Young Ashbourne writer publishes her first novel ‘Flame in the Winds’

Eoin Ryan

Lauren Hanney started work on the novel last February and, with nothing else to do during restrictions, was able to finish it in only five months. “I’ve never had the patience to do it before, so I’m actually surprised to finish it to be honest,” Lauren Hanney said.

The story is based on Catarina Gallagher, a twenty one year old from a small town in Ireland who grew up with an abusive uncle until he was arrested. Detective Noah Thompson is a dear friend of the famous novelist, Margaret O’Donnell, and has been sent to bring her granddaughter back to America. Catarina and Noak soon find themselves on the trail of a madman with only a handwritten note and the desire to get justice for Cat and her family.

Published through IngramSpark, a Self-Publishing Book Company owned by Amazon, Flame in the Winds will be officially released on the 5th of December.

This is a much faster pace compared to other authors who sometimes take years to write a single story while Lauren is already starting the sequel. It will be a continuation based on a different character with the story still revolving around the main plot. She is “still on the planning phase,” and has not officially started as of yet, but will most likely be published next year if her current pace continues.

It is completely different to how full-time authors are feeling with many struggling to cope with the changes to their professional life.  Marian Kilcoyne published her first poetry collection ‘The Heart Uncut’ in early March this year. The first lockdown began right after its publication so for its release she was only “getting it into bookshops that just closed”. This removed the idea of going on tour to advertise its release. “I was hoping to do a reading in London, but now all that is gone out the window,” Marian said. “It’s been lonely celebrating and I’m just ready to move on.”

Similar to many other published writers, the amount of income she got from her book has drastically decreased. The majority of an author’s income comes from events such as speaking gigs, and travel tours which are currently unavailable. “(I) Was hoping to do a reading at the University of London, maybe Glasgow, but now that’s gone out the window.” This stifles both a writer’s income and makes it harder to build up their profile in the industry with less opportunities available online.

Writing has become a productive way of coping with restrictions especially for those who has a surplus of spare time. This was the perfect opportunity for those that always aspired to become a writer, but never had the abundance of spare time.

The advent of new ways for writers to publish their work makes it easier for younger authors to get published and make it in the novel industry. Lauren published short stories and poems on Wattpad, an app for publishing short writings and authors to receive feedback on their early writings.

This will not be the only story she works on, however as “I have a good few fantasy ideas, which is a completely different genre, but I try write anything. I think the best part of that is you get to build worlds and religions and characters and everything.”

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