By Maria Duffy. First published on Monday 21st November 2011. 23 Comments so far.

Any Dream Will Do – but this one will do quite nicely!

Well hello there! I thought it was about time I dusted off the blog and told you all a little about what I’ve been up to these last few weeks. Most of you will know what’s been going on because I’ve been screaming it from the rooftops, but I thought that if I write it down, I might actually believe it myself!

Less than two weeks ago, I launched my debut novel, Any Dream Will Do. Now cover your ears for a moment – squeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

The launch itself took place in Dubray Books in Grafton Street in Dublin and it was a fantastic night. At six o’clock I was worried that nobody would turn up because it was pouring rain and Katie Perry was playing in the O2 so traffic was dreadful. Half an hour later, I was worried that if anyone else turned up, they’d have to spill out onto the street because the place was so packed!

For those of you who haven’t read the book, I’ve set a chapter in the Olympia Theatre in Dublin where my characters went to see a Keith Barry show. In a slightly bizarre twist of fiction meeting reality, Keith, who’s a friend of mine, kindly agreed to launch the book. Not only that, but he read out a passage from the chapter he features in. It all seemed slightly surreal but in a fabulous way! He also completely embarrassed me by bringing me up to the podium and reading my mind – but I can’t be cross with him because he’s so brilliant! And also I’m thankful that he didn’t read everything I was thinking!

The week continued with interviews, photo-shoots and even a second launch in my local book shop, Abtree Books in Lucan. It was a smaller launch but just as important because it gave me the opportunity to celebrate with so many people from my local area and of course to recognise the support I’ve had from Aideen, who owns the shop.

On Wednesday, I got a call from my publishers to tell me that Any Dream Will Do entered the Irish charts for original fiction at number nine. It’s like I’m on a treadmill of positivity that’s constantly switched on – the good news just keeps coming and coming! I couldn’t believe that a debut book from an unknown author would figure in the charts at all so I’m eternally grateful to everyone who’s taken the chance and parted with their money to buy it. It was also spotted in the number one slot in terminal two in Dublin airport! How fantastic is that?

Today I just… em… happened to be lurking around the new titles section in Easons, when a woman came along and took down Any Dream Will Do. She seemed to be picking three books for the ‘three for two’ offer. I pretended to be reading the back of another book but had my eyes firmly fixed on her! She chose a few more books and ended up with four in her hands. I knew she was going to put one back. Honestly, the eejit I am, my palms were sweating and I was willing her to pick mine! I held my breath… she spread the four books out on a table… her eyes darted from one to another… she picked mine up, flicked through it and then… SHE PUT IT BACK!! I swear, I was only short of rugby tackling her to the floor and insisting she should give mine a go. But I just stood there deflated, as she took her other three books up to the counter to pay. Then I thought to myself how lucky I am to be able to stand in a bookshop and watch people checking out my book… my book!

There’s so much more I could tell you all about what’s been happening for me but I’ve probably said enough for one blog-post. I’ll just finish up by encouraging you all to follow your dreams – sometimes they really do come true!

Maria x

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