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I'm writing Begone the Raggedy Witches 2...
  • Listening to: Soundtrack to The Outlaw Jessie James
  • Reading: The Dust that Falls from Dreams
  • Watching: Ray Donovan
  • Playing: patty cakes
  • Eating: sausages
  • Drinking: whiskey
  • Listening to: Soundtrack to The Outlaw Jessie James
  • Reading: The Dust that Falls from Dreams
  • Watching: Ray Donovan
  • Playing: patty cakes
  • Eating: sausages
  • Drinking: whiskey
Resonance pageWEB

My dear hearts,

The time of long nights, and foggy evenings is upon us. What better time to win a scary, scary book! As you know, Resonance hasn't yet been released outside of Ireland & Australia but this giveaway is INTERNATIONAL, so it doesn't matter where you are, there's a signed copy of Resonance AND an Audio book of Into the Grey up for grabs.

All you have to do to win is suggest text for the text box & speech bubble in the graphic novel page above. It's a scene from Resonance, but you can add whatever text you like - funny, sad, scary - just go mad. You can email the text to me (celinekiernan1ATgmail.com SUBJECT LINE: Halloween giveaway) or you can leave it in the comments below.

The picture above is just a rough pencil sketch. As you can see it's actually a wee flyer which I'll be bringing to the OCTOCON FANTASY CONVENTION this weekend. Folks there will be free to enter the competition too.

Over the next couple of weeks I'll be inking in this artwork. When the inks are done I'll post them here, the prize will include a high quality print of the final artwork with the winning text added.

The competition is open until October 31st. Winner will be announced first week in November so get cracking, folks!
  • Listening to: Soundtrack to The Outlaw Jessie James
  • Reading: The Dust that Falls from Dreams
  • Watching: Ray Donovan
  • Playing: patty cakes
  • Eating: sausages
  • Drinking: whiskey
Resonance by Celine Kiernan

To celebrate the imminent release of Resonance in AUS/NZ and Ireland, we're doing a goodreads giveaway of Resonance and of the entire Moorehawke Trilogy. Just click here and enter :D
  • Listening to: Soundtrack to the Piano
  • Reading: The memoirs of Mrs Leeson, Madam, 1727-1797
  • Watching: Wolfhall
  • Playing: for time
  • Eating: chinese take out
  • Drinking: guinness
Hi guys! I've finished drawing up the Resonance bookplates for my Australian publishers (so that I can 'sign' copies of Resonance without - you know - getting on a plane or burdening fed-ex too much) But I can't decide what way to frame them for printing out.I know this seems like a trivial thing, but I think the framing makes all the difference to how the final artwork looks.  Help me out here, have a look at my three options (if you click the pictures you'll see them in their own little window):

Should I go for an all black border?

ResonanceCWEB

Should I go for an all white border?

ResonanceAWEB

Or (personally my favourite) A mix of black and white border?

ResonanceBWEB
  • Listening to: Soundtrack to the Piano
  • Reading: The memoirs of Mrs Leeson, Madam, 1727-1797
  • Watching: Wolfhall
  • Playing: for time
  • Eating: chinese take out
  • Drinking: guinness
click for high res version

Hi guys,

I know I've been terribly quiet here for a while (though you can still catch me on twitter occasionally) I was actually animating again for a while.  I thought I'd share a little scene so you can see what I've been up to (click the gif to see it full res)

As you can see this is old style animation, fully drawn by hand frame by frame just like when I was a baby-animator. They just don't make them like this any more and it's been a real thrill to be pulled out of mothballs to help out.

(The project is City of Roses, a beautiful short by Andrew Kavanagh, which is being made with the support of Frameworks here in Ireland. (see these links if you'd like to keep up with its progress: CITY OF ROSES FACEBOOK  & CITY OF ROSES TWITTER)

I was thinking I might like to do a few wee animated gifs like this for Resonance when it comes out in April. It's going to be a busy year though (my butcher's apprenticeship starts this week, and I need to finish writing & illustrating Begone the Raggedy Witches) so I make no promises!
  • Listening to: The Magic Flute mozart
  • Reading: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
  • Watching: The Supranos
  • Playing: dead
  • Eating: on the run
  • Drinking: Water
Resonance cover

Let's just sit and look at this lovely thing for a while, shall we?

