a gun to my head, I’d say The Shawshank Redemption.

shawshank

Favourite band/musician?

Another hard one! Again, gun to the head, I’d say Johnny Cash because it’s a classic that can do no wrong by me. But I can go on for hours, from classical to metal, you name it.

Favourite meal?

New York pizza. Doesn’t matter from where, any hole in the wall will do. Just a large pie of NY pizza with extra cheese and with a tall glass of milk.

 

Good call, Ms. Miller. And a fresh-ground coffee. Just to undo the damage.

If you haven’t read Freedom’s Child yet, you are in for a treat, and we can look forward to Jax Miller’s second novel, which is due out next year.

freedom's child

Until next time on Hey, Author!

Sheena x

Hey, Author!

Hey, Author! is my very own place to find out things about my favourite authors that other blogs just don’t ask. The nitty-gritty. The dirt. The skinny.

Not stuff about their forthcoming books, or their writing process, none of that high-brow shenanigans thank you – no – Hey, Author! is about getting to know the person behind the bestseller.

So let’s get to it.

This time around, I am super-dooper excited to have Irish author Liz Nugent under the Hey, Author! spotlight. Liz wrote one of my favourite books of all time Unravelling Oliver, and her new thriller, Lying in Wait has hit the shelves and is blazing a literary trail through the summer of 2016. The only reason I haven’t read it yet is that I don’t want to have read it. I’m enjoying the prospect of reading it too much. Go figure.

Liz Nugent

So, Liz Nugent. We like the sound of your book. We might even (okay, definitely) go and get ourselves a copy. But first you need to tell us, what is your:

Favourite night out in your hometown?

Dinner at the Trocadero restaurant. I’ve been going there for about 25 years and Robert Doggett who owns it has become a friend. Anyone who knows the restaurant might recognise it as the basis for L’Etoile Bleu in Unravelling Oliver.

Troc_About_970_02

Favourite skincare/haircare product?

Liz Earle cleanser because you get the muslin cloths with the product. It removes face and eye make-up and doesn’t sting. It has a subtle fragrance but is pricey enough for a cleanser. I’ve used bog standard Nivea moisturiser my entire life. My German Aunt Sybille used it and she always had beautiful skin. (I wish I had a pic of Tante Sybille here – Ed.)

Favourite book of all time? (Just one!)

Oh my God, just one? That’s impossible. Arrrrghhhhhhh. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.

a fine balance

Favourite clothes shop?

I’m not exactly a fashionista and I don’t enjoy shopping but the wonderful Sharon Beatty has a small shop called Maven upstairs on Wicklow Street. She doesn’t carry a huge range but she will text me when she has something in that she thinks I might like. They are special occasion items though. Apart from that, I can usually find something I like in Zara or Massimo Dutti.

maven

Favourite restaurant anywhere in the world?

You mean besides the Trocadero? The Miramar in Monaco Ville beside the harbour. I can’t remember exactly what I ate, but I know it was delicious. The ambience was very relaxed and the views were spectacular. I have promised myself I’ll go back.

Favourite bar anywhere in the world?

O’Dowds in Roundstone, Connemara on a winter night when there’s no one around and the turf fire is lit. (Agreed. Best chowder ever – Ed.)

Favourite movie?

Perfume starring Ben Wishaw. It was a favourite book and the film did so much justice to it. It is visually stunning, every single frame could be a painting. Everything communicated by the sense of smell in the book is told in pictures. Before the film was made, the book was deemed unfilmable – and it’s about a most unusual serial killer. If you have never seen it, I envy you, because you have it to look forward to. I watch it every six months or so. 

perfume

Favourite band/musician?

Right now, Adele. Last year, Hozier. Of all time, David Bowie. Very populist I know, but I also love Skunk Anansie, Bob Dylan, Ludovico Einaudi, William Butt, Ray La Montagne, Bach, The Divine Comedy, Kate Bush, Bill Whelan, Ailie Blunnie, June Tabor, Elvis Costello, Queen, Mozart, Zoe Conway, Tom Waits, Loyko, Dario Marianelli etc. etc.

