This Saturday, the 21st of December (2013) I was on RTE radio 1 here in Ireland, to talk about the business of children’s books and such in the county of Wicklow where I live. (if you want to listen to the podcast you can go to this link http://www.rte.ie/radio1/the-business-with-george-lee/ and I am about halfway through.)
RTÉ is Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Ireland’s National Public Service Broadcaster. There is both RTE TV and Radio.
And for this broadcast there was a mobile radio studio they set up in the old town hall in Wicklow Town, a sea coast community about an hour south of Dublin. The Victorian infrastructure of the town is quite nice, with a working harbor as well as a train station and beach access where you can walk along the water all the way back to my village, Greystones, in about two hours. Not a major tourist town, it has suffered in the recent financial crisis and is still struggling with quite a few closed shops on the high street.
The show I was on – The Business – does have a business slant but it’s intended for a general audience. It’s hosted by George Lee, *”an economist, journalist, television and radio presenter, and former Fine Gael politician. During his time in RTÉ News and Current Affairs, he was named Irish Journalist of the Year for uncovering a major tax evasion and overcharging scandal at National Irish Bank. He has also presented many documentary programmes for RTÉ.” (*from Wikipedia). (Fine Gael (feena-Gail) is the name of one of the major national political parties in Ireland.)
Children’s books in Ireland have gotten a fair amount of attention in recent years, partly because of the wealth of talent for so small a country, with people like John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Derek Landy, author of the Skullduggery Pleasant series, Eoin Colfer, author of the Artimus Fowl series and who was picked to write a “sequel” to Douglas Adams cult masterpiece, the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Siobhán Dowd, Roddy Doyle, Jane Mitchell, Oisín McGann, Kate Thompson, also award winning author/ illustrators P.J. Lynch, Chris Haughton, Mary Murphy, Oliver Jeffers, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, and Nieve Sharky, the current Irish Children’s book Laureate, and whose book I’m a Happy Hugglewug, was recently adapted into an animated TV series (Henry Hugglemonster) for the Disney Channel, with animation created by Dublin’s Brown Bag Studios. Among many many others.