There will be sparkles apparently. The girl, the moth, the shards of ice will all shimmer slightly when you turn them to the light. (and, of course, my illustrations are being used as dinkuses) Oh, I cannot wait to hold this creature in my hands.

Release date for AUS/IRE/UK is April 2015, and she's already available for preorder from Amazon with the following blurb:

What does it mean to be alive? What is it worth to stay alive?

Ireland, 1890: two ruthless immortals prowl the theatre district in search of food for their ‘Angel’. Ancient, pitiless and caring for none but their own twisted family, they will stop at nothing to maintain their grip on life.

A seamstress, the young man who loves her and a penniless American magician soon find themselves imprisoned in a snow-bound country estate, the latest additions to the family’s warped collection. Here, they are nothing but food, nothing but entertainment, and soon they will be nothing at all.

Many miles from their homes and fighting for survival, Tina, Joe and Harry will come to understand that far more is at stake than their lives

****


This baby has been a long time in the works, and there are little bits and pieces all over the net. The following three are my favorites. I hope you enjoy them:


Under the Ice, a short section from one of the Vincent POV chapters (note this is an unedited version)


The Risk of Tuppence (originally published  in the Irish Independent Christmas Supplement 2009) a short story written from Joe's POV. Set 6 or so years before the book


Chapter One: The Fading God (note this is an unedited version) The opening of the book and one of the Cornelius POV chapters

  • Listening to: Kate Bush LionHeart
  • Reading: Attilla the Hun by John Man
  • Watching: Australian Masterchef
  • Playing: at having a rest
  • Eating: chicken curry
  • Drinking: Water
Beyond the Stars I'm proud to announce that we'll be launching this lovely short story anthology on the 2nd of October in Easons on Dublin's O'Connell St. Come and join us! All proceeds go to Fighting Words, the children's writing center in Dublin.

International readers can preorder at all the usual online sites, and all the short stories are also available digitally for only 99p (or a little over 1 USD)

Anybody interested in preordering my short story The Last Cat, can do so HERE. All proceeds go to the Fighting Words Literacy project. (Blurb of The Last Cat: As snow falls on silent soldiers waiting either side of a bleak battlefield, a single black cat crosses no-mans-land, hoping against hope that one person will notice him before it is too late.)

To quote the wonderful Roddy Doyle below:

Beyond the Stars: Twelve Tales of Adventure, Magic and Wonder. You'll be hearing a lot about this book as it's a labour of love and was a true team effort. All proceeds in aid of Fighting Words. Stories by Roddy Doyle, John Boyne, Marita Conlon McKenna, Judi Curtin, Eoin Colfer, Celine Kiernan, Siobhán Parkinson, Derek Landy, Gordon Snell, Michael Scott, Oisín McGann; illustrations by Steve Simpson, Paul Howard, Chris Judge, Tatanya Feeny, Olywn Whelan, Niamh Sharkey, Alan Clarke, Michael Emberley, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Chris Haughton and Oisin McGann.
  • Listening to: Dave Matthews
  • Reading: Transatlantic by Colum McCann
  • Watching: Australian Masterchef
  • Playing: catch up
  • Eating: Take out
  • Drinking: Water
Ok guys, so we're nearing the end of copy-edits on Resonance (the book I have coming out next year) So I thought I'd share the first chapter with you. I designed a few wee dinkuses to break up the text but I can't decide which to use. Let me know here or on the blog which you like. The one with the most votes gets used when I put the chapter up today.

The Carriage Dinkus?

carriage dinkus


The Bat Dinkus?

Bat dinkus


Or the Spider Cage Dinkus?

