I have been here on this dusty rather over-constructed patch of Mediterranean coast between Sousse and Monastir for the past five days. Along with husband, Michel, I have been attending and participating in a Maghrebian Olive Oil Festival where three of our OLIVE ROUTE films have been screened (to great success).
It is my first visit to this country since their Jasmine Revolution of December 2010 and January 2011. Although the unrest has caused a great deal of instability, it has, whatever else, democratized the country and it certainly does not seem to have tainted the warmth of the Tunisian people in any way. Tourism prospers although the county is suffering an economic crisis, similar to that in Europe.
Now that the films have been screened, we are taking a day or two to relax before returning to France. I am using the time, sitting beneath wooden slatted shade out of the June heat to prepare my five-day workshop in Bantry at the West Cork Literary Festival commencing on 8th July and running through till midday on Friday 12th July. The workshop is now sold out, but my talk on the evening of 8th July, has, I believe, a few seats left. The topic of this talk and reading will be The Olive Route Comes to the Screen. I hope to be showing clips from the five films as well as reading short extracts from both The Olive Route and The Olive Tree, the two books that inspired the films. If you plan to be in that part of south-west Ireland during that week, please come along to the talk and come and say hello afterwards.
It is one of the liveliest and most welcoming of festivals and a great time is always promised. The craic will be mighty!
Beyond that, back in Ireland again, I will be talking at the Benedict Kiely Literary Weekend in Omagh on Saturday 14th September at 2pm. This will be my first visit to Omagh, so I am very excited to discover this northern part of the country. Equally exciting is the news that the festival has decided to open its annual festivities with a screening of one of our OLIVE ROUTE films on the evening of Thursday 12th September. I will be there to introduce the film and to answer questions after the screening. Please do come along. I am very honoured that one of our films will be opening the festival.
Sometimes, I feel I never stop moving and never seem to entirely unpack my suitcase which lies open on the floor alongside the wardrobe getting in everyone’s way, which is why I have promised myself that I am going to settle for some non-travel-related time throughout the rest of this summer.
I am at work now on my next book for the Scholastic My Story series, which needs to be delivered in early October. Its provisional title is Wartime Blues and it is a love story for the teenage market set in France during the Great War. I am thoroughly enjoying the writing of it although I know this is a period of history that has been handled by some of the finest of modern writers.
I am also at work on another project that I think I mentioned, which is for the adult market. It came as a request from a major publisher quite unexpectedly when I returned from the States. Hugely challenging and I will say more when I am further down the track with it.
Our Facebook page continues to grow apace so please join us there if you would like to be in regular contact with me. I visit the page on a daily basis and have made some treasured friends there. Here is the link:
Otherwise, if you wish to buy signed and/or dedicated copies of my books or to purchase the complete five DVD set of The Olive Route films, please contact me via this website or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing from you, meeting you on Facebook or at one of my literary events.
In the meantime, enjoy these warm summer days and thank you for being here,