Tag Archives: Ireland

Can a writer’s anxiety suffocate their chance of success? How learning to back yourself is crucial…


So you’ve written a book. When do you decide to tell not just agents and publishers but stand up and shout proudly from the nearest mountain top that you have written a book in all its glory for anyone and everyone to hear?

Whether we recognise it or not, the moment we decide to send it out on submission, its begun a journey, albeit a very long, lonely one but one filled with surprises along the way and soon that book begins to eclipse your worries of failure and your need for re-assurance and become something separate to you, away from the anxiety – for you and your book are not one and the same. The book is fine, its the unpublished writer that’s the mess.

We talk to people in quiet voices, half in embarrassment as they ask how the book’s going and I answer truthfully that I’m still knocking on doors but perhaps its not until you can get over yourself that your book can set sail under its own steam.

‘What’s it about?’ they ask politely and you die inside, judging them judging you before you’ve even finished. You stumble out the word fantasy, then say horror too, then regret that cause it’s not really and then you say, “Well it would be similar to Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.” While this has lots of meaning to me, I imagine them stumped – not fans, not interested. Isn’t the whole vampire thing done already? Always knew she was odd, I can almost hear them say.

And so, you keep your book to yourself, tell people on a need-to-know basis to save yourself those conversations. And then something happens. Perhaps tired of feeling this way, tired of waiting for answers that could quite frankly change your life, you decide that you will put your head above the parapet, take a little peak around. You breathe the air in at an agent workshop and think, hey, there’s enough oxygen up here for all of us . You take the feedback. You realise that maybe you’ve learnt a few things from the rejections in the rear view mirror and that what you have might just be okay.

I sit in the front row at a ‘how to get published’ panel during the Dublin Book Festival and take notes – brazen as you like! I even wave hello to the agent I met the day before. Jeez, hold yourself back there girl – you’re in danger of behaving like any other normal person in the room. And though I skulk off afterwards instead of chatting to the publishing folk hanging around (my gumption only lasts so long), I can feel something different in myself. Gone is that helpless feeling of sitting around, being shy both for myself and most dangerously for my book.

I even attend a seminar the following weekend on self-publishing. Something which at the beginning of my journey seemed like a last resort, an oh-well-if-all-else-fails-I-can-shove-it-out-there, ashamed that I couldn’t get any real publishers to take it. I’m not proud of my small town view of e-publishing but the dream was a traditional one. And then in the course of one day, my perception changed totally. A complete 180. Control. Self-publishing means you have control and that notion swims even now in my mind a few weeks later. I now know that this journey is actually a hell of a lot more exciting than I’d anticipated and while I continue to chase traditional submissions, I know that there is no way that my book will ever be a throw-it-out-there thing. The skies of the year ahead suddenly went from grey to blue, even just at the thought of taking its fate into my own hands.

And so I stand proudly over my book. I’m not the sort to rant about its merits, quite the opposite but I know that the feedback I’ve had from my chosen readers has been abundantly positive and so I’m ready now to stand up and own it. So here’s what it is and here’s to not choking on my words when someone is kind enough to ask, ‘What’s it about?’


New York. 1847.

An Irish girl with a murderous secret. A vampire out for revenge.

Brought together by a powerful force…their destiny is blood.

Seventeen-year-old EVEYLN MOONEY has just burned a man to death with her bare hands. Now she has to run, keeping it a secret from her protective brother MICHAEL, until she can figure it out. Together they flee their famine stricken homeland, crossing the Atlantic to New York and into the household of Russian aristocrat VLADIMIR DERMATOV. But their new master has a secret of his own and when his dead brother makes a miraculous return, the stage is set for a reunion unlike any other. For SASHA is now a vampire, seeking retribution on the brother that left him in the hands of a monster. Their fates will be decided in the mansions of Fifth Avenue and far below them, for a dark force lurks beneath the city who would bring them all together.

©Clare B. Daly 2016

The TRAINWRECK cast hit Google in Dublin


Being in the Foundry at Google’s European Headquarters is like seeing into the double oo’s of Google as if they were a giant pair of spectacles. The foundry is their hipster hangout and newest space in their Barrow Street empire and features a supercool state of the art auditorium packed this afternoon with all 360 multi coloured seats taken. Everyone has their phone at the ready, half have laptops and there’s lots of twenty-something Googly people chatting face to face and in real time with their co-workers. A giant screen fills the end wall, and five empty chairs (yellow, blue, orange, green and red) wait expectantly for their VIP guests.

