The thought of a public event, with invited media, to mark the publication of this book has intimidated me for some time, but advice from relatives and friends – and a happy set of circumstances – has finally prevailed.
I am especially grateful to Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry, who read the book while on holiday in September, liked it, and offered in October to help with the launch and with getting the paperbacks into Veritas Books in Derry.
So that launch will happen on Friday December 4th, in the Everglades Hotel, Prehen Road, Derry – beginning at 7.30 p.m. – details below.
Invites have gone out, and in the case of Derry second-level schools, preview copies as well.
For any of you who don’t get an invite but would like to turn up, please use the comment facility at the base of this page.
BOOK LAUNCH AND DISCUSSION
marking the launch
of the novel for young adults The Chain That Binds the Earth,
at the Everglades Hotel, Prehen Road, Derry, BT47 2NH
on Friday, December 4th, 2015 – beginning at 7.30 p.m.
with light refreshments.
Featured Speaker: Most Rev. Donal McKeown DD
Bishop of Derry
Chair: Mr John Bradley, Educationalist
Complimentary copies of the first edition of this novel for young adults
(and for the young-in-heart of any age) will be signed by the author.
Any donation will benefit the cause of migrants and refugees.
For a less subjective view of this work, Aidan Donaldson’s review in the Irish Catholic, click here.
From the start my major aim has been to provoke a lively discussion on the issue of ‘counter-culture’ – to help us all clarify what we mean by the term. This seems to be a concern of Bishop McKeown also, who, twice in my hearing recently, has argued for a fuller and deeper understanding of the Christian Creed, in opposition to the commercial slogans that tend to dominate popular culture – (such as ‘Let’s Feel Good’ from pharmacy chain Boots). His quotation of Victor Frankl – to the effect that life at its greatest is a search for meaning – could not be closer to my own way of thinking.
The frequent denial that life can have any deeper meaning than to ‘live it up’ leads inevitably to the culture of self-harm that threatens people of all ages today, especially those on the threshold of adult life.
So this launch event of Friday 4th December could kick off a lively discussion on how all of us are to become counter-cultural, with the characters and young readers of The Chain That Binds the Earth leading the charge.
Now being asked about a sequel to this story, I have to say, first, that although there are themes I want deal with, it will take time to develop a workable plot. I need to wait for far more feedback from younger readers, hoping a plot might come from all that.
Secondly I tend to say that the very best sequels may come from younger writers. Although I have a particular interest in the main characters of ‘The Chain’ I cannot claim copyright on the idea of the ‘bridgers’ , and won’t even try. Why couldn’t there be teenagers out there who, if they like ‘The Chain’, would make ‘bridgers’ stories of their own, either fictional, or in the real and heroic events of their own lives?
Our Catholic Christian tradition is not dying in Ireland – it is preparing itself, through deep trial, for a new and different cultural reality. On Friday December 4th 2015 we will be celebrating what we owe to it, and the certainty of its ongoing renewal.