Favourite meal?

Fillet steak cooked by my husband. We share the cooking but he’s better than me. Don’t tell him I said that.

(For the record, this below is not (as far as we know) Liz Nugent’s husband. We just like this pic at Hey, Author! and we try to use it whenever possible -Ed)

 chef

Favourite tipple?

Jameson and Coke. I know it’s a terrible insult to pollute the poor Jameson with coke, but what can I say? I like it. Also, when you have a cold, add a dash of Jameson to your Lemsip. Hey presto, Jemsip.

jameson

You could be on to something there, Liz. Why have a hot whiskey, when you could have a Jemsip (c)Liz Nugent – patent pending.

So there you have it readers. When she’s not conjuring murderous villains, she’s hanging out with the theatre set in Dublin and Monaco, sipping medicinals. The life of a writer.

cover_jpg_rendition_460_707

If you haven’t read Unravelling Oliver, I’m just plain jealous. And if you haven’t got your copy of Lying in Wait, then off with you to your nearest bookshop. I’m going to TRY put it off…just…a…little….longer…. oh, what’s the use.

Until next time on Hey, Author!

Sheena x

 

 

 

Hey, Author!

Hey, Author! is my very own place to find out things about my favourite authors that other blogs just don’t ask. The nitty-gritty. The dirt. The skinny.

Not stuff about their forthcoming books, or their writing process, none of that high-brow shenanigans thank you – no – Hey, Author! is about getting to know the person behind the bestseller.

So let’s get to it.

It’s the turn of the wonderful Irish novelist Kathleen MacMahon whose second novel The Long, Hot Summer has just been published in the US of A.

Kathleen’s first novel, This Is How It Ends won her fans all over the planet, and was short-listed for Kerry Group Irish Novel of 2013 amongst other prestigious accolades.

KMacM

 

So, Kathleen. We like the look of your book. We might even buy ourselves a copy. But first you need to tell us, what is your:

Favourite night out in your hometown?

There’s nothing like live music. My local pub is The Vintage Inn in Irishtown, and they do a parlour night on the first Thursday of every month. They get a great assortment of performers, from singer-songwriters to covers, and you can enjoy it all in a comfortable seat, with a pint in front of you. It doesn’t get much better than that. (AND it looks like they have their own Book Club! I’m sold – Ed.)

 

Favourite skincare/haircare product?

Shiseido tinted moisturiser, which has been discontinued. They keep telling me BB cream is the same, but it’s not. My perfume has been discontinued as well, so I’m developing a wartime mentality and stockpiling the products I like.

10-beauty-products-Id-stock-up-1

Favourite book of all time? (Just one!)

Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry. The first time I read it was on a five day trek in Colombia, when a fellow trekker tore his copy in half so I could start it before he finished. A great American epic, it’s the most wonderful read.
Lonesome Dove

Favourite clothes shop?

I’m getting to an age where clothes shopping is a chore, so the internet has increasing appeal. My twenty year old self wouldn’t believe it.

Favourite restaurant anywhere in the world?

Has to be my brother’s restaurant, The Wild Goose Grill in Ranelagh. I always have the best time there, and the best food and wine. Plus, it feels very mafioso to have a restaurant in the family. (I have to interject, I’ve been there. It’s fantastic – Ed.)

Favourite bar anywhere in the world?

Sweeney’s Bar, overlooking Omey island in Claddaghduff. Sweeney’s makes an appearance in my first novel, This Is How It Ends, when Addie choses it for her Death Row meal of Guinness and Tayto crisps.

Favourite movie?

The Big Blue, by Luc Besson. Beautiful, whimsical, sad. It has everything in it that I like.

 

Favourite band/musician?

Leonard Cohen – in another life, I would be one of Leonard’s  famously sublime backing singers.

Leonard Cohen

 Favourite meal?

Fresh fish, preferable eaten outdoors on a warm evening.
fish dinner

Favourite tipple?

Wine of any colour. I have managed to avoid acquiring an appreciation of fine wines, which means I can enjoy even the cheapest plonk.

