About Me

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Three and a half years ago I became vegetarian. Three and a half weeks ago, anticipating a certain health diagnosis at any time, I also gave up all added sugar in my diet. My mother is of a certain generation and, although a very good cook, struggles to know what to offer guests with specific dietary restrictions. She once had a vegetarian and a coeliac for dinner at the same time, and nearly lost her reason! So, the idea for this blog was born. Every recipe that features here will be vegan (and, obviously, vegetarian), gluten free, sugar free, lactose and dairy free, and suitable for people on a low sodium diet. That's right, you read that correctly. Even if you have guests with each of these restrictions coming to the same meal, everything here is safe for them. And, before you expect weird and wonderful ingredients to make an appearance, everything I'm using can be bought in larger branches of all major supermarkets - you don't even need to visit health food stores. Try the recipes and tell me what you think!

So What's This Tweet Treats Thingy All About?

Watch the brilliant 30 second trailer below and all will become clear!

Tweet Treats Trailer from Catherine Ryan Howard on Vimeo.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hughes and Hughes Competition

Greetings all! If you're a) in Ireland and b) in Dublin City Centre on Thursday coming, 8th December, then come and meet me in one of the Hughes and Hughes branches where I'll be signing copies of Tweet Treats.
My itinerary is as follows; 10.30am (ish) I'll be in the Stephen's Green Shopping Centre branch; 11.30am (ish) I'll be in the Jervis Centre branch and 1pm (ish) I'll be in the Dundrum Shopping Centre branch. Come along and say hi if you're out and about!

Now for the really exciting bit; @Hughes_books have just announced an absolutely amazing competition in Tweet Treats' honour, running from today until midnight Wednesday (ROI residents only, I'm afraid). The prize is fantastic; you could win ALL 30 of the books in the Hughes and Hughes BUY ME! stocking filler range, including a copy of Tweet Treats! I'll be picking the winner in store on Thursday morning. The details are here so check them out and try your luck :)   

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Travels of Tweet Treats! Warning: contains Neil Gaiman

If you follow me on Twitter (and if you don't, why not?) you would know that I'm a total fangirl when it comes to Neil Gaiman. You would also know that he donated a recipe to Tweet Treats. Finally, you would know that my hubby @ukegnome and I had a fit of insanity and decided to fly to Seattle last week to see Neil and his wife @amandapalmer on the final night of their west coast tour.

There are plenty of bands, actors, comedians, writers who could be appearing in my own hometown, who I wouldn't bother going to see. There are a few for whom I might travel as far as Dublin; or, if they were really special and I fancied a shopping trip as well, maybe even London. But for Neil Gaiman I was willing - nay, happy - to travel half way round the world.

Why do I love Neil Gaiman so much?

To be honest, I don't fully know the answer to that myself. There are probably better writers out there; certainly, there are better-known writers out there. (Sorry Neil, but most of my family and friends would have no idea who you are if it wasn't for me raving about you constantly.)

Really, I think it's his voice. No, not his singing voice (though that's not half bad, and I'm still wandering around the house singing 'You Think I'm Psycho Don't You, Momma' to the dogs. They love it.) I'm talking about his writer's voice, that thing that every creative writing coach tells you you have to develop for yourself. Before I'd ever seriously thought about writing myself, before I'd wondered if I could develop a 'voice' of my own, I was aware of Neil's.

I was a damn good essay writer when I was in university - A's and A+'s were the norm. However, as the result of my own peculiar brand of warped logic, I convinced myself that if I could write non-fiction well then I would only ever write fiction poorly. All my dreams of being a writer - forget it. Maybe I had the ability to review books, spend my life parasitically feeding on the creativity of others, but I certainly didn't hold any of that creativity myself.

Then, around about 1999 I read Gaiman's The Price. I held my breath the whole way through, then read it again. And again. My hair stood on end; not only at the story, but at the fact that this story was VOICE, pure and simple. To paraphrase Yeats, it was impossible to tell the dancer from the dance, or where the author ended and the story began. I read The Price and felt like I knew the author, as though he had sat beside me and told me the story directly. The Price is a simple tale, written in simple terms, and it changed my whole mindset on writing. Suddenly I thought, "I can do this too." It was a whole new concept for me. (And yes, it is the mark of any good art that it makes you think "but I could do that". I know that. Don't burst my bubble.)

