Okay, here we go...
First of all, I suppose an introduction is in order. So, here it is:
My name is Billy O'Callaghan, I live in an attic in Cork (in Ireland, for those in distant lands) and am trying hard to write my way to sanity. Apparently, I still have quite a distance to go.
Last year, I received the boost that all us poor misguided creatures (writers...) crave, when a collection of my short stories, entitled 'In Exile', was published by Mercier Press, Ireland's oldest independent publishing house. Not that very many people noticed, of course (check the Amazon sales rankings if you require confirmation). There was no juggernaut promotional campaign, not for a small first printing (something like 2000 copies, still not sold through). The book scored a few pleasant reviews, not exactly cloud nine stuff but enough to set the pulses fluttering, and then that was more or less it.
Mercier, though, must have liked something about the book, because they have decided to gamble on me again. Sometime this coming June, a second collection, 'In Too Deep', will appear in bookshops up and down the country, and across the world (well, I can dream ...). I'm not expecting miracles, but hey, you never know, do you?
Getting published might sound like I've got it made but the reality, unfortunately, is very, VERY different. Still, it has been a struggle almost beyond words to get even this far. I might be merely a minnow in a great unfriendly ocean but at least I'm out there, and trying my damnedest to swim.
This blog will be my attempt at describing life here on my lowly rung of the writing ladder, far away from the highs of bestsellers lists and appearances on Oprah, Tuburdy's Book Club, or Richard and Judy (or whatever it might be that they call themselves, these days). My world (like that of the majority of struggling writers) is a world of multiple rejections, of having to cope with the painful belly-kick that comes from not making the shortlist of whichever short story competition has held my hopes and dreams in its grasp for the past several months. The occasional successes, when they bother to come, tend to be paid in pittances at best but more likely in a solitary contributor's copy of some nice-looking magazine or journal that perhaps a hundred people will ever bother to read. A hundred if I'm lucky.
What you will find here probably won't be pretty, but it will be reality. We can't all be Dave Eggers or Jhumpa Lahiri, we can only be ourselves.
Now, it's sherbet time ...