Ni­cola has the ‘write ‘stuff with three-book deal

Drogheda Independent - - NEWS - By ALI­SON COMYN

While many mums of two young chil­dren are de­lighted to just get dressed in the morn­ing, Ni­cola Cas­sidy is putting us all to shame by sign­ing a three-book deal!

The Drogheda au­thor, whose first book ‘ De­cem­ber Girl’ was a mas­sive suc­cess, is now busy work­ing on not one but three fol­low-ups for her triple deal with Pool­beg Press, with her next book al­ready due to hit the shelves in June 2019.

“I have known since Au­gust and couldn’t wait un­til it was fi­nalised to tell ev­ery­one,” says Ni­cola, who also writes an award-winning blog Lady Nicci.com.

“It’s very ex­cit­ing, and an hon­our too, be­cause it’s a real val­i­da­tion of your writ­ing.”

Mar­ried to well-known mu­si­cian Ro­nan McQuil­lan of the En­e­mies fame, and mother to Au­gust (4) and Bon­nie (18 mths), Ni­cola is thrilled to be in the com­pany of writ­ers like Mar­ian Keyes and Pa­tri­cia Scan­lan with her new pub­lish­ers and says she has learned so much in the past few years.

“I’ve learned so much in the year since De­cem­ber Girl came out and I knew what to ex­pect when my lit­er­ary agent started her work on book two,” she ex­plains.

“With book two, I found the whole novel so much eas­ier to write, and re­ally en­joyed the process and I hope read­ers will see a pro­gres­sion in my writ­ing.”

The first book with Pool­beg will be re­leased in late June 2019, en­ti­tled The Nanny at No. 43. It’s a stand­alone story, set in Drogheda in 1880 and was in­spired by an ad­vert Ni­cola saw in the Drogheda Con­ser­va­tive, a news­pa­per of the time.

“I came across the ad when I was re­search­ing old news­pa­pers in the li­brary and it just said ‘Wanted, a re­spectable woman to care for a moth­er­less child’, she says.

“Wid­ower Wil­liam D. Thomas then gets more than he bar­gained for when a mys­te­ri­ous woman re­sponds to the ad­vert, and when the bodies of twin ba­bies are dis­cov­ered buried in a back gar­den in Dublin, a woman hunt be­gins for one of Ire­land’s most poi­sonous child killers.”

Ni­cola says she finds it easy to set her nov­els in Drogheda, as she knows the land­scape.

“It is such an his­toric town, with beau­ti­ful build­ings, and if I can start with a nugget of truth, I can make up the rest from there,” says the writer.

“I’m work­ing on the next book now too, as that must be com­pleted by next sum­mer too, so I’ll be kept busy.”

With all that you won­der how Ni­cola finds the time to also run her suc­cess­ful life­style, par­ent­ing and lit­er­ary blog LadyNicci.com, which is cur­rently up for two ma­jor na­tional awards.

“I’m de­lighted to have been short­listed in two cat­e­gories in the Ir­ish Blog Awards (Books and Lit­er­a­ture and Life­style), and I’ve been writ­ing it for five years and just love do­ing it,” she says.

“It’s sort of like keep­ing a diary, and while it is re­ally very lovely to be se­lected as a fi­nal­ist for any­thing, the real re­wards are in hav­ing peo­ple read your ma­te­rial, com­ment on them, or men­tion to you in pass­ing that they like what you write.”

This is not the first time her blog has been recog­nised - it was short-listed at the Ir­ish Blog Awards in 2014 and 2015 and was a fi­nal­ist in 2016.

The web­site is also the home of Ni­cola’s series How I Write, where she in­ter­views au­thors about cre­ative process.

When she isn’t con­jur­ing up prose, Ni­cola is a mar­ket­ing man­ager, with reg­u­lar gigs as a singer.

So, with two chil­dren and two books al­ready, does that mean a third baby is on the hori­zon with book num­ber three?

“Eh, no more chil­dren,” she says em­phat­i­cally, with a laugh.

“I am al­ready work­ing on my next book, which will be a biofic­tion of a real per­son, which will maybe mean a few trips to the States, so I re­ally have enough on my plate!”

Fa­mous last words Ni­cola...!

Ni­cola Cas­sidy

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