 

 

Cheers to that, Kathleen. I think some things are about the quantity, and not the quality. Developing expensive tastes is a dangerous habit for sure.

If you haven’t already bought Kathleen’s new book, well, what are you waiting for? It’s the perfect summer’s evening, post-prandial accompaniment to a glass of whatever you’re serving yourself.

You can also stay in touch and follow Kathleen’s literary success here on Twitter.

LongHotSummerFINAL

 

Until next time on Hey, Author!

Sheena x

Hey, Author!

Hey, Author! is my new place to find out things about my favourite authors that other blogs just don’t ask. The nitty-gritty. The dirt. The skinny.

Not stuff about their forthcoming books, or their writing process, none of that high-brow shenanigans thank you – no – Hey, Author! is about getting to know the person behind the bestseller.

So let’s get to it.

This latest installment is dedicated to Hazel Gaynor, author of some of the prettiest books on the planet, award-winning novels of historical fiction that bring long-gone era to life for the reader.

hazel-gaynor-bw-250x250

Before Hazel celebrated the launch of her newest novel, The Girl from the Savoy, at a 1920s themed party at The Liquor Rooms at U2’s Clarence hotel in Dublin city, I managed to track her down, and got her to answer my Hey, Author! questions – the important stuff that you need to know. There may have been gin involved, but it was drunk from china cups, so that’s ok.

savoy.png

So, Hazel Gaynor. We like the look of your book. We might even buy ourselves a copy. But first you need to tell us, what is your:

Favourite night out in your hometown?

What is this ‘night out’ you speak of? It sounds wonderful. If I was to enjoy such a thing it would probably be chicken wings and a pint of Guinness in Bardon’s in Kilcullen. Best chicken wings in Ireland. Possibly, the world. (That sounds like a challenge to me – Ed.)

Favourite skincare/haircare product?

I love Liz Earle skincare. The hot cloth cleanser is fabulous. Pestle & Mortar serum is also lovely and promises to make me look eternally youthful – so that’s good! I don’t possess any posh haircare products at home. Aussie does me just fine. My hairdresser uses Redken products which always smell amazing.

Pestle-Mortar-058-layered-610x412

Favourite book of all time? (Just one!)

Jane Eyre. Weep.

quotes-jane-eyre-3

Favourite clothes shop?

Boden – everything is amazing and the shoes are divine. I also love Warehouse at the moment. I follow both on Instagram. Dangerous.

Favourite restaurant anywhere in the world?

For special occasions you can’t beat Chapter One in Dublin. We’ve always had a fantastic meal there. I’m also very fond of Doyle’s Seafood Restaurant in Watson’s Bay, Sydney. I spent many lazy Sunday afternoons there when I lived in Sydney during ‘97/’98, and (although I didn’t know him at the time) so did my husband! We went back there on our honeymoon. Ahh.

Favourite bar anywhere in the world?

So many bars. So little time. I have great memories of a little bar called The Four in Hand on Elizabeth Street in Sydney. A schooner of New never tasted better. Closer to home, I’d have to say Doheny & Nesbitts. We drank pints there after getting married in the registry office.

Favourite movie?

Really? Just one? Okay then: Cinema Paradiso.

cinema p

Favourite band/musician?

Florence and the Machine, or Foo Fighters, depending on what mood I’m in. Both are amazing live. London Grammar are really good to chill out to, and I’m loving James Bay at the moment. I like his hat.

which-james-bay-song-are-you-01

Favourite meal?

Fish and chips, eaten straight from the wrappings while sitting on a harbour wall.

fish_and_chips

Favourite tipple?

Now you’re talking! This is an easy answer. Very good gin and very good tonic. Preferably Hendricks, served with a slice of cucumber (of course). I’d like to think I played some part in the current gin revolution. I’ve been talking/writing about it since 2009 and that’s a LOT of gin, let me tell you.

 

I think the proof was in the launch of The Girl from the Savoy…gin tea for all!