Spider dinkus


I'm going to leave these up until noon. Then I'll put the new chapter online.

xox

C

 
  • Listening to: Lyric FM
  • Reading: Sunset Unlimited
  • Watching: Football
  • Playing: with my dog
  • Eating: Veggie Chilli
  • Drinking: Water
Into the Grey USA The wonderful YA Books Central are giving away a copy of the beautiful Candlewick edition of Into the Grey. All you need do to be in with a chance to win, is to leave your name here. (extras for those who can say what Trilogy I'm best known for :) )

By the way, stay tuned. I'm just heading into the copy edits for Resonance (WOOT HOOT!) This book was two years in the writing, and it's been four long years since I handed it over to my publishers. I love this book with all my heart. It's very important to me. To celebrate being so close to finishing, I'm going to share the first few pages with you very very soon.
  • Listening to: Lyric FM
  • Reading: Sunset Unlimited
  • Watching: Football
  • Playing: with my dog
  • Eating: Veggie Chilli
  • Drinking: Water
Mup&CrowWEB It's only been a couple of weeks since I handed the new book over the the agent and - despite all my good intentions re having a proper rest - I've already fallen down the next rabbit hole. This is Mup and her good friend Crow, the two main characters from my latest WiP (a book specifically written for children this time around)

As always, I already feel like the book's going to kill me. But I love my characters . I'm looking forward to spending the next six or seven months in their company.

There will be more drawings - its just that kind of project

I fully intend to stick to my internet blackout for this project- like I said, doing without the net seems to be the only way to get my scattered brain to focus these days - so it's going to be a little quiet around here. Before I go though, two nice pieces of news:

1/ Hot on the foot of it having won the 2013 RAI Book of the Year Award, Into the Grey has been shortlisted for the prestigious Sakura Medal (English High Catagory) It's up against some stiff competition but even being nominated is a great thrill as - like the CBI CHildren's Choice Award - the shortlisted books (and the winner) are chosen solely by kids based on their enjoyment of the book :)

2/ I've accepted a position as a manuscript consultant over at the Inkwell Group who offer a range of services to help authors get their manuscripts ready for submission to agents or publishers. From now on I will be one of the many industry professionals available to critique novels or WiP's in hopes of bringing them closer to a publishable standard.

OK. That's all my news.

Back down the rabbit hole with me.
  • Listening to: Lyric FM
  • Reading: The Golem and the Jinni
  • Watching: The Three Musketeers
  • Playing: with my dog
  • Eating: Veggie Chilli
  • Drinking: Water
Quartered2014After two years four months of hard graft, I've finished my latest novel. It's printed out. It's been sent to my agent. I've done all I can on it for now.

This was a tough one. Possibly one of the hardest things I've ever written. I can only trust I've done the story justice and hope it's received well. There are little bits of this one dotted about online, if you fancy a taste of it. I guess the biggest section is this one I put up on goodreads. I posted this to celebrate having converted the first 30k to 1st person ( after I realized the voice wasn't working for me and went back to the start)

I learned something very important while working on this one. I learned I need to switch off the internet if I'm to get anything done these days. Not just switch it off, but actually send it away (I ended up asked my husband to bring the router to work with him) I just didn't have the self-control not to keep going online. I'd kid myself I was only 'checking for mail' or 'hopping onto facebook' or 'researching that word' but whole hours of my time were being sucked down the drain by the damned thing. Once I removed myself from temptation, I found it much easier to maintain a train of thought and to stick with a chapter til the very end. Also, and perhaps even more importantly, my breaks from writing became actual breaks from my desk. I got up. I moved around. I went out into my garden. I was, in fact, a lot healthier for my lack of internet access.

I'm taking a week off now, and then I'm heading down the rabbit hole into the next book. I'm looking forward to this one. It's not exactly light (I don't think I'm capable of light!) but it promises to be a fun, magical, adventurous type of project. I need that after all the death and introspection of my last few novels. By its very nature it will be a shorter project, maybe only six months or so of writing involved. That's the plan anyway! lets see how it works out for me, shall we?

