Louise Hall signs with Mercier Press!

Louise Hall

I am just thrilled to share the latest news from Trace Literary Agency.
My long time client and friend, Irish author Louise Hall, has just signed with Mercier Press – Ireland’s oldest independent publishing house.

Just prior to Christmas, Patrick O’Donoghue gave us the good news that Mercier would like to publish Louise’s newest novel, PILGRIM. What a Christmas gift!! Publication date is set for September 2018.

PILGRIM is set in the 1980’s and centers on a 14 year old girl, Jen, whose mother has died tragically. Her father, Charlie, unable to cope, turns to alcohol as he blames himself for his wife’s death. Jen is already an outcast amongst her peers and finds it hard to make friends, except for a traveller boy names Francis Nelligan. This coupled with trying to cope with her grieving and alcoholic father means that life isn’t easy. Jen’s aunt convinces her and her father to go on a pilgrimage to a little known village hidden behind the Iron Curtain in a communist country known as Yugoslavia, in the hope that her sister’s husband and her niece might find some sort of solace in their broken lives.

PILGRIM is a story about a man who feels he has nothing more to live for, and his daughter who is determined to prove him wrong.

Louise Hall is an author from Malahide, Co. Dublin. She writes both fiction and non-fiction. Louise’s first work of non-fiction, Medjugorje: What it means to Me, was published by The Columba Press in 2012 and has been very widely received. Her second book, Medjugorje and Me, was also published by Columba in 2014. This book is a collection of testimonies and short stories from people all around the world, about their experiences of Medjugorje, and includes Louise’s own experiences from her visits. Medjugorje and Me has been translated in Italian and published by Edizioni Piemme.

Aside from publishing her first book on Medjugorje, Louise has written for The Sunday Independent, Woman’s Way, The Medjugorje Herald, The Malahide Gazette and The Irish News. She has also appeared on RTE – both on radio and television and contributes to RTE Radio 1’s “The God Slot” program doing book reviews, theatre reviews, interviews and more.

Louise has twice been longlisted for the RTE Guide/Penguin Short Story Awards in 2014 and 2015, and was shortlisted for the Colm Toibin International Short Story Competition.

In 2016, her short story, Frankie’s List, was published in the Irish Times newspaper in its “12 Stories of Christmas”.  This year Louise’s short story, Turlough’s Dream, has been chosen by the Irish Times for their “12 Tales for Christmas”.

Internationally renowned Irish author, Donal Ryan, whose novel The Spinning Heart was long-listed for the Booker Prize has this to say:

“I’ve just finished the first four chapters. I’d intended reading just the first few pages and finishing the extract later but was completely sucked in. What a gamut of emotion in only 40 pages! Louise is using the polyphonic form expertly. There’s a lovely, unforced rhythm to her prose, and she’s a natural storyteller. In this cynical age it’s a joy to encounter such sincerity, and wonderfully unexpected to see contemporary fiction as a profession of fervent yet gentle faith. A particularly tender and poignant moment is when Francis asks Jen to pray for his father, considering the description of savagery that precedes this. Louise is a brave and humane writer, a breath of the freshest air”.

To learn more about Louise and her writing please visit louisehall.ie

You can find her on Twitter at @LouHallWriter

Congratulations Louise, so well deserved!






Merry Christmas from Heaven

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! As as we count down to Christmas Day, I’d like to share a poem with you that goes out to all who have lost loved ones this year.


I see the countless Christmas items around the world below,
With tiny lights, like heaven’s stars, reflecting in the snow.

The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away that tear,
For I am spending my first Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear,
But the sounds of music can’t compare with the Christmas Choir
up here.

I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring.
For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart,
But I am not so far away. We really aren’t apart.

So be happy for me dear ones. You know I hold you dear,
And be glad I’m spending Christmas, with Jesus Christ this year.

I send you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above,
I send you each a memory of my undying love.

After all, “love” is a gift, more precious than pure gold,
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do
For I can’t count the blessing or love he has for each of you.

So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear,
Remember, I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

–Author Unknown

Tom Phelan Signs with Simon and Schuster

I am so happy to announce that Tom Phelan has signed with Simon and Schuster’s Gallery Books thanks to editor Jeremie Ruby-Strauss. Tom’s newest memoir, Working For John Joe (working title), will be published by Gallery Books in November 2018.