So, now I have Tweet Treats published and that's terrific. I'm fiercely proud of this cute little blue book - it was creative in its own way, in its concept - but I want more. I want to publish a work of fiction that is entirely of my own creation. Frequently I feel the fear, that old conviction that I'll never write good fiction; but when I do, I re-read The Price. Or any other Gaiman short story - or novel. His voice rings clear through them all. It comforts me, and I know I can find my own.

So what has this post got to do with Tweet Treats, you ask? Well, I did get to give Neil a copy of Tweet Treats - and got him to sign mine. A spurious excuse perhaps, but I'm ok with that.

You can find Neil's contribution to Tweet Treats on page 159, called Cthulhu Crumble. Will I copy the recipe here for you all to have a look at? Will I heck. Go buy a copy yourselves, you wastrels (or look closely at the pic above!). If you live in Ireland, you can visit Irishfoodbloggers.com who are giving away five copies this week - just leave a comment.

And thanks for tolerating my fangirlisms. (What? It's a word if I say it is.)
Yes, I know this is a Cthulhu Cookie, not a crumble. So sue me.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Last Day of The Tweet Treats Blog Tour!

Morning all! (What? It's still morning. Somewhere.) You'll no doubt be thrilled and delighted to know that today is the last day of the Tweet Treats blog tour! I'm sure I've bored you all senseless dragging you all around.. What's that? You've enjoyed every minute of it? Aw, shucks.


Anyway, today in many ways I'm back where it all began. The first thing I ever had published was a tiny piece called My Mother Wears a Car on the Third Finger of Her Left Hand in the anthology A Pint And A Haircut, True Irish Stories For Haiti edited by Garret Pearse. It, too, was for charity and was to directly benefit Haiti. At the time I'd finished collecting the recipes for Tweet Treats but had no idea if I'd ever get it published, so I was delighted to be contributing in some small way.

Garret very generously offered to host a stage of the Tweet Treats blog tour, so it seems very fitting to end it all on his blog. Read about it here, and there's also a link to buy A Pint And A Haircut if you haven't done so yet. You can still win a copy of Tweet Treats on @jonpinnock's blog too, or click the link below to buy your own. Thanks for reading, everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sweet Charity

Morning all! Today the Tweet Treats blog tour heads to Bolton in England to talk about charity and how it doesn't just have to be dull and boring and stuff. And junk.

The tour host today is @BoltonBulls, themselves a charity trying to raise funds for their wheelchair basketball team. You could donate to them while you're there, if you felt so inclined; or you might even win a pair of tickets to the see the Stone Roses! Read the Tweet Treats guest post here.

Remember, all this week you could win a free signed copy of Tweet Treats over at @jonpinnock's blog here. There are some good entries so far, stretch your brains and keep them coming.

If (when!) you try a recipe from Tweet Treats, let me know what you think! Tweet an opinion with the #tweettreats hashtag, or even take a pic to tweet or to tag Tweet Treats on Facebook.

As ever, you can just buy your own copy by clicking the link below. Thanks and happy tweeting! :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tulle, Tentacles and Tweet Treats

Today the Tweet Treats blog tour touches down - with some trepidation - on @jonpinnock's blog. Pinnock is responsible for the terror and dreadfulness that oozes from Mrs Darcy Versus The Aliens, which is a stonking good read and I recommend it rather highly.


Anyway, over to Jonathan we go. I really hope he's not too mean to me... Read all about it here. There's also a chance to win a free signed copy of Tweet Treats, but you need to be witty! Failing that, you can still buy your own copy by clicking the link below.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Dinner Dilemma

Today the Tweet Treats blog tour is flying all the way to Germany, and without even needing our passports! That very lovely, encouraging and supportive lady @Mariam_Kobras asked me all about the genesis of Tweet Treats, about dinner dilemmas and favourite foods. Read all about it here.