Thank you for sharing your innermost secrets, Hazel Gaynor. Anyone who loved Downton Abbey will love The Girl from the Savoy – indeed if you don’t read it, just buy it to hang on the wall….sooo pretty.

hazel-gaynor-savoy-uk-3d-214x315hazel-gaynor-savoy-us-3d-214x315

Until next time on Hey, Author!

Bottoms up!

Sheena x

 

Hey, Author!

Hey, Author! is my new place to find out things about my favourite authors that other blogs just don’t ask. The nitty-gritty. The dirt. The skinny.

Not stuff about their forthcoming books, or their writing process, none of that high-brow shenanigans thank you – no – Hey, Author! is about getting to know the person behind the bestseller.

So let’s get to it.

The next author in my Hey, Author! line-up is Sam Blake, author of the very creepy-sounding Little Bones, the first book in the Cat Connolly detective series which is already being hailed as a bestseller.

Sam Blake

It’s been some launch week for Sam, who is AKA Vanessa Fox-O’Loughlin, one of the most influential book and publishing advisors in Ireland today. Not only have acclaimed Irish crime writers like Niamh O’Connor and Alex Barclay been singing the praises of Little Bones, many bookshops around the country have embraced the sinister premise to the book by displaying wedding dresses in their windows next to their rapidly diminishing piles of stock.

wedding

But never fear, I will stop at nothing to get my Hey, Author! readers the information they need to know, and so using my own investigative prowess, I managed to track Sam down in between her launch parties and book signings last week, and I made her talk. It wasn’t pretty. There were secret passwords and cocktails involved. But I did it for you.

So, Sam Blake! We like the look of your book. We might even buy it and read it. But first, there are some things we need to know. What is your:

Favourite night out in your hometown?

I think my favourite place in my hometown, a wine bar called Scotties, may not exist anymore – it’s been a loooong time since I lived in St. Albans (over 20 years, ahem). Here in Dublin it’s Ragazzi restaurant in Dalkey, makes me feel like I’m in Italy, or Jamie’s in Dundrum where we’ve had some great girls’ nights out!

Favourite skincare/haircare product?

I use Boots No 7 for everything, fabulous – for everything!

Favourite book of all time? (Just one!)

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, no contest

 dumaurier_daphneDaphneDuMaurier_Rebecca_first

Favourite clothes shop?

I am totally dedicated to House of Fraser online where I check Ted Baker and Karen Millen MUCH too often, but their service is unbelievable, you can order online at midnight, get everything delivered to Dundrum almost the next day (or when suits), try it on and if you don’t like it send it back!! It takes all the pain out of shopping (and the time, which I’m always short of).

 shopping 1

Karen Millen have managed all of my styling for my book launch events too, and they have been amazing! (I was wondering where that gorgeous little black number came from – and how convenient that Sam and I are the same size….- Ed.)

karen-millen_01544301_3

Favourite restaurant anywhere in the world?

Ragazzi in Dalkey.

Favourite bar anywhere in the world?

Corinthia Hotel, Whitehall, shortly followed by Langhams in London (they have crazy golden spider yokes climbing up the wall, haven’t got to the bottom of them yet!)

 

Favourite movie?

Tricky one – Pretty Woman I think, but also love Notting Hill (romantic at heart)!

pretty woman

Favourite band/musician?

Like everyone I love Adele, but I also love Jess Glynne and I’m a closet One Direction and Beiber fan but I couldn’t confess to that in public.

 

Favourite meal?

I love monkfish but whenever I’m out I seem to order a chicken Caesar salad, I’m a creature of habit (like this guy below – Ed).

monkfish

Favourite tipple?

Gordons & Schweppes or Baileys with ice. That should be an ‘and’ not an ‘or’ of course.

over_ice_en_gb

Good gurrl yerself, Sam. Not the average Belieber tipple, I’d guess, but the perfect choice nonetheless for a St. Albans girl who at this stage truly must be more Irish than the Irish themselves.

So readers, you have all the important info now, but if you need to know more about Sam Blake and her detective Cat Connolly, you can follow her here on Twitter and on Facebook and don’t forget to get your copy of Little Bones before they get sold out!

little bones

Until the next stalkingly-good Hey, Author! post,

Sheena x

Hey, Author!

