I just want to say a big thank you to the producers of RTE’s Nationwide for coming to our home and filming a piece about Butterfly Barn and the issues it deals with. Thank you to the ladies in Feileacain for travelling to Waterford to be involved and for the fantastic work they do every day to help people to cope with this huge loss.
Thanks to Kelly on Upstarts and Peter Cronin from Alaymont International for their tips and advice as I journey with Butterfly Barn. We spent the first day of summer chatting about how I can bring the book to the attention of more readers. As an author this was my first radio interview in Dublin. Kelly made me feel relaxed and Peter asked the hard questions.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable process and has given me some food for thought. Yes, I very much want to continue writing. I plan to launch the sequel to Butterfly Barn in November 2015.
Thanks to readers Butterfly Barn is travelling the world. Every other day I receive photos of Butterfly Barn from near and far. I am so grateful to you all for taking the time to do this.
It all started when one reader went to Paris and took a fantastic shot of Butterfly Barn, under the Eiffel Tour at night. Since then photographs appear either to my email or Facebook page from places I would never have imagined. Just to give you a feel, here are some examples.
I’m delighted to say I have been invited to speak at this year’s Waterford Writers Weekend. Since the launch of Butterfly Barn last November, my novel has brought me an a journey I could never have dreamed of. Join me on Friday, 08 May 2015 at The Book Centre, Waterford from 1 – 2 pm where I will share some of those experiences and answer questions. You are all very welcome and bring along friends. Here’s a link to the full programme of events. I’m looking forward to an interesting, insightful weekend with authors. poets, and playwrights from around the country.
A beautiful person called Bernadette Philips contacted me after reading Butterfly Barn. She said, “You need to meet Mary and Nick Ryan.” Bernadette didn’t get into details with either the Ryan’s or myself, just simply that we had to meet. So on Sunday last (22 March) Bernadette and I drove to New Ross. What I discovered was mind blowing!!
This wonderful Wexford couple have created a place of great beauty in honour of their daughter, Nicola. Nicola died from Sudden Cardiac Death at the tender age of fourteen leaving a gaping hole in the lives of her family. At Teach Beag, Nick and Mary offer a helping hand to others who are going through the pain of this tremendous loss. In their words, “We are not counsellors but we can listen and sit with you in your heartbreak.”
I’m proud to be from, Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, nestled in the beautiful South-East. Especially today because in 1903 Waterford Corporation was the first city to declare St. Patrick’s day a holiday. The story goes back to the 1700’s when a Franciscan priest called Luke Wadding, who haled from Waterford, was appointed to the Congregation of Breviary. His bid to make Saint Patrick’s day an official Saint’s day was successful.
Just a little story about the wonderful kindness and support Butterfly Barn is receiving. Jennifer from Beautilious here in Waterford took a trip to Bermuda, while reading Butterfly Barn on the beach a freak wave hit and soaked both Jen and her friend Eldon. (The ipad was destroyed but Butterfly Barn survived getting a little bit drenched). They got a mad idea to bring the book to The Bermuda Bookstore to ask would they consider stocking it. The owners were so amused by what had happened they agreed to read it and have since requested stock. Butterfly Barn is now sitting on a book shelf and in the window of The Bermuda Bookstore. How cool is that!! Here’s some photo’s of Butterfly Barn drying on the balcony … Outside The Bermuda Bookstore …
It’s been 11 weeks and 2 days since Butterfly Barn was launched. It has been a fantastic adventure so far. Leaving our home on the 14th of November last, my husband Michael turned to me and said. “Remember Karen, no matter what happens tonight you have achieved your dream.”
I truly have, nothing could have prepared me for the reception Butterfly Barn is receiving. Without the help and support from the people of Waterford it would have been impossible. Butterfly Barn stayed at No.1 in Original fiction for six weeks in The Book Centre, Waterford. Local newspapers featured the book and radio stations across the South-East invited me to chat about Butterfly Barn. I managed to get two minutes with Joe Duffy on national radio before Christmas which helped to bring Butterfly Barn to a wider audience. When the manager of Ireland’s oldest, most prestigious bookshop read it and compared my writing to Maeve Binchy, I have to say it was my proudest moment, especially when she added. “That book will be on our shelves on Monday morning.”
In the middle of all of this, a reader asked, “Why are you so surprised by how much we love the book?” It’s taken me awhile to answer. I’ve always believed in Butterfly Barn, I love the characters and what they stand for. I also dream that someday such a place will exist. I suppose I’m surprised by its success because I took a road less travelled by self-publishing. Originally, I had planned to have the launch in an Art Gallery and risk printing 100 books. I love the smell and feel of a book so it was important to me to have a physical book. I never imagined The Book Centre, Waterford and Eason’s Dungarvan would give me the opportunity to launch Butterfly Barn in their stores nor did I think Argosy Wholsalers would take stock making it available to bookstores across Ireland. I am amazed that over 1,800 printed copies have been sold to date, mostly across the South-East. A huge thanks to Woman’s Way magazine for Butterfly Barn’s first mention in a national magazine last week.
Chenile at Kazoo Publishing made it possible for me to hold a beautiful produced book in my hand and she uploaded it to every digital platform, Amazon Kindle, CreateSpace, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes and Nobles etc. Independent bookstores have also made it available on their websites.
Butterfly Barn Facebook page has reached 1600 Likes. Every day, I receive photographs of the cover of the book from across the world from places like Bermuda, Florida, Paris, Prague to Sark Island and Sydney, all because readers are taking time from their busy lives to support this book. I will never be able to thank them enough.
The Library Service in four counties has taken stock of the book and I have been invited along to do readings and talk about Butterfly Barn with their members. Book clubs are reading the book because of the variety of issues it addresses.
The other day, I received a call from Feileacain, the stillborn and neonatal association of Ireland, to say they would like to recommend Butterfly Barn as a novel which leaves people with a feeling of hope at a time of huge grief. I am truly honoured by this as the reason I write is to highlight areas which are little talked about and sometimes even less understood. If my writing can help one person, all of this will have been worth it. One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard about writing was – write what you know. My decision to share wasn’t taken lightly. It is twelve years since we lost our baby boys, Michael and Aiden and there is not a day that goes by without my thinking of them. They brought me on a journey I would never have travelled, and for that I am very grateful. Thank you all so much for your support. XX Karen
I’m still on a high since Friday evening. I was blown away by the support from my family, old friends and new friends, who came along to the launch of my novel Releasing Butterfly Barn into the world was probably the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done.
Strictly Fun Dancing
Since this adventure began the goodwill and support I am getting has been unbelievable, Opportunities I never expected have emerged. The secretary of Crettyard GAA, Martin Patterson invited me to be a guest judge at their Strictly Fun Dancing evening on Saturday the 25th of October in Carlow. I was surprised to say the least.