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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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 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.)

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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.

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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!