Hey, Author! is my new place to find out things about my favourite authors that other blogs just don’t ask. The nitty-gritty. The dirt. The skinny.

Not stuff about their forthcoming books, or their writing process, none of that high-brow shenanigans thank you – no – Hey, Author! is about getting to know the person behind the bestseller.

So let’s get to it.

The next author in my Hey, Author! roll call is Catherine Ryan Howard, one-time self-publishing guru, now author of Distress Signals, the hottest thriller to be released this summer – one you are going to see a lot of around the pool on your holidays. This week has been a little busy for Catherine, what with having TWO launches – one in Dubray’s bookshop in Dublin which practically broke Twitter and one in Waterstones in her native city of Cork, but I managed to grab a few precious moments with Catherine between launches to get the important info from her.

Like where is the best place in Cork to get a bag of chips.

This is critical stuff, people.

Catherine Ryan Howard by City Headshots Dublin

So, Catherine! We like the look of your book. We might even buy it and read it (unless of course we are planning a cruise anytime soon – trust me on that one, Ed). But first, there are some things we need to know. What is your:

Favourite night out in your hometown?

The only “out” bit of it would be joining the monstrous queue outside K.C.’s in Douglas to collect my BLT pitta, chips and mayonnaise and a potato pie, and then the rest of it would be spent on the sofa in my parents’ house, wearing sweatpants watching some Scandi Noir on the BBC. Party central, I know. But I’m almost 34 and the hangovers are becoming truly monstrous…

Favourite skincare/haircare product?

I’ve been using the same moisturiser since I was 14 years old – Nivea Soft, which costs approximately €5 per bucket – but my favourite haircare product is at the other end of the spectrum: Alterna’s Caviar anti-aging replenishing shampoo/conditioner. You’d have to re-mortgage if you were using it on a daily basis, but for special occasions you can just about justify the expense. It’s AMAZING.

Favourite book of all time? (Just one!)

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. Obviously.

IMG_3601.JPG

Favourite clothes shop?

This is actually a tough one… Hmm. I’m big into Boden at the moment, but then Oasis have helpfully brought out an entire collection covered in anchors, so… Oh, I can’t choose!

Favourite restaurant anywhere in the world?

Does K.C.’s count as a restaurant? (Eh, no tables, so no – Ed.)

Favourite bar anywhere in the world?

My favourite place to drink – and it’s a specific drink, an Agua de Valencia which is a cocktail made with cava or champagne, Valencia orange juice and a little shot of vodka and a little shot of gin – is on the terrace of the Westin Valencia, preferably in spring/summer. Bonus points if they’ve brought us crisps and olives to go with them, and heaven if the in-house saxophonist is there too.

Favourite movie?

The Truman Show. Still on the dream list: staying in Seaside, Florida, the town where it was shot.

Truman

Favourite band/musician?

John Mayer – when he’s singing. Not so much with the talking.

Favourite meal?

I’m partial to a club sandwich and have done extensive research into them. The best so far is from Lafayette’s in the Imperial Hotel on the South Mall in Cork. And I’ve had a LOT of them.

Favourite tipple?

A Moscow Mule. Fill a glass with ice cubes and add a measure of vodka and the juice of a lime. Fill to the top then with ginger beer – NOT ginger ale, ginger beer. Technically it should be served in a copper jug but in my experience, a glass will do.

Copper-barrel-Moscow-Mule-Solid-Round-Mug-18-oz-Moscow-Mule-Copper-Mug-18oz-Barrel-Copper

 

I’d say a dirty jam jar would do, but that’s for another day.

So now you know all the important details about Catherine, but if you want to know more, you can find her on Twitter here @cathryanhoward and if you know anyone going on a cruise this summer, particularly if it’s someone you don’t like too much, you might want to scare them with a copy of Distress Signals for the journey!

distressTPR(2).jpg

 

Thanks for sharing Catherine, and best of luck with Distress Signals!

‘Til next time on, Hey, Author!

Sheena x

Hey, Author!

