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Local writer signs with JK Rowling’s publishers




By Michelle Crean

A local woman is hoping to have the same success Harry Potter author JK Rowling after being signed by the same publisher.

And not only that, but talented Barraduff woman Olivia Howe - who writes under the pen name Olivia Hope - has signed a three book deal with Bloomsbury who are famous for working with award-winning writers.

Bloomsbury recently announced the acquisition of 'Be Wild, Little One', a lyrical anthem of courage and imagination from the debut author, which will be published in May 2022.

Olivia’s second book, 'Little Lion Girl' - illustrated by bestselling, award-winning Fiona Woodcock, will be published in 2023, with a third book scheduled for 2024.

Olivia has a special love for children's fiction, and before becoming an author, she was a former record-breaking athlete, and competed internationally.

"I have been writing for about 10 years," Olivia, a mother of two boys, told the Killarney Advertiser this week.

"I have also worked with children using imaginative play."

When her youngest child was born Olivia said she couldn't find a book about a strong robin.

"I decided to write my own. It was something that just happened and that was the starting story."

Then during the Cork World Book Festival she pitched her work to a scout who loved her ideas.

The story is inspired by nature with the uplifting picture book celebrating the wildness in everyone as well as the beauty of the world around us.

"We [JK Rowling] have the same publisher and I still don't quite believe it! I can't wait until it's published next May."

Olivia currently works as a Creative Learning Assistant in Siamsa Tíre, Tralee, creating the story behind the acclaimed art exhibition for children, 'A Way Home'.

She added that she was inspired by the beautiful surroundings Killarney has to offer for the nature side of the book.

"One of the scenes near the back pages looks like Killarney National Park."

Pari Thomson, Commissioning Editor, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, said "Olivia Hope is a huge talent and we’re thrilled to be working with her".

"Brought to life by Daniel Egnéus’s luminous illustrations, 'Be Wild, Little One' is an unforgettable journey through the wonders of the natural world. I hope that its uplifting magic and beauty will enthral readers far and wide."

Shirley Hughes, famed author and illustrator of more than 200 books spanning 60 years called 'Be Wild, Little One' an "outstanding book to enchant readers of all ages" - high praise indeed for the Irish debut.

'Be Wild, Little One' is available to pre-order from bookshops.

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New free local fitness group to motivate people back to health

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness  Our mission at Activate is to extend and enhance the lifespan of 7,000 people in Killarney which is why we have set up a […]




By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

Our mission at Activate is to extend and enhance the lifespan of 7,000 people in Killarney which is why we have set up a free health and fitness group. 

Our primary vehicle is our gym but we do a lot of other stuff, too, like:

* Train kids how to exercise in schools
* Helping frontline workers with their mindset
* Supporting local fitness events and teams
* Running fun social events in the community
* Raise funds for local charities

We’ve won awards for this stuff, but the real reward is moving the Killarney community back towards health. So today, I’m thrilled to share a free Facebook group: ‘Fitness, Nutrition & Health in Killarney’ with you.
Visit this link to join:

In that group, we’ll share helpful posts, tips, and support for everyone, whether you exercise at Activate or not. We’re also welcoming other health and fitness practitioners to join the group and help people find valuable and sensible advice around health and fitness.

When you join, Facebook will ask you a few questions, then my team will be around to support you and give you stuff to help.

If you have questions about fitness, health, longevity, nutrition, or exercise, go ahead and ask! If you have answers, please share! Let’s get some positive momentum going in Killarney!

What’s the deal with motivation?

I was having a discussion with a new client the other day and it came up that they sometimes feel a lack of motivation to keep working out. I know many of you feel like this sometimes, so I thought I would write about it today.

I really believe in discipline, as motivation is fleeting – but we’ll address this anyway. There are a few things that you can do to fool-proof the system. Here’s five ways.

1. Find an accountability partner:

When it comes to working out, having someone to hold you accountable can be a huge motivator. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or even a fitness coach, knowing that someone is counting on you to show up for your workout can help you stay on track.

2. Set realistic goals:

Setting goals is a great way to stay motivated, but it’s important to make sure they are realistic. If your goal is too lofty, you may find yourself getting discouraged when you don’t see results as quickly as you’d like. However, if your goals are achievable and realistic, you’ll be more likely to stick with your workout plan and see the results you want.

3. Find a workout routine you enjoy:

If you dread your workouts, it’s going to be very difficult to stay motivated. However, if you find an exercise routine that you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. There are so many different types of workouts out there, so take some time to experiment and find one that fits your needs and interests. I feel a key facet many of us in the health and fitness industry miss regularly is making sure people are always engaged and challenged, so it remains fun to work out!

4. Reward yourself:

This one sounds a little weird, but for some, it can really work. One way to stay motivated is to reward yourself after setting a goal and reaching it. Whether it’s your favourite snack or a new piece of workout gear, treating yourself to something special can help keep you on track.

5. Get enough sleep:

This is the one thing we all hear that’s drilled into our brains – but for good reason! It’s important to get enough sleep when you’re trying to stay fit and healthy. When you’re well-rested, you’ll have more energy for your workouts and you’ll be less likely to skip them. So make sure to get plenty of rest each night!

Following these tips can help you stay motivated to workout, even when it feels like a struggle. Just remember to be patient, set realistic goals, and find an exercise routine that you enjoy. With a little effort, you can reach your fitness goals in no time!

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Irish food only for Lisa’s September challenge

Could you survive on a diet of food grown only in Ireland for one month – well that’s the challenge one Kerry woman has set herself. Artist and food activist […]




Could you survive on a diet of food grown only in Ireland for one month – well that’s the challenge one Kerry woman has set herself.

Artist and food activist Lisa Fingleton plans the unusual action as she will eat only food grown in Ireland for the entire month.

That means no sugar, lemons, olive oil, or coffee with the challenge designed to highlight issues with Irish food security.

In the seven years since Lisa founded the 30-Day Local Food Challenge, food supply chains have been hit by a succession of market shocks highlighting Lisa’s concerns with increasing urgency.

From seed shortages caused by Brexit to the global market shock of COVID-19 to potential shortages caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine, to the recent conversation about the need to reduce the Irish National Herd in line with carbon emissions targets, Lisa says there has never been a more important time to talk about Irish food security.

“This year in particular in Europe we are seeing the impact of war on food and the global reliance on Ukraine as an important wheat producer,” said the former Kerry County Council Artist in Residence who lives in Ballybunion.

“This has shown us more than ever just how fragile our food systems are. We need to focus on building sustainable and resilient food systems on the island of Ireland. This year we are encouraging people to do one local meal a day so they can make it really simple and have Irish porridge for breakfast or really elaborate with a meal grown in your own garden.”

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