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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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Jessie Buckley to perform live on RTE this Friday 22nd September



This Culture Night, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh will present an hour-long live music and arts programme from Dún Lúiche in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht at 7pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.  

Actress and singer Jessie Buckley has been added to the list of stellar musicians who will perform with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra on the night. Jessie will perform a special rendition of a Sinéad O’Connor song in tribute to the late artist. 

Jessie commented: “I am very honoured to return to Culture Night 2023 to remember Sinéad O Connor with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Sinéad was such a huge influence on so many women in Ireland and across the world, her courage, her mind, her politics and her intense beauty and soul. She was a warrior to humanity. I remember hearing her for the first time and feeling her uncompromising need to connect and affect. Recognising what couldn’t be said and speaking it out loud. I am so grateful for all her fire and all her love. It is such a privilege to return to Ireland for RTÉ Culture Night in Donegal to sing a song of gratitude for Sinéad and her family and friends.” 

Other artists performing with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra include The Murder Capital, R&B singer and 2FM Rising star Aby Coulibaly and Irish-based Ukrainian musician Olesya Zdorovetska.  

Friday 22nd September, 7pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player 

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N22 Killarney to Faranfore road further delayed

The revealing of the preferred route corridor for the construction of the new Killarney to Farranfore road has been delayed – again. Four potential routes for the N22 Farranfore-Killarney project […]




The revealing of the preferred route corridor for the construction of the new Killarney to Farranfore road has been delayed – again.

Four potential routes for the N22 Farranfore-Killarney project were identified and were put out to public consultation in May 2021. These have now been whittled down to just one.

It was previously promised that the preferred route would be published late last year.

This dragged on in to the Spring and there is still no sigh of the preferred route being revealed.

A recent Kerry County Council meeting a council official explained that there are further funding requirements to allow the council complete various reports and investigations required before the road can move to its next phase.

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