Hey, Author! is my new place to find out things about my favourite authors that other blogs just don’t ask. The nitty-gritty. The dirt. The skinny.

Not stuff about their forthcoming books, or their writing process, none of that high-brow shenanigans thank you – no – Hey, Author! is about getting to know the person behind the bestseller.

So let’s get to it.

The next author in my Hey, Author! roll call is Aimee Alexander from Dublin in Ireland, whose book The Accidental Life of Greg Millar is out today from Lake Union Publishing.

denise deegan 3

So, Aimee Alexander! We like the look of your book. We might even buy it and read it. But first, there are some things we need to know. What is your:

Favourite night out in your hometown?

A walk on Dun Laoghaire pier or along the seafront in Sandycove followed by dinner at Fallon and Byrne, People’s Park.

Favourite skincare/haircare product?

Anything at all by Aveda – shampoo or skincare.

Favourite book of all time? (Just one!)

I can only do this by asking myself what book I’d love to have written: The Book Thief.

bookthiefposter

Favourite clothes shop?

Anything tiny that has little choice but everything I want. I’ll go for Toil & Glitter, Glasthule for now. But it changes.

toil and Glitter

Favourite restaurant anywhere in the world?

Restaurant Jules Verne. The restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower. If any man proposed to me up there I’d accept – though I’m technically married! I’d have to disappoint him when we got back down to ground!

Favourite bar anywhere in the world?

The Champagne Bar in the Plazas Hotel, NYC – or maybe it’s their coasters I like! They have butterflies.

champagne

Favourite movie?

I’ve watched Forrest Gump over 14 times but I’m going for Untouchable. It’s French with subtitles but you stop noticing that almost immediately. I love it so much.

Extra Untouchable

Favourite band/musician?

It changes. I get obsessed with a band and over-listen, then have to move on to recover. I’m going for Coldplay because I don’t just love their music but the themes of their songs: stars, magic etc.

coldplay

 Favourite meal?

Anything I don’t have to cook myself. Literally. (The pic below has nothing whatsoever to do with this comment – Ed.)

chef

Favourite tipple?

Peroni.

 

Well, we hope you won’t order a Peroni the next time you are in the New York Plaza, Aimee! You look like a champagne girl to us!

So now you know all the important details about Aimee, but if you want to know more, you can find her on Twitter here @aimeealexbooks

Thanks for sharing Aimee, and best of luck with The Accidental Life of Greg Millar!

greg millar cover

Be sure to follow me here to read more Hey, Author! posts. Then you can go stalk your fav authors in swanky places like the Champagne Bar in the NYC Plaza.

You’re welcome.

Sheena x

Hey, Author!

Hey, Author! is my new place to find out things about my favourite authors that other blogs just don’t ask. The nitty-gritty. The dirt. The skinny.

Not stuff about their forthcoming books, or their writing process, none of that high-brow shenanigans thank you – no – Hey, Author! is about getting to know the person behind the bestseller.

So let’s get to it.

The next writer on my Hey, Author! list is the lovely Ava McCarthy from Dublin in Ireland, whose new thriller Dead Secret is out now. When Ava isn’t writing crime fiction, she’s busy doing whatever it is nuclear physicists do, so I’m going to take her beauty products tips very seriously.

Ava-McCarthy

So, Ava McCarthy! We like the look of your book. We might even buy it and read it. But first, there are some things we need to know. What is your:

Favourite night out in your hometown?

Drinks in a cosy Dublin pub, followed by a good dinner. Favourite restaurant of the moment is Toscana in Dame Street.

 

Favourite skincare/haircare product?

John Frieda Frizz Ease – stops the hair turning into a chrysanthemum on the walk from the pub to the restaurant.john_frieda-656x478.png

Favourite book of all time? (Just one!)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It started a world of story-telling for me and my children, and the shared memories are a huge part of their childhood.

Favourite clothes shop?

Oasis on Stephen’s Green. Miraculously, there’s always something that fits!

Favourite restaurant anywhere in the world?

