Happy World Book Day! We love books of all shapes and sizes here at Gill Books and to celebrate we asked some of our authors about a typical day in their life. Read on to get a sneak peek inside the mind of a Gill Books author.
As a comedian and author I never stop writing or thinking as I walk around. So my favourite time of the day is when I can step into my writing room in my house, shut the door, no phones, no music, no noise at all. I need total silence to listen and watch what my brain is going to tell me and get all those ideas down.
I sometimes even wear ear plugs, so the silence is even greater. I don’t search my mind for stories, it’s just a matter of me listening to it and copying down what it creates. It’s a bit like meditation, it takes me a few minutes to get deep into myself then all of a sudden I’m in.
I’m a very visual person so I can see all the characters as if they’re in front of me, that’s how I get dialogue - I simply watch them talk to each other, or write about where they are. I keep writing till it simply switches off. Then that’s it for another day.
Adventures of a Wonky-Eyed Boy is Jason Byrne’s side-splitting memoir of an accident prone childhood growing up on a mad road in suburban Dublin in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Accompanied by the award-winning illustrator Nicky Phelan, you’ll meet a hilarious cast of real life characters from Jason’s childhood as he embarks on his many adventures.
I start and end my day eating books. In between, I’m serving them to my little rascals, navigating the world of pirates and detectives. I swear they almost levitate with excitement.
Reading stokes my imagination and gives rhythm to my thoughts. Even cookbooks come to bed with me. They are the perfect pillow companion for my sleepy brain cells. A wonderful flirt!
When Irish food writer Susan Jane White was advised to stay away from wheat, dairy and refined sugar during a debilitating illness, her food future seemed bleak, bland and boring. So, drawing on her gastronomic background, she created seriously tasty recipes that didn’t compromise her health. The result? Susan Jane’s energy levels went through the roof and her friends and family began to look for her ‘free-from’ recipes whether or not they had intolerances.
My typical day starts around 8am (or 7 if I have to walk the dog!) and I like to have a cup of coffee at home while I get ready. I walk to my studio, about 15 minutes away, and have another cup of coffee with an apple while I get my day planned out. I like to make to-do lists and I normally have my work laid out for me a few months in advance. I find it more comforting to know what I have to do a long time in advance, cause otherwise it can get quite confusing with lots of jobs on the go at once! I normally start working at 9.30 once my inbox is clear, and at the moment it’s mainly my books with Gill that take up the day. I give myself a day to do each page, so I have to start by reading over our text, planning where everything will go, and then start illustrating! I work completely digitally with my book illustrations, because it gets quite finicky once text starts being added! I always take a lunch break, whether it’s a meal out with a friend or some fruit and yoghurt at my desk with a crossword. And then it’s back to finish the page I’ve been working – this can take me up to 5pm or 8pm depending on how much detail there is in that particular piece. And then I tick all the tasks off my list, pack up my bits and head home, ready for the next day to start it again!
There is no stopping father-and-daughter duo, Fatti and John Burke. Irelandopedia has won 3 awards including an Irish Book Award 2015 and a CBI Book of the Year Award 2015 and Historopedia was nominated for the Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Junior) Award in 2016. Their ever expanding portfolio includes the amazing Historopedia, the Irelandopedia Activity Book and Irelandopedia. Coming soon from John and Fatti Burke is the Historopedia Activity Book and the Irelandopedia Quiz Book by Shauna Burke (daughter of John and sister of Fatti), John Burke and Fatti Burke.
My typical day might depend on the tide and wind. I’ll wake up, look out the window to check the waves and put on some coffee. I love to get a surf in first thing the morning as it sets me up well for the day. Then I’ll have breakfast and do some writing.
If I’m working on a new recipe I’ll try to shoot it early while there’s good light and I’ll scribble notes on scrap paper to type out later. A few of my close friends have businesses about town so I’ll usually meet them for tea or lunch and then do a bit of the Roughey cliff walk after lunch.
In the afternoon I’ll be working away on whatever project is on the go. This might be menu planning for an event, a blog or at the moment I’m learning how to use my new camera equipment for an upcoming trip. Some evenings I’ve lifeboat training or Spanish class or I might make dinner with my boyfriend and some friends and just chill and watch a movie.
Coeliac surfing chef Finn Ní Fhaoláin shares her delicious, gluten-free recipes for fuelling a balanced, active, happy life, including Danish Breakfast Brød, Mother Hubbard’s Bare Cupboard Granola, Moroccan Surfer’s Breakfast, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Cardboard-Thick Crust Pizza and Elderflower and Redcurrant Muffins in her first book Finn’s World.
I don’t think I have had a typical day since I left the rigid agenda imposed by boarding school well over quarter of a century ago. I dream of typical days, of a clockwork routine where I breakfast with my wife and daughters, kiss Ally adieu, drop the girls into school, indulge in a quick swim at the local pool and then kick back in my office until late afternoon, researching or writing history. Sometimes I even get to do that. Maybe for a day or two, before the distractions kick in. I love those days. Delving into the online archives to see if I can connect the dots. When a hunch comes good, the sense of fulfilment is great.