This just in: a terrific interview with me me me by @iainbroome for writeforyourlife.net. You can read it here, if you're so inclined.

Remember, you can still win a free signed copy of Tweet Treats all this week at @mduffywriter's blog here. Or click the link below to buy your own!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Flying High - And Down To Earth With A Bump!

Greetings all!

Today was rather spiffing I must say. I dragged the ever-petulant dd to the Whitewater shopping centre in Newbridge, where we beheld THESE two behemoths! (They're genuinely mahoosive!)
Snogging teens used for scale
Even dd took a good look at the posters and said "The Script? You got a recipe from The Script?! I love them!" "Yes," I replied, serenely. "Very nice boys they are, too." I swear I saw something close to respect in those 9 year old blue eyes...

Just as well I had something so lovely to brighten my day, since today the blog tour stops off at @Chiddle84's blog, where she's not terribly nice to me. Not at all as nice as I deserve, anyhow. Go on over and have a read.

But @mduffywriter is still being all gushy, and you can still win a copy of Tweet Treats here. Or buy one yourself by clicking the link below!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Day of Tweetin' and Treatin'

Oh I say, I am a happy bunny! That very nice person (and Tweet Treats contributor) @jennyfoxe offered to host the blog tour today, since she writes for fab blog @culch_ie aka Culch.ie. She told me she was going to review the book, but I didn't expect what she'd do next! Read all about it over here.

Now that you've read that, you want your own copy of Tweet Treats, don't you? Well, I don't blame you! Don't forget, all this week you have a chance to win a free signed copy of Tweet Treats over at @mduffywriter's blog. Or you could just click on the link below... ;)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nostalgia and Sleb-Sluttery

Huge thanks to @NettieWriter for hosting last week's giveaway, and generating lots of giggles along the way! You can check to see if you've won here. If you didn't, don't despair - there's another chance starting today!

Now, today I'm feeling nostalgic. Ah, nostalgia! Doesn't it make you feel all warm, fuzzy and, well, nostalgic?

Today's stop on the blog tour (with a new giveaway) is with the original sleb-slut @mduffywriter. While collecting recipes for Tweet Treats, Maria found she had a rather uncanny (read: scary) ability to chat to celebrities and to bring them around to her way of thinking. I owe her a lot of thanks since a goodly proportion of the celebs who feature in Tweet Treats wouldn't have been there without here. Anyhoo, you can read her version of events here.

Having Maria blogging today reminded me of another piece of writing that she did about Tweet Treats. I blogged about it a year or so ago, but just thought I would reproduce it here. Enjoy!

In Twitford all the fairies came
to hear their fairy queen.
She had a great idea and
was hoping they’d be keen.

So Fairy Jane began to tell
her real exciting news.
She needed help to form a plan;
they didn’t dare refuse.

Although they quite admired their Queen;
an energetic fairy,
she sometimes donned a grumpy face
that made her seem quite scary.

She never wore the sparkling stuff,
or fairy wings so pretty;                                                              
preferring dark & gloomy clothes
to make her seem more gritty.

She didn’t drink the fairy dew
but loaded up with coffee.
Instead of nibbling magic stars,
she just chewed gum and toffee.

But when they heard her plan in full,
they all became excited.
They’d help her every way they could;
Team Fairyland united.

A plan to gather recipes
was what she had decided.
She’d surely quickly reach her goal
with all the help provided.

Now very soon the word was spread
of Fairy Jane’s new mission.
And fairies all applauded her
for having such ambition.
The recipes were flooding in,
but Jane still wanted more.
Celebrities would do the trick;
she’d pound their Twitter door.

The wizards and the fairies who
were helping Fairy Jane,
would listen to her nagging;
(God, she really was a pain!)

The weeks went by, the team worked hard,
and Jane soon cracked a smile.
She realised her team was fab;
they’d made it all worthwhile.

No longer did the fairies fear
the fury of their queen.
For now she only ever smiled
and never more was mean.

She even tried some sparkly clothes
and ditched her gloomy cloak.
She started to endear herself
to all the elfin folk.

