Two awesome things – A Crack in Everything recommended read & #YAIE

I was in the Gutter Bookshop in Dalkey today and found A Crack in Everything in a proud position as part of their Christmas recommendations for teens. So now they have signed copies. And I have a lovely photo.


In some rather smashing company too.

And on Twitter there is now a hashtag for all things YA in Ireland – #YAIE and an account @booksyaie - thanks to Michelle Moloney King,   and 

Can’t wait for it.

Join us for the inaugural Twitter chat – next Wed (Dec 17), 7.30-8.30pm. Topic: ‘Irish books I wish were written when I was a YA’. #YAIE



A short post about drafts and editing


In pictures (some moving) because I really should be editing.


I’ve just finished the first draft of the next book.

There was lots of this


And now I have a first draft full of all the words. Some of it makes sense. Some of it…

nooooooooot so much.


Hold my purse

It’s time to edit. I have printed it out, I have a notebook to make notes and a pen to decorate the margins in doodles err I mean edit.



I will read through the whole thing and try to make it better. Basically in this scenario there are two me’s. Beckett me and Castle me. (Editor brain and Snowflake brain)

dont ruin my story with your logic

But in the end it isn’t ruined. It’s made better. I hope.

And that is my editing process.


Actually there is a lot more to it than that but this is the basic premise and I should be editing, not doing blog posts about editing.

But blog posts with little moving pictures are sooooooooooo much more fun.

(Oh and I totally stole these gifs and images from all over the internet).

A Crack in Everything Playlist

Obviously music is important in A Crack in Everything so I thought I would share some of the songs that inspired various aspects of the story and the characters. There are actually a lot more than on this list (it changes as the mood takes me), and some versions I personally prefer to others. I tried to restrict this list to one song by an artist, but… yeah, I’m not very good at that in real life. There’s a lot of Florence + the Machine and Camille O’Sullivan going on at the best of times. And two Camille covers just had to be the ones.


I could go on for ages about the different songs and why I picked them. If you’ve any questions, just ask.

There’s also a YouTube playlist but not all of the versions I chose are up there, so we’ve Elkie Brook’s version of Lilac Wine instead of Camille O’Sullivan for example. Why not Jeff Buckley? Well… there’s a debate for another day. Why The Fratelli’s version of All Along the Watchtower?

I am a big fan of covers and reinterpretation, especially in music. I like new versions of old things. I like seeing things afresh. And sometimes they say something a little bit closer to what I was aiming for in the book.

Hope you enjoy.

A quick thank you

We had a fantastic night in the Gutter bookshop on Thursday. So good. So many people. So much fun.

Of course I forgot to take photos. I was a little bit busy. But there are some lovely photos. I just don’t have them myself. (If anyone wants to send me some…)

Thanks so much to everyone involved. Unfortunately C. E. Murphy couldn’t be with us due to a family emergency but thankfully all are well now. Sending all the healthy vibes.

I’m going to have a bit of a flump for a few days. Um… and I probably ought to be writing. ;)

In the meantime, there’s a goodreads giveaway of A Crack in Everything up. It’s open to UK and Ireland, so start clicking.

Meeting Jinx – A Crack in Everything teaser

HenriettaStDublin2“Then everything else fell away to silence.

And the sound of the gentle rise and fall of someone else’s breath.

‘You shouldn’t be here either,’ said the voice called Jinx.

Strangely melodic a voice. So deep it resonated through her.

But not kind. In no way could anyone call it kind.

Izzy’s temper bristled. No, ‘are you okay?’ No, ‘did he hurt you?’ She scowled, searching for him in the shadows. Her vision drifted back towards normality. She could see again, almost. Blinking hard, she tried to focus on him.

‘I’m just fine, thanks,’ she snapped. ‘No harm done.’

Liar. She hurt all over. Not to mention the wound to her pride. What had she been thinking? Everyone knew not to chase thieves down alleys. Instinct was one thing, but what if he’d had a knife? What if he’d had friends?

A vague outline that had to be Jinx loomed over her. Big, broad. And scary, her instincts told her, a little too late to be of any use. This was so not the place to be.

Dropping to her knees she made an attempt to gather her belongings. There was some sort of sludge covering the notebook. She tried to wipe it off, but it clung on stubbornly. Scraping it didn’t work, neither did the crumpled tissue that she found with it.

The sob that tore its way out of her came as a complete surprise. Fat drops of water fell from her eyes and splashed amid the rubbish. Her things tumbled from her shaking hands, even as she tried to scoop them into her bag.

