hunger games

Morally Complicated Y.A.

Behold, my friends, the latest storm of idiocy striking the heart of the traditional publishing industry. I present to you Exhibit A, the announcement of a new YA novel called The Cruelty bought for six figures and sold in umpteen territories and a movie deal and… yeah. Good times indeed. This book was self-published first, so this should be a feel-good success story, right?

Normally this would pass without comment, and I’d be happy for the author. But this, this is more than just a book announcement. The interview with the author on Publishers Weekly is the stuff of drama llama hell.

handbound book

Goodreads shenanigans

I have a Goodreads profile that I jump into occasionally to see what readers are up to. I honestly thought that I’d never be able to do a giveaway for my handbound books there, because how exactly do you do that for books with no ISBN or ASIN number? (ISBN = obvious, ASIN = Amazon’s identifier)

Well, after a few emails to the Goodreads support staff, I have a giveaway for three of my books!


The Importance of Tea

This has nothing to do with bookbinding or swordfighting or writing, I know, but frankly I like to indulge myself sometimes. It’s 9am, I’m sleep-deprived, and right now the cause of that is only seven months old, and snoozing in bed and getting the shut-eye that I so desperately need, so ya know what – I’m going to write about tea.

Because tea is important, people. Especially if you’re Irish.

Mailing List Shenanigans

Mailing List Shenanigans

Okay, I’ll be honest – I have almost no mailing list subscribers yet. That bums me out somewhat, but I’m still trying to figure this stuff out, so I won’t beat myself up too much.

And then my mailing list plugin went kablooey. As in, not working anymore. Screwed up. No longer fit for purpose.


October Giveaway Winner!

You didn’t think I’d forget about this just because I’m doing NanoWrimo, did you?

The Nameless Knight is now in progress, and I’m sure that I’ll be deviating wildly from my outline in no time. Until the 30th, when I return from my bunker with the first draft, take a look at this nice book!


September Giveaway Winner Annoucement

It’s the worst thing in the world when a binding fails. It happens every once in a while, when the materials I pick for covers or endpapers or glue turn out to be a bad choice. This belated announcement comes to you courtesy of some bad materials that just would not glue down properly, which resulted in me having to rebind a cover, scrap two entire text blocks of expensive parchment paper, and throw out umpteen test print pages of regular paper.

The Oglaigh Na hEireann badge

The Family Sword

Time to show off something very interesting – my family sword! There’s a story to go with the sword, but as to the exact provenance of it – no one really knows. This is basically the result of my research, based on info gleaned from Google, what my father knows about it, and some help from

The book!

Rebinding Shakespeare

My friend Alejandra gave me a new project to work on last week. I had the challenge of rebinding a copy of Much Ado About Nothing that was published in 1901! This frail little book had the covers falling off and half the signatures falling out, and it was in serious need of TLC.


The Marbling Experiment

I