And so she called a meeting where
she promised all her team
she’d bring them to Avoca for
some scones with jam and cream!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bargain of the Day

Morning folks! I did my usual trawl of the Tweet Treats listing on Amazon this morning, and lookee lookee what I found! A bargain, if ever there was one. Lulz, etc :)

Anyhoo, today's stop on the blog tour is over on the other side of the atlantic! My little cheffy twitter bird had to get a special passport (with a bird flu vaccination exemption) to go and talk to @erinfaye all the way over in Florida. And the poor lil fluffer got sunburn on his beak, too.

Still, it was worth it. That Erin is lovely, and though she's probably still in bed and hasn't posted about Tweet Treats yet, you could wander over and take a look at her blog here - it's smashing, and there'll be stuff about Tweet Treats there in due course :)

As ever, you can buy Tweet Treats in all manner of quality bookshops. However, I wouldn't recommend paying more than €7.99 for it. ;)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Back to Normality

Hello! I'm trying hard not to be too annoying today, after I completely lost the run of myself the last two days and #tweettreated all over the Twitter. I'm calm now, honestly :)


Today's stop on the blog tour is at My Little Notepad with @rebeccaebrown, one of my oldest twitter buddies, greatest supporters of Tweet Treats and, although I've never met her, someone I consider to be a true friend. After all that, she'd better say something nice about the book! Thanks for hosting Becca, I owe you one. Hell, I owe you lots... :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"I declare Tweet Treats to be launched!"

Those were the immortal words of @patomahony1 in the Odessa Club last night as The O'Brien Press, Medecins sans Frontieres, friends, family and I celebrated the launch of Tweet Treats. It was a fantastic night, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and hope everyone who attended did too.

However, they say that a picture speaks a thousand words, so feast your eyes on the fab pics that Alan from MSF took last night.

I can confirm that the rumours of a Tweet Treats cake were not unfounded! Note actual book, for scale :)

Some people didn't believe that the cake was actually cake. Proof to the right! ->

Left to Right: Ivan O'Brien of O'Brien Press, Me, Pat O'Mahony who launched Tweet Treats 

Here's Ross, Deirdre and JaneAnne from MSF with Tweet Treats :) 

Fantastic Tweet Treats canapes from the staff at the Odessa Club, recipes from @BoyGeorge and @LouDPhillips among others ->

It was a terrific night. Pat O'Mahony did us proud and made a great job of launching the book! I managed to get through a short speech without throwing up on his shoes, so it was all good :)

Today's stop on the blog tour is at @derekf03's blog here and the fantastic @alisonwells has devoted her weekly Tuesday Interview to the book here.

Thanks everyone!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Publication Day!

Woohoo, it's publication day! Tweet Treats is now officially available to buy, just about anywhere.

It's hard to believe that this day has finally arrived. That dreary Thursday in April when I came up with a certain daft idea seems like only yesterday (or 4 days ago, if you want to be painfully chronologically accurate). An awful lot of work has gone into getting this book to the point where you can all hold it in your hot little hands - and not all of that work has been by me! No sirree bob, youse lot did a load of it yourselves what with the tweetin' and the retweetin' and the tweet treatin' - I owe you all a huge amount of thanks :)

One pair who did a shed-load of the above tweetin' etc was mother and daughter team @NettieWriter and @clairecatrina, the youngest contributor to the book. You can read all about their side of the story today on Nettie's blog here. Thanks again, Nettie!

So, tonight is the launch. The very cool @patomahony1 is launching the book! My tummy is, um... Well. Let's not go there, shall we? There are rumours of cake. I can confirm that there will indeed be a rather awesome (if I do say so myself) Tweet Treats cake, but you'll have to wait till tomorrow to see the pics.

Meantime you can buy Tweet Treats from Amazon, Book Depository, O'Brien Press, Eason, Dubray, Waterstones, etc etc from today.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

I do know a lot of nice people. There are those who would say that they only seem nice in comparison to how cranky I am, but I think they're jolly nice people.

One such nice person is @hotcrossmum who blogs for Hello! and wrote a terrific post about Tweet Treats. You can read it here. If you don't already, follow her blog Hot Cross Mum - it's a hilarious slice of modern motherhood.

