A talented daughter of North Kilkenny is a somewhat reluctant writer who quickly discovered that her contribution to local literature was much loved by admiring children.
Siobhan O’Shea of Clogh, Castlecomer always had little stories in her locker, she told Kilkenny Press, but she was nervous about showing them to anyone.
She then created the story, Purplepinkalicious and published it in book form following a six-week writing course with Emma-Jane Leeson of the Johnny Magory Company Ltd.
The learning experience was to prove to be the catalyst that led to the local woman’s first dip into the pool of publishing.
She wrote the story for the sixth birthday of her niece, Ella. Siobhan was really chuffed and truly delighted was young Ella, so much so that Kilkenny’s fledgling author tested the waters with her 18-year-old son, Kieran.
FIRST STORY WAS NEVER PUBLISHED
She jokingly said to Kieran that she would publish and sell the book.
“Being a typical teenager, he uttered the magic words: ‘Go for it ma’ was his positive reaction, and I did just that.”
At the time of writing, Siobhan noticed that a lot of people were fed up so she was hoping to give people a reason to smile.
As she had not undertaken such a writing project before, it was all a learning curve for Siobhan and, she said, a whole lot of fun.
She is so happy that she took the plunge after an earlier setback that might have dissuaded a woman of less courage.
“I sent some of my stories to Woman’s Way magazine and it picked one to publish,” said Siobhan.
“I was really happy and thrilled too for my work colleagues at MacEneaney’s Pharmacy, High Street, Kilkenny and Q Health Pharmacy, Kilkenny Street, Castlecomer who kindly read my stories and encouraged me to keep writing.
“But my first story was never published. A new editor was appointed to Woman’s Way and the magazine no longer carried short stories.”
CHILDREN FELL IN LOVE WITH BOOK
Naturally disappointed was the writer’s lot but with children falling in love with her book, with sales now well into a third hundred and all monies going to the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation, everyone is a winner.
Siobhan told Kilkenny Press she really appreciated the support and expertise of artist Graham Carew, a native of Kilkenny, Modern Printers, Kilkenny, Khan Kiely of Khan’s Books, the support of her husband, Patrick and the goodwill of workmates.
She said she loved reading and always encouraged children to read as it was a wonderful feeling to get completely lost in a book.
The book, a snip at €8 is on sale at Khan’s Books, James’s Street, Kilkenny City, MacEneaney’s and Q Health Pharmacies.
Siobhan is a busy wife and mother, working three days a week in MacEneaney’s Pharmacy and two in Q Health Pharmacy but with her debut book getting such a warm welcome our guess is that there is much more to come from a warm and friendly wordsmith.