This is the last day of a worldwide promotional tour for the Trainwreck stars, as they’ve traversed the globe spreading their giddy delight from social media outlet to radio station to joe-so on the street, so it’s fitting that Dublin should be their last stop. Apatow has brought previous films here to celebrate, knowing Irish audiences are particularly receptive to his sense of humour. “I love it here” he says with enthusiasm. It’s certainly mutual and there is an air of the love-in to this afternoon’s little gathering.

Greeted by mediator Karen Koster, of TV3’s Xpose (who perfectly sets the tone – cool, laid back and fun), Apatow ascends the stairs to the stage, followed by Schumer and co-stars (and SNL alumni) Bill Hader and Vanessa Bayer.

Having chalked up close to 94 million dollars at the U.S. box office, the cast arrived yesterday from Amsterdam and are “unravelling” according to Schumer “but in a good way”. Having enjoyed the Irish hospitality the night before (Hader and Schumer are quick to confesses to over imbibing the Guinness “enough to kill a small adult”), they are suitably relaxed on their last social engagement before the premiere at the Savoy tonight. She makes fun of the title of the film and how it’s been changed overseas. In France it’s ‘Crazy Amy’ and she says here the Irish response to her booze-addled promiscuity is “why would she be a train wreck?” She lets the question hang as the audience chuckles at the stereotypical image of the Irish carouser.


Her new found success is still something she’s getting used to. She gets papped now and strangers on the subway in New York are slyly taking her picture. “So I’m on the train on the way to therapy” she says pausing to add a meek “I’m fine”, “wearing a blue rain poncho and an old pair of headphones. I looked like I was leaving a soup kitchen to go take a dump in a shelter” she adds. Schumer is best when uncensored, her filter switched off and let run wild. There is no topic off limits when it comes to her comedy. She jokes that she asks friends, family and ex-boyfriends if she can use their stories and just changes their names if they say no.

The chemistry between Schumer and Hader crackles off screen too. The pair have an energy, sparring off each other in a constant comedy battle of wits with every look and remark funnier than the last.  “I begged to be in it” he says. He and Schumer had never met before and were set up for a fake date with Apatow towing along with his camera.”They were very disgusting” jokes Hader of the snaps, pondering why Apatow would want him and Schumer to star in it together having seen the “horrendous” pictures.  Both are self-deprecating but when a clip runs on the giant screen behind them, you witness the genius of their pairing.

Vanessa Baer too is perfectly cast as Amy’s best friend Nikki. She’s hilarious in person and the story she tells of going to college in Ireland is a running joke between the four of them (she never gets to tell it) and they crack each other up with quips and moans of how it will take 40 minutes for her to explain. They are clearly enjoying themselves.


When asked about the best compliments they’ve received since its stateside release Apatow is quick to tip his hat to his star actress and writer. “I’m very proud that Amy loves it, we spent so long talking about it. It means so much to her and we talked about this for years and how we’d do it and the fact that she loves the movie is the best compliment I think you can get.”  Schumer humbly sits next to him in her green chair head bowed, while Hader points out that while Amy is a very funny lady she’s a classically trained actress who decided to do stand-up, wowing them all on set with her skills. Baer is quick to add that for Schumer is also very generous with screen time for the other actors in the film. “She’s such a fan of other people so she really gave everybody else a chance to shine”.

Schumer herself is humble in her reply. She recounts taking her dad (who like her dad in the film, has MS) to a cinema near the hospital facility where he lives to see it as he couldn’t attend the premiere. “He said I’m so proud of you so that was like the best compliment to me.” She describes her appearance that day as very “grey gardens“, “more like ET in drag” interjects Hader as the room erupts again with laughter.

When the mic is thrown open to the floor (literally a fuzzy green smurf-like creature that can be tossed around the audience with a built in mic much to the panel’s amusement) the funniest answer comes from Schumer when asked what the most embarrassing thing she’s ever googled. “For me it’s not the most embarrassing but if you looked at how many times I’ve googled them. Can I drink on these antibiotics? And does this antibiotic make my birth control obsolete? I’ve googled both a million times.”

As it finishes Hader feigns relief exiting stage left as the room is drowned in whoops and applause and stops to shake hands with fans on the way out. The cast are off to do their premiere prep (which includes meeting up with Glen Hansard for a drink) and we have to come back to the real world and dry the tears of laughter from our eyes.

Trainwreck is in cinemas