Then there's the very lovely and talented @colettecaddle who said kind things about Tweet Treats on Facebook. Colette is a hoot, wait till you read her recipe! It still makes me laugh, a year after I first read it.

Most importantly of all, the really lovely people at @msf_ireland wrote this.

I have high hopes for this book. I want it to do well, stratospherically well, not just to bolster my already over-inflated ego, but because I think of every copy sold as money going directly to Somalia, Haiti, Pakistan. I want to sell thousands of copies; maybe a hundred thousand. The royalties from that many sales would make a very considerable difference to the lives of countless numbers of people.

It's all down to you, folks. The more copies you buy as Christmas presents, thank-you gifts, housewarming presents, going-off-to-college presents, or just for yourself, the closer I come to that goal. If you've already bought Tweet Treats, thank you. If you haven't, click on the link below - please.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


It seems that people who pre-ordered Tweet Treats from Amazon are starting to receive their copies in the post! I'm all of a flutter as people are tweeting me about recipes that tickle their fancy. @julianstockwin (historical fiction author of the Thomas Kydd series) tweeted:

"Just got my Tweet Treats from Amazon. Great little book for v. worthy cause so well done,@janetravers!... I hope it becomes THE Christmas stocking filler for 2011."

Was I chuffed at that? Well, maybe a little bit ;)

@neversarah pointed out her favourite recipe, one from @Beathhigh (Ian Rankin, creator of Inspector Rebus)

"'Rebus' Scotch Eggs' my current fave from #TweetTreats book@janetravers @beathhigh "

to which @Beathhigh replied: 

"Haha: yes, took a lot of work in the kitchen to perfect Rebus's Scotch Eggs...."

@ClodaghMMurphy (author of Girl In A Spin and The Disengagement Ring) tweeted about her own recipe,

"Is that the fried cheese & apple sandwich one? It's dead good, but best to have the cardiac unit on speed dial.;)"

If (when!) you receive a copy of Tweet Treats, and if (when!) you try a recipe, please let me know what you think! You can take a pic and tweet it with the hashtag #tweettreats or tag me on Facebook. You could like Tweet Treats while you're there too, I wouldn't mind at all ;)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Results Not Typical - A Blog Tour! And An Awesome Thing

You might remember a few days ago I promised you all a very cool thing indeed. Well, here it is - a fantabulous book trailer for Tweet Treats!

Tweet Treats Trailer from Catherine Ryan Howard on Vimeo.

And who is this Catherine Ryan Howard who made this fabulous trailer, I hear you all ask? Well. Not only is she a rather good writer, she's also a whiz at the whole self-publishing thing and pretty darn tech savvy, to boot! 

Catherine's first novel, Results Not Typical, has just been released and she's kicking off her blog tour right here on Tweet Treats! And to make things extra lovely, the Tweet Treats blog tour is starting today on... you guessed it... Catherine, Caffeinated :) So read on about Results Not Typical (which I highly recommend) then go here to catch the start of the Tweet Treats blog tour. Don't forget to read all the way to the bottom for a giveaway! 

About Results Not Typical:

The Devil Wears Prada meets Weightwatchers and chick-lit meets corporate satire in the debut novel from Catherine Ryan Howard, author of the bestselling memoir Mousetrapped: A Year and A Bit in Orlando, Florida. Through their Ultimate Weight Loss Diet Solution Zone System, Slimmit International Global Incorporated claim they’re making the world a more attractive place one fatty at a time. Their slogans “Where You’re Fat and We Know It!” and “Where the Fat IS Your Fault!” are recognised around the globe, the counter in the lobby says five million slimmed and their share price is as high as their energy levels. But today the theft of their latest revolutionary product, Lipid Loser, will threaten to expose the real secret behind Slimmit’s success...The race is on to retrieve Lipid Loser and save Slimmit from total disaster. If their secrets get out, their competitors will put them out of business. If the government finds out, they’ll all go to jail. And if their clients find out… Well, as Slimmit’s Slimming Specialists know all too well, there’s only one thing worse than a hungry, sugar-crazed, carb addict – and that’s an angry one. Will the secret behind Slimmit’s success survive the day, or will their long-suffering slimmers finally discover the truth? 
Available now in paperback and e-book editions. 

