Donal Skehan may just be the hardest working author/blogger/chef/popstar I know (though I know few enough that meet that exact definition).
He has really been working himself to the bone the last while and it’s really delivering for him.
he won the best Food & Drink blog for his incredible blog The Good Mood Food Blog at the Irish Blog Awards in Galway. He also let everyone on twitter know that he has had over 1,000,000 hits on that blog!
His book, which I had the pleasure of commissioning while at Mercier Press and launching when it came out in time for Christmas (there’s a video of the launch here), Good Mood Food, has been reprinted and he has been on the afternoon show twice recently.
I’m sure there’s more great stuff to come from Donal and it’s all well deserved because he works so damn hard and above all is a thoroughly decent human being! It’s nice when the good guy gets his just reward.
Some time ago, while I was still working at Mercier Press, probably back in early 2008 in fact, I read a submission. It was for a book by a young man called Kieran Mark Crowley. The pitch was great, the text was zingy and the whole thing just read exceptionally well.
I met Mark, liked, him, pitched the book at the new title meeting and before we knew what was happening, Colm & The Lazarus Key was published and on bookshelves (complete with a rocking cover by the wonderful Snowbooks folks).
Last week the shortlist for the 20th Bisto Children’s Book of the Year Awards was announced and Kieran’s wonderful book was one of the ten books chosen for that shortlist. I’m delighted because I honestly believe that Kieran has many more fine books in him and that Colm & The Lazarus Key is one of the finest Irish children’s debut novels for some time.