Dundalk mum and blogger Nessa Toale has just put copies of her debut novel into Carrolls bookshop in Park Street, having previously sold it on-line.
Nessa, who began her blog 'Live, Love and the Pursuit of A Crawling Baby' after the birth of her daugher Beth in 2010, took the step of self-publishing her book 'The Secret Beneath Bleeker Avenue' as she wanted to fulfil her ambition to be a writer.
'I've always loved writing and after my daughter was born, I wanted to write about her and started my blog,' said Nessa, who spent much of her teenage years helping out in the family pub in Crowe Street. As well as learning how to pull the perfect pint, she was introduced to punk music and no doubt picked up an ear for conversation which has stood her in good stead as a writer.
With an arts diploma under her belt, Nessa worked with Ryanair for a year before returning to college and got a degree in Cultural Resourse Management and then attained a Masters' in Cultural Innovation for the Arts.
'I had always written and began my book as a romance in 2007 and shelved it because my job took over,' she recalls. 'I got back to it in November 2011 and finished it as a sci-fi novel in 2012.'
Nessa is a big fan of science fiction and cites Ray Bradbury, Dean Koontz and Stephen King as authors who have been a major influence on her.
Having completed 'The Secret Beneath Bleeker Avenue' for an on-line competition, Nessa then decided to see if she could get it published.
'I sent it to a few publishers but there wasn't really a lot of interest in it and at the same time I began researching self-publishing and decided that was the way to go as it meant I could keep control of everything and could make all the decisions.'
She published the book last July and it is available to download from Amazon and she has now put hard copies in a number of bookshops including Carrolls in Park Street.
'Sales are ticking along nicely and I'm working on my second book which I started during NaNoWriMo.'
NaNoWrMo is an on-line challenge which sees, writers of get together online and comming to produce 50,000 words during the month of November.
Nessa finds that there is a very supportive community of writers on-line which has helped her to develop her talents as a writer.
She will be taking part in Dundalk's first ever Book Festival and will be reading from her work in Panama Café on Saturday April 27th.