Catherine, what compelled you to write a book about the slimming industry? Anyone would think you had vast experience of same.

Well, after ten years of trying to be an internationally mega-selling, filthy rich, highly-acclaimed author, I figured out that the main obstacle between me and my dreams was the fact that I hadn’t written a book yet. Turns out that’s kind of crucial. Further pondering revealed that the reason I hadn’t written a book yet was because I didn’t have any good ideas for one, and so my goal became to find one, and find one quick.

Around the same time, I had the misfortune to cross paths with a “behaviour modification clinic” who specialised in weight loss. As I specialised in eating, I signed up, handed over an alarming amount of money and embarked on what could only be described as twenty weeks of senseless torture: protein shakes, meals and bars, mind molestation and – worst of all – no caffeine whatsoever. (Nooooooooooo!) You weren’t even allowed cough syrup or throat lozenges because their sugar content was too high. I could go on and on about the horrors of it, but what stands out in my mind was their breakfast prescription: a bowl of not-completely dissolved feet-flavoured protein flakes in hot water. They claimed it was porridge and when I complained about the taste – it was so bad I’d gag on it – my appointed consultant said it was because I was used to porridge loaded with milk and sugar and so didn’t know what porridge actually tasted like. But of course, the problem was that I was used to ACTUAL PORRIDGE.

At the time I was working in an office, and when I’d tell the girls at work about I was dealing with it at the clinic, they’d fall about the place laughing. They couldn’t believe that it was even true, but I knew that it was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to Ridiculous Ways to Lose Weight. Then it dawned on me: that might be a good idea for a novel...

I've just started back to Weightwatchers after years of eschewing any and all product-driven slimming plans. Reading Results Not Typical is not helping! What do you have to say for yourself?

I think Weightwatchers is great, because they don’t want you to do anything stupid, they promote healthy eating and exercise and their product lines are only intended to help you – you don’t have to live off them, and in fact can do the entire program on real food.

My point about dieting is really this: all diets work if you do them, because all diets basically boil down to a low calorie intake and increased activity. But if you’re like me and were absent the day your brain learned how to deal with food the way a slim person does (i.e. only as fuel, not a reward, a way to pass the time or tasty Prozac), then it’s extremely difficult to stick to any diet plan. So you don’t and either stop doing it, or just about manage to do it and then put weight back on again later. Soon your body doesn’t know what’s going on because it’s had periods of feast, famine and healthy eating, so your metabolism slows. Maybe your blood sugar’s out too. Now, it’s easier to put weight on and harder to lose it. You start another diet, and the cycle of yo-yo dieting continues. Result: dieting makes you gain weight in the long run. I mean, if I was the weight I was when I first seriously undertook a diet back in 2002, I think it was, I would be deliriously happy. Now Me can’t even understand what Back Then Me was even doing dieting in the first place, because she perfectly slim. 

Personally, I think the only way to stop the cycle is to figure out what’s happening in your head that made you overeat or eat the wrong things in the first place. Otherwise you’re just treating the symptoms. Problem is, I have no clue what that is in my case – despite me watching every episode of Oprah since 1999 AND having the 18-hour, 20th anniversary DVD box-set. Answers on a postcard, please...

Results Not Typical is very funny, cynical, tongue-in-cheek. Are you ever serious?

I wrote Results Not Typical as satire just because I felt like that was the best way to do it. Us dieters have enough to deal with without reading misery food memoirs or sad-sack fat camp tales – and if you want to read those things, there’s plenty of them out there already.

The fact that it’s not serious is one of the reasons I couldn’t get it published, actually. But I’ll get to that in the next question...

I am occasionally serious if the occasion calls for it. Why, just yesterday I chaired a family meeting about how Hellman’s Mayonnaise is mayonnaise, and that thing Aldi calls mayonnaise is, in fact, NOT. It’s some sort of icky salad cream thing, and anyone would know just by comparing the consistencies. It’s, like, obvious.