Working for his demanding father for the first fourteen years of life made indelible marks on Tom, the first being an urgency to escape from a wet, muddy, and soul-killing farm. Working for John Joe examines the psychological, moral, and social forces that shaped Tom Phelan from the day he was born to the day he left home to take the long path toward the Roman Catholic priesthood, a life for which he was wholly unsuited and which he eventually left.

Tom Phelan was born and raised on a small farm in Mountmellick, Co. Laois, in the Irish midlands. Tom had just turned fifty when his first novel, In the Season of the Daisies, was accepted for publication by the Lilliput Press in Dublin. Books Ireland’s reviewer wrote, “The most obvious question posed by a novelistic debut with as much resounding vigour as this is: Where has Mr. Phelan been?”

Since then, Tom has penned five other novels: Nailer, The Canal Bridge (Skyhorse Publishing), Iscariot, Derrycloney and Lies the Mushroon Pickers Told (Skyhorse Publishing), and he has seen his works published in four countries and three languages. He has also written for Newsday, the Irish Echo, the Recorder, and the Journal of the American Irish Historical Society.

Congratulations Tom!!

A 5 Star Review of I Call Him Mr. President!

As this reviewer indicates, this is NOT a book about politics, but a book about a beautiful friendship with a man who happened to be the President. This review has just validated what the author wanted to achieve. Regardless of your politics, this should be on your “Must Read List”!

If you are looking to discover the inside secrets and politics of President George H.W. Bush’s White House, don’t buy this book. This is not a political book. It is the story of friendship with a man who just happened to be the 41st President of the United States. It is a collection of stories of decency, character, compassion, respect, humor, as well as many great golf and fishing tales. It is the story of a man who takes friendship seriously and who is more interested in finding out about others than talking about himself. Thank you Ken Raynor and Michael Patrick Shiels for welcoming me to the “41” inner circle through this book. A great read!

Praise for I Call Him Mr. President – A Required Manual on Friendship!

I wanted to share a letter that Ken Raynor, author of I CALL HIM MR. PRESIDENT has just received.  It’s so wonderful to read such praise for such an amazing book.  It needs to be on everyone’s “To Be Read List”!


Pro Ken Raynor,

Thank you for sharing your stories about President Bush 41 and his and your families. After reading your book, I feel like I’ve known you both for a long time! The president found a fantastic friend in you! And, I was able to see him from a distance this past Sunday night when I was invited to attend Game 5 of the World Series in Houston! (Go Astros!) On the heels of meeting you, being in that area of the country and reading your book it was fantastic to see both president Bush’s involved in throwing out the first pitch!

Thanks again for sharing part of your life through “I Call Him Mr President.” It should be a required manual on friendship!

John Talley

Author Focus: Louise Hall

Today’s author focus is on Irish author Louise Hall.

Louise Hall

Louise writes both fiction and non-fiction. Her three novels include For One Last Time, Beyond the Big House and Pilgrim.

Her first work of non-fiction, Medjugorje: What it Means to Me, was published by The Columba Press in 2012. This is a collection of testimonies from Irish people – some well known, some not so well known – about how they came to find out about the village of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It details how they found themselves visiting the holy place, any experiences they had there and the impact it has had on their lives today.

In 2014 Columba published her second book, Medjugorje and Me. This book is a collection of testimonies and short stories from people all around the world, about their experiences of Medjugorje, and includes Louise’s own experiences from her visits. Medjugorje and Me was also published in Italian by Edizioni Piemme in May 2016.

Aside from publishing her non-fiction books on Medjugorje, Louise has written for The Sunday Independent, The Irish Independent, Woman’s Way, The Medjugorje Herald, The Malahide Gazette and The Irish News. She has also appeared on RTE – both on radio and television and has contributed to RTE Radio 1’s “The God Slot” program, doing book reviews, theatre reviews, interviews, and more.

Louise has been shortlisted for the Colm Toibin International Short Story Competition 2016, the Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards 2014 and long listed for the RTE Guide/Penguin Short Story Awards in 2014 and 2015.

In November 2015, Louise was runner up for the New Talent Award at the Love Stories Awards which were held in London.

In December 2016, The Irish Times newspaper published her short story, ‘Frankie’s List’ as part of their ’12 Stories of Christmas’.

You can find out more by visiting her website www.louisehall.ie or you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Louise lives in Malahide, Co. Dublin with her husband and three children.