Last week’s Northern Launch of Owl Song at Dawn proved to be a truly humbling affair. Thank you to all the very many of you who celebrated with me at the Williamson Art Gallery in my hometown of Birkenhead. Since the novel features a cast of characters with various different disabilities, it was great to showcase the different abilities of all sorts of talented people during the launch.
First and foremost, of course, I had the chance to toast my sister, Lou, who has cerebral palsy and autism and whose zest for life inspired the book. In the spirit of the 1950s setting of some of Owl Song at Dawn, Lou’s friends from Autism Together, The Beathovens, performed a brilliant set of jive and swing tunes. And we couldn’t have asked for better catering and service than we received from Best Bites, who offer work experience for people with disabilities. Finally, it was a great honour to showcase the work of some of the dear friends who have helped me to write Owl Song at Dawn and who have also written about disability themselves: The Memoir Garden poets, Edward Hogan, Emily Midorikawa and Wendy Vaizey.
Since then, it’s been so pleasing to see Owl Song at Dawn wing its way out into the world:
Owl Song at Dawn was recommended by author Louise Doughty for the Observer newspaper’s Best Holiday Reads of 2016.
I talked to Linda McDermott about the novel on BBC Merseyside’s Late Night Conversation show.
Brilliant literary interviewer, Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone, asked me about Owl Song at Dawn on Authors QH:
Hive, an online store that supports local independent bookshops, has featured me as one of their Rising Writers.
From Mandy Jenkinson for Nudge Books:
“This is a remarkable book, original, intelligent, heart-breaking, funny at times, acerbic at others, compassionate and tender; reviewing it tends to lead to a list of adjectives – all of them positive.”
From The Writing Garnet:
“The true meaning of Owl Song at Dawn hit home to me in multiple ways. I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like to deal with such prejudice about something you cannot control. You want to fight for the one you love, but there is only so much you can do if things are understood in different ways. I could feel the emotion right from the beginning to the very end, the powerful and fierce message the book contains is quite overwhelming.”
From Little Bookness Lane:
“Owl Song at Dawn a reflective journey of ‘what ifs’ and the emotional torment we reap from situations often outside out control. No matter how late the hour you can still discover what truly matters in life. It’s the most wonderful, soul-reaching read, which embraced me wholeheartedly, and in turn I wholeheartedly recommend it.”
From One More Page:
“Owl Song At Dawn is an original and thought-provoking debut that is readable and engaging whilst packing a punch and making an important point about past regrets, love and living with differences whatever they might be. I will look forward to reading more from Emma Claire Sweeney.”
Segrue Books, 102-104 Watling Street, Radlett
Friday 29 July, 7.30pm
Please join us for wine and a chat. I’ll be reading, answering questions and signing books
firstname.lastname@example.org/020 7393 31131
BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour interview
Margate Bookie Festival, Sands Hotel
August 20, 5pm-6.30pm (Something Rhymed)
August 21, 5pm-6.30pm (Owl Song at Dawn)
Autism Together, Friends and Family Meeting, September 24th
Berkhamsted Lit, Kings Arms, Berkhamsted
September 28, 8pm
New Books Magazine selected Owl Song at Dawn as BookHugger Book of the Month