So that's it. Time for me to kick back for a few days.

Don't forget, anyone who wants help or guidance finishing, polishing or just plan wrestling with their fantasy novel, I'm giving a two day writing course in the Irish Writer's Centre on  Saturday 1st Feb and Sat 8th. Details are here
  • Listening to: Lyric FM
  • Reading: The Golem and the Jinni
  • Watching: The Three Musketeers
  • Playing: with my dog
  • Eating: Toast
  • Drinking: Tea
SnowQueen

The Book Smugglers are holding their annual Smugglivus celebration of all things bookish. I'm over there today talking about my favorite feasts in literature, and also giving away a signed, limited edition of the illustration above. If you fancy a chance to win it (no matter where in the world you live) just pop over to the Smugglers and leave your name :)
HallowreadWEBHappy Halloween all you spook loving lads and lassies! In celebration of the season, the lovely folks at Walker Books UK are giving away three scary books.

All you have to do to be in with a chance to win is tweet @WalkerBooksUK and let them know your favorite scary book or story! I've listed my favorites over at ink-slingers.uk.com if you need some inspiration!
Woot! Robert Dunbar, much loved children's book critic for the Irish Times has chosen his top kids/YA books of the last 25 years.  I am chuffed to be included on a list which names so many of my own writing heroes and favorite reads (inc Meg Rosoff, Patrick Ness, Melvin Burgess, Siobhan Parkinson, Roddy Doyle, Philp Reeves and David Almond)

The list is split in two. You can find part one here, and part two here

Into the Greytaken-away-front-cover-draftIntotheGrey
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(video link won't work - you can see line test on youtube here www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g9arh…)

Sitting here at 5am on a Sunday morning trying to get an overdue interview finished for a very patient book blogger (I'm sorry! It's on its way!) I went onto youtube looking for a video of a lecture I did back in 2010 and I rediscovered this wee thing! Now, it probably won't mean anything to anyone who's not in the animation business but this is what us dinosaurs used to call a 'line test'. It's a video of the animator's 'key drawings' (in other words the main action of an animated scene) The reason it's so grainy is because each character (the girl, the cat, the dog) were drawn on separate sheets of paper. In order to shoot the line test you had to lay these sheets - one atop the other - over a very strong light so that the lines would all show up for the camera. This test represents the animation before it's passed on to the assistant who (under the animator's supervision) did the drawings that fill in the blanks.

There were three of these assistants in my day: the 'assistant animator', the 'breakdown artist', and the 'inbetweener'. Working your way up these ranks was a great way to actually learn animation, and, in my day, it was how most people broke into the business and got their training. (Now folks seem to come straight in from college and start off in a studio as animators, which is another system entirely and just as valid)***

I have many of these linetests hanging about on CDs and videos in my attic, but the above scene is the only one I have online. It is from one of my all time favorite projects,  The Kliene Icebear ( the Little Polar Bear) which my husband and I worked on with Cartoonfilm, Berlin. We had such fun there, Cartoonfilm were a lovely company to work for and the project itself was so lovely. (It's actually funny this should come up this morning as only last week a fan spotted my name on the movie Anastasia and tweeted to ask was it me :) Anyone who is interested can find my film history here on my imbd profile.)

I'm working in animation again and I have to say it's stunning how things have changed. I know there are some studios where this old process is still in practice, but for the most part these days the huge building of men and women it took to get a piece of animation finished and up on the screen (the animation assistants, the cleanup artists, the special effects animators, the inkers, the cell painters, the camera people, the editors, the sound editors, the film cutters) have all been replaced by software. These days I find myself working on scenes that are screen ready as soon as they're done. Animated, inbetweened, inked, coloured, dubbed and ready to drop into the pre-edited sequence, they hop straight from the animator's desk to the screen all in one smooth slide. It's exciting in one way, but I confess I also find it quite sad. I suppose that sounds dumb to anyone who wasn't involved in that old collaborative, hands on, wasteful, beautiful, extraordinarily fulfilling system. But I miss drawing, I miss working with an assistant and an inbetweener knowing that I'm passing on the decades of experience which was passed down to me the same way. I miss the real visceral satisfaction of carving a series of drawings from a series of blank pages.