‘Here,’ Jinx said quietly, surprisingly gentle. She looked up to see a pair of long-fingered hands cupped in front of her. Masculine hands, but elegant, like an artist’s. They cradled the broken remains of her mobile phone. ‘It’s banjaxed.’

The apologetic tone made her look up sharply and the first things she saw were his eyes. Sharp as nails, one might say, and the same colour. Bright, shining steel piercing through the darkness. And not quite … normal …

His head tilted to one side, studying her as closely as she was studying him. She blinked and the world seemed to contract abruptly around her. The illusion shifted, like the shimmer of a heat-haze in high summer and suddenly his eyes were grey instead of steel. His pale skin was framed by strands of long black hair, silken and glossy. Her fingers itched to brush against his face.

His eyes tilted slightly, cat-like, smudges of guyliner giving their grey that curious metallic illusion. No, not a liner. Shadows around his eyes, cast by thick black lashes. Tattoos covered the right side of his neck, kissed the underside of his jaw and vanished beneath the tight black t-shirt he wore. They emerged again, trailing down his arms and she wondered where else they went. The thought of what lay beneath his clothes made her blush furiously. A nose stud winked at her, a silver ring pinched around one high and elegant eyebrow and a line of earrings ran right up the side of one pointed ear.

Not human, not real, she thought once more, like one of those crazy alien things in the films Dylan watched, or something inspired by her manga collection, like a stylised sketch, and the image shifted, normalising again.

Shock was making her see things. That was all. Or that concussion she probably had.

Or maybe just the potentially-fatal attack of stupid that seemed to be overwhelming her all of a sudden.

Still pierced, still tattooed, still unbearably handsome, but less … alien? She shook her head, desperate to clear it. Taking a deep breath didn’t help. She closed her eyes, tried again and found her heart pounding in her chest. She breathed past it, felt it calm and looked back at him. Normal. Everything was normal. Or as normal as it got when you were kneeling in a piss-stinking alley with a tattooed stranger.

All the same she didn’t take the pieces of the phone. If shock was making her see things, that was bad enough, but she was still on her knees with a guy who would give her mother apoplexy.”

A Crack in Everything

by Ruth Frances Long

(O’Brien Press, 2014. ISBN: 9781847176356)

Out Now.

Ordering Options

O'Brien Press Book DepositoryAmazon Amazon UK Waterstones

“Lost in Dubh Linn” – A Crack in Everything teaser

HenriettaStDublin2“Lost in a maze of narrow lanes, she turned this way and that, heedless of direction. Lanes widened to streets, to squares and open spaces. The rational part of her mind veered close to panic. There was no area like this in any part of the city. It looked more like a fever dream of Dickensian London than modern day Dublin. There was no litter, no chip wrappers, no cans or ripped flyers, but everything felt tattered, dusty as if it was mostly unused. There were cobbles underfoot, everywhere, and high curbstones lined the edges. The deep gutters glistened with some kind of pungent oily sludge she didn’t want to investigate too closely. The doors they passed were closed, faceless things that gave away nothing. Elaborate fanlights with coloured glass stood over them, unfurled like a peacock’s tail. There were no shops, no neon or chrome, and no sign of anything twenty-first century. It was like stepping back in time. What light there was flickered, orange and And yet it was also like the Dublin she knew, the narrow, forgotten bits of Dublin, the ratty and forgotten corners that wound in and out of the modern city. It was like the type of places Dad showed her, hidden beneath the new world, an older one of magic and wonder, where you could find sculpture, gardens, or murals, or crenellated rooftops, gothic spires and bronze domes. Where stone mice ran around the base of a pillar and stone monkeys played the clarinet, like that there by the door. Hidden places. Right in the middle of places she thought she knew.

Admittedly Dad never brought her down alleys that were quite so grim and miserable as this. He would never drag her down here. She ran past buildings which carried echoes of the elaborate red façade of Georges Street Market, or the grey front of St Anne’s, hints of the hodge-podge of building squashed into the grounds of the Castle painted with the wrong colours, glimpses of jewel-bright stained glass that would have made Harry Clarke’s students weep.

It was beautiful, and terrible, because in that beauty was the constant reminder that none of this should be here. And neither should she.

And then there was a light.”

A Crack in Everything

by Ruth Frances Long

(O’Brien Press, 2014. ISBN: 9781847176356)

Out Now.

Ordering Options

O'Brien Press Book DepositoryAmazon Amazon UK Waterstones