The reason I don’t get to do that too often is because a self-employed historian must cast the new wide to ensure one’s economic livelihood. And that is why I now have umpteen part-time careers. Over the past half-decade or so I have given over 100 talks, written a couple of hundred newspaper and magazine features, co-presented two rounds of a TV series, led 50 plus tours, presented a radio slot on Newstalk, co-authored a film script, researched a dozen family histories, served as a historical consultant, run a festival for three years and written a bunch of books.
The eternal plus is that life is rarely predictable. This month, for instance, sees the opening of ‘City By the Sea’, an exhibition on the maritime history of Cork, which I’ve had the great pleasure of curating. It officially opens in St Peter’s Church, Cork, on 29 March.
Turtle Bunbury is one of Ireland’s most acclaimed historians, as well as a television presenter and public speaker. His books include the award-winning, bestselling Vanishing Ireland series and the much-admired The Glorious Madness and his latest book 1847 A Chronicle of Genius, Generosity and Savagery.
I don’t tend to have a typical day, as my schedule can vary so much and I travel quite a bit for work, both around Ireland and to the UK and Europe. Generally, I would aim to get to a morning Pilates class to shock me into waking up! Then I would return home, make a protein smoothie and a bowl of porridge, before settling into a couple of hours work at my home office. I answer emails and update my website or write my nutrition column for The Herald. I usually prepare a quick and healthy lunch, such as soup or a salad, and generally take a few photos of it for my blog and social media before enjoying it! I then spend some time planning my next food and fitness workshop, which involves speaking to the venue about food options and contacting sponsors about the goody bags.
I do quite a lot of talks on healthy eating around the country, so I would get ready to head out for an hour-long presentation followed by an audience Q&A. I really enjoy public speaking and the human interaction of events. So much communication is done online, so I love meeting my readers in real life and answering whatever questions they may have. Evenings are usually spent on the sofa curled up with my husband Wes and our two dogs, Ted and Leo.
Following on from the success of her debut release, Eat Yourself Beautiful, Rosanna Davison is back to help you get fighting fit, fast! With over 100 powerful recipes that complement and enhance your fitness routine, a sample diet, exercise plans and tricks to keep you motivated, Eat Yourself Fit has everything you need to look and feel your very best.
Typically, I wake up just before 7am and get my two children (5 and 7) ready for school. Once I drop them off after our 10-minute walk together, I go for another brisk walk in the nearby park or incorporate some other form of exercise- preferably outdoors. After that, I return home and focus on work. Every day is very different and as a nutritional therapist, I either do consultations with clients, check in with colleagues on the latest science updates, write for my blog or articles for magazines, create new recipes, do online group trainings or record videos for my programmes. Some afternoons, the kids are home early from school and I spend the time with them. We always have dinner at around 6pm as a family. Once the kids are in bed, I either relax or catch up on some more work. Bed time is early at 10pm.
In The Ketogenic Kitchen Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly share with you exciting nutritional developments which reveal that a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat, in conjunction with the treatment recommended by medical professionals, offers new hope and protection against many chronic illnesses. This food philosophy also has the welcoming side effects of weight loss and management, higher energy levels and glowing good health.
Author of The Baby Led Feeding Cookbook, available March 10.
My typical day used to be cooking in the morning while my toddler was having his nap then photographing him eating the food once he woke up. These days however it is a very different day. Now he’s a little bit older and the naps have gone. He likes to help with every single part of the cooking process, pouring in the flour, press the buttons and always, always taste. Needless to say there have been a few disasters in the kitchen but for the most part though it is great fun and I love these moments with him.
Once we have managed to cook a yummy dish it is time for styling and photographing. This takes me much longer than cooking because I am so particular about how everything looks. Some days my little toddler lets me photograph him and on others not so much so that all depends on the day.
Then it’s just the regular family life, dinners, cleaning, baths and lots of snuggles and stories before the little ones fall asleep. I’m a lightweight these days and am usually not far behind them and asleep by 10.
The Baby Led Feeding Cookbook is a new healthy way of eating for your baby that the whole family will love! There is growing recognition that baby-led weaning is the healthiest way for children to develop a love of good food. Aileen used this method to successfully wean her three children. Since she began to share her delicious recipes, which are free from salt and refined sugar, on her blog, they have become a popular phenomenon. Here, in her first cookbook, she shares over 150 recipes that the whole family will love, including Three-Ingredient Banana Pancakes, Sweet Potato Super Muffins, Tuna and Quinoa Baby Bites, Avocado Pasta, Chicken Korma Pies and Buddha Bowls. Aileen also includes advice on how to get started when your baby is ready to be weaned, as well as her very own kitchen tips.