But you can't go back, and this line test has just been a walk down memory lane, nothing more. For me, it, and the time it represents, are over.

***It's an interesting piece of movie history trivia to note that the wages back then were on something called 'scale' which is difficult to explain but basically means that if the directors didn't credit you as an animator you didn't get paid as an animator. So the credits on these older movies are often at least one movie behind the artist's actual career.  You'll see credits like 'additional animator' or 'breakdown artist' on movies where people were actually animating but hadn't yet begun to be credited for it. (for example, my first inbetween job was on Land Before Time, but I wasn't credited for it. My first additional animation scenes were actually on All Dogs Go to Heaven (LOVED THAT PROJECT) and my very first full animation position was on Thumblina.) 
As most of you probably know, The Book Smugglers have reviewed Into the Grey (the first UK review! Yeay!) They're also step four on the Into the Grey musical blog tour, and are giving away a copy of the book. All you have to do is go over to them and leave your name for a chance to win the UK edition! So off you go, for a another wee taste of Into the Grey and a gentle tune from Cat Stevens as he's followed by his Moonshadow.

Into-the-Grey-Blog-Banner-copy


thebooksmugglers.com/2013/07/c…

Welcome to post three of the Into the Grey musical blog tour, in which I share videos of  seven songs that feature in my 1970's ghost novel Into the Grey, and explain what those songs mean to me and to the story. Today the tour is hosted by the lovely Melissa of My World in Books and Pages! This is one of my favorite of the blog entries as its one of my favorite moments in the book, where--to the background of ABBA winning the Eurovision--Pat frantically attempts to have a good time, while underneath secretly falling apart. Off you go now for a another wee taste of Into the Grey and a blast from ABBA as they sparkle their way through Waterloo in 1974.

Into-the-Grey-Blog-Banner-copy

Welcome to the Into the Grey musical blog tour in which I share videos of seven songs that feature in my 1970's ghost novel Into the Grey, and explain what those songs mean to me and to the story. First up on the Into the Grey musical soundtrack is man of many words Niall Alexander! Off you go to his review site the Speculative Scotsman for a summertime blast of the Doors asking Do You Love her Madly? (and a giveway of the UK edition!)

Into-the-Grey-Blog-Banner-copy

(first posted over at the blog)
Into the GreyOK, OK, don't kill me! I'm not wishing the summer away by any stretch of the imagination. But July means that I am hoppity skippiting towards August 1st which is the UK release date for Into the Grey

SO. MUCH. EXCITEMENT.

July is going to be an exhausting and exciting month as  I'm working in the animation studio full time for a while, and also scrabbling to get the next stage edits done on Resonance. This means I may be a wee bit quite around here. BUT, later in the month, I'm going to be doing a blog tour to celebrate the UK release of Into the Grey! (woot! My first blog tour!)

There's a lot of darkness in this book, lots of chills and talk of death and loss (some have even called it a horror book) But there's also lots of love and kindness and bravery - lots of human spirit. I thought I'd have a bit of fun with that side of the book on this tour. SO this will be all about music! Why certain songs feature in the story, what they mean to me, what memories are associated with them etc etc. (There'll be give aways too :) )

As soon as I have more details I'll let you know. We won't be seeing much of each other until the end of the month now, but until then, here's one of the songs from the book that (due to associated spoilers) couldn't get a mention on the tour. The fabulous Toots and the Maytals, 54-46 Was My Number.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sdXJi…

(Australian and Irish editions available)
  • Listening to: the dog snoring
  • Reading: Total Recall: Arnold Swartzenegger
  • Watching: Friday Night Lights
  • Playing: the nose flute
  • Eating: Racer bar
  • Drinking: Tea