And thank you for saying it’s funny. (Consider that secret contractual obligation involving a fiver and the postal service we discussed duly fulfilled.)

Why did you decide to go down the self-publishing route again? 

Results went to some editors at some very big publishing houses here in Ireland and the UK, and while they all had positive things to say about my voice and the writing, they felt the satire/comedy lacked the underlying “meatiness” that would make it suitable for the Irish/UK market. Right now, what’s doing well in women’s commercial fiction are books that make you laugh, but have real emotion behind them. (Some seriousness, if you will.) Therefore, they didn’t want to publish Results because they felt it wouldn’t do well enough to warrant them publishing it – and I completely understood.

But for me, there’s no financial risk, really, in self-publishing a book. I can generally recoup my upfront costs in about 500 sales. And when I self-publish, I don’t just sell to Ireland and the UK – I sell globally, mainly to the US. So taking into account the fact that I’ve already established a readership, online platform, etc. I decided to self-publish Results.

For traditional publishing houses the numbers didn’t add up but for me, they did. Let’s hope it’s not just because I’m bad at maths...

Is it still your ambition to be published traditionally, or have you decided you really like doing it completely your own way?

It is absolutely my ambition to still be published traditionally. That’s always been my dream, and it continues to be. I enjoy self-publishing and I’m thankful for all the opportunities it’s brought me but essentially, it just pays the bills. It may sound strange but it doesn’t satisfy any “I want to be a published writer” desires even though technically it should. I’m currently working on a novel that’s completely different to Results that I plan on submitting to traditional publishers next year. Here’s hoping!

You've brought out four books in just over a year! That's a hell of an achievement. Are you proud of yourself?

I am downright smug.

And also, my fingers are like claws. Claws, I tell you!

You've become such a dab hand at this self-printing lark, have you ever thought of setting up your own publishing company? Everyone knows publishers are filthy-rich gatekeepers who keep out people with genuine talent, wouldn't you like to join their numbers? ;)

Good God, no! I’m only self-publishing because I have to – I am ready and willing, pen poised, to sell out to Publishing’s Corporate Overlords as soon as the opportunity arises. And I think everyone else should be too. Trust me: I’m not one of these precious types who’s all, “I prefer self-publishing because I have control over all aspects of how my book is packaged, etc.” Someone once told me that they self-published because they didn’t want to do readings in public, the implication being that their (mythical) publisher would force them to do that. I couldn’t even formulate a response. It’s like wanting to be singer and not auditioning for X-Factor because you don’t have space on your shelves for a Grammy. SPARE ME THE HORSE FECES.

Also if I did start a publishing company I would have to recreate the Black Gates of Mordor in my office because as you said, everyone knows publishing is an evil club that meets once a week to drink pig’s blood and laugh about all the aspiring writers they’re keeping out, and I imagine that would be expensive.

If you had just one piece of advice to pass on to new writers who are trying to figure the whole industry out, what would it be?

Don’t. This will save them years of heartache, headaches and a third thing that starts with “h” that I can’t think of right now, and – added bonus – reduce my competition.

If they insist on doing it though, I’d say you have to find your own path, to figure out what’s best for you and your work. The internet is full of evangelists who see everything in black and white – you’ll make a million self-publishing, print books are dead, agents are horned demons, etc. etc. – but the reality of the situation has many, many shades. What’s worked for me mightn’t work for you, but maybe something that hasn’t worked for me will.

(Or something. That was a very confusing sentence!)

Oh, and buy this.

So what's next for you? Are you working on anything else at the moment?

Between now and Christmas I’ll be focused on finishing the first draft of the More Serious Novel. Then just out of curiosity, I’m going to price those Black Gates... 

Catherine has also told me about a giveaway: if you visit here you can enter a giveaway to win one of five paperback copies of Results Not Typical. Open for entries from September 30th-October 31st. Open to all countries.

About Catherine:

Catherine Ryan Howard is a 29-year-old writer, blogger and enthusiastic coffee-drinker. She currently lives in Cork, Ireland, where she divides her time between her desk and the sofa. She blogs at