Andrea Mara

Official website

Days Like This

So I could couch this in all sorts of domestic and parenting terms. I could tell you a story about the challenging day I had last Thursday; dashing home at 3 o’clock to make a curry, make school lunches, and supervise baking for the school cake-sale.

I could tell you about the kids insisting on making buns from scratch, despite the school’s very clear and very sensible “bake it or fake it” mantra – no pressure to produce something homemade, other than from my own offspring.

I could tell you about crossing everything they’d have no homework, because two hours to do the curry, the lunches, the buns, and get ready to go out was as much as I could handle.

I could tell you that I put too much curry paste in the dinner and realised as my taxi pulled up outside that the kids were unlikely to eat it.

I could tell you that I spent the final five minutes, as my nails dried, cutting and Sellotaping Weetabix boxes so the kids could carry their buns to school in the morning.

But I’m going to skip straight to the good stuff. Because I don’t often get days like this.

When the taxi pulled up outside, I kissed the kids goodbye, and headed into the GPO for the announcement of the An Post Irish Book Awards Shortlist. One Click is shortlisted for Crime Fiction Book of the Year, and it is truly the single-most exciting achievement of my entire career – the one that came before redundancy and this new one in writing. I can’t explain what it was like to see my book cover on the big screen, to hear my name called out, to chat to other shortlisted authors, and to drink far too much wine for someone who didn’t eat the over-hot curry before getting in the taxi.

Here are some pics from the day and evening:

Fuchsia MacAree, Joanna Donnelly, Matt Cooper, Cecelia Ahern, John Boyne, Andrea Mara, Holly White, Dave Rudden ©Patrick Bolger

with Patricia Gibney, Jo Spain, Liz Nugent – being murdery and crime-ish

The Blog Awards were on the same night. I had a ticket, and I’d arranged to meet friends there, and much as I was enjoying the Book Awards event, I didn’t want to miss catching up with pals at the Blog Awards. So at 9 o’clock I put down my third glass of very delicious wine in the GPO, made a few more people get into photos, said goodbye to my lovely publisher, and walked from O’Connell Street to Tramline on D’Olier street. And I was so glad I did, because along with catching up with lovely friends, I won Best Lifestyle Blog!

And the whole thing had a lovely serendipitous feeling to it, because blogging is where I started writing, and without Office Mum, there would be no book deal, no books, no book award nomination. Blogging is still the freest form of writing, the therapy, the not-work, the fun. So for me, it came full circle on Thursday night.

And as for the following morning; I could tell you about the last-minute costume dramas and the face paint that didn’t work and the search for the Weetabix box to carry the buns, but I’m going to skip straight to the (bubbly) good stuff, because I don’t often get days like this.


PS If you’d like to vote for One Click, or any of the fantastic authors shortlisted, this is the link: An Post Irish Book Awards. Thank you!

PPS I need to buy a dress for the awards – it’s a black tie event, and normally I love shopping, but so far I can’t see anything. If you have tips on great websites or shops please let me know!





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