My local pub, The Wishing Well in Blackrock, Dublin. Perfect for family outings: nice food, good value; always sport on the TV for husband and son, while myself and daughter talk books & film.

Favourite bar anywhere in the world?

The Horseshoe Bar in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. Someone once handed me an engagement ring there… (Awwww…..! Ed.)

ShelbourneHotel_featimg

Favourite movie?

The Bourne Identity. Great thriller, and Matt Damon can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned.

Favourite band/musician?

Adele. Very talented lady. Singers are one thing, but singer-songwriters are artists that create something special.

Favourite meal?

Scampi and chips. It’s been my official birthday meal ever since I was seven years old.

scampi

Favourite tipple?

That’s easy: a big warm glass of fruity Merlot. Oh, and leave the bottle…

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A lady after my own heart, Ava! And thanks for some great ideas for places to eat in Dublin!

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Ava’s new novel Dead Secret is out now, and if you enjoy that (which I know you will) don’t forget to check out her other books including her Harry Martinez series of thrillers.

You can follow Ava on twitter and on her website too.

Keep watching out for more Hey, Author! posts right here, very soon!

 

Hey, Author! – Bernice Barrington

Hey, Author! is my new place to find out things about my favourite authors that other blogs just don’t ask. The nitty-gritty. The dirt. The skinny.

Not stuff about their forthcoming books, or their writing process, none of that high-brow shenanigans thank you – no – Hey, Author! is about getting to know the person behind the bestseller.

So let’s get to it.

The honour of being the first author in my Hey, Author! roll call falls to the gorgeous Bernice Barrington from Longford in Ireland, whose debut thriller Sisters and Lies is out 24th March 2016.

Bernice Barrington photo

 

So, Bernice! We like the look of your book. We might even buy it and read it. But first, there are some things we need to know. What is your:

Favourite night out in your hometown?

I want to say something fabulous like dinner in L’Ecrivain, then dancing in Lillies in Dublin’s city centre. But, really, my favourite thing is a casual bite in Dalkey (see pics below – Ed.), followed by a trip to the cinema in Dun Laoghaire.

Favourite skincare/haircare product?

I adore IMAGE skincare, but I’m pretty agnostic about haircare products (basically because I have such a huge mop myself I’d bankrupt myself if I bought the really expensive stuff.) I love the smell of the Aussie range though!

Favourite book of all time? (Just one!)

Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes

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Marian Keyes

 

Favourite clothes shop?

I’m very fond of House of Fraser in Dundrum Town Centre – loads of choice plus it’s close to the Laura Ashley concession, which is an added boon!

Favourite restaurant anywhere in the world?

The most amazing restaurant I’ve ever eaten in was Indego by Vineet in Dubai (the meal included edible gold!) but if we’re talking the place I go most often and where I feel most comfortable, it would be Harry’s Café Bar in Dun Laoghaire. It’s just a little café/diner place but the food is lovely, the service always excellent and I just associate it with happiness and relaxation.

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Harry’s Dun Laoghaire

Favourite bar anywhere in the world?

I’m not really a bar person – I much prefer coffee/tea shops. Having said that, I do love Dunphy’s in Dun Laoghaire. It’s an utterly unreconstructed, old-school pub with lovely staff and entirely free of pretension.

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Favourite movie?

Oh Lord, so many to choose from, but I have a DEEP affection for Four Weddings and a Funeral.  fwaf9

Favourite band/musician?

I love Nina Simone – her music is so raw and energetic but also so accomplished.

 Favourite meal?

I’m obsessed with Asian food – so it would probably be a Japanese Teriyaki dish followed by Italian ice-cream.

 Favourite tipple?

I do love a good gin and tonic.

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Don’t we all, Bernice? Don’t we all?

So now you know all the important details about Bernice, but if you want to know more, you can find her on Twitter @beebarrington

Thanks for sharing Bernice, and best of luck with Sisters and Lies!

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Be sure to follow me here to read more Hey, Author! posts. Where else will you get this kind of insider information? Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to invest in some Aussie shampoo. Seriously, have you SEEN that girl’s hair?!

Sheena x