Monday 22 December 2014

‘Artemis Fowl’ author Eoin Colfer is new Laureate na nOg

Published 08/05/2014 | 12:58

Eoin and Jackie Colfer
Eoin and Jackie Colfer
Cheers: Eoin Colfer with his wife, Jackie

ARTEMIS Fowl writer Eoin Colfer has been unveiled as the new Laureate na nOg and says he intends to spread stories to “every nook and cranny in the country.”

The honour is the highest to be awarded to a children’s writer or illustrator in Ireland, both north and south of the border.

The former schoolteacher from Co Wexford has sold over 20 million copies in his Artemis Fowl series, described by Colfer as “Die Hard with fairies.”

It follows the adventures of a young criminal mastermind who kidnaps a fairy for a large ransom of gold.

More than half of his books have reached the New York Times list of bestsellers at least once.

Colfer said he felt “incredibly honoured and incredibly petrified” to be taking on the Laureate mantel after Niamh Sharkey, illustrator of the hugely popular Henry Hugglemonster series, picked up by Disney.

“I feel I am representing my family and my county and indeed all book people in Ireland which is not something I mean to take lightly,” he said.

“I intend to spend my time spreading stories to every nook and cranny in the country. Nobody is safe. It doesn’t matter where you hide – I will find you and tell you a story,” he warned.

Elaina Ryan, Director of Children’s books Ireland said Eoin’s “high achievement and generosity of spirit” made him the perfect Laureate.

“Laureate na nOg stands for so many things: honouring the talent of Ireland’s extraordinary writers and illustrators; celebrating children’s literature and recognising its crucial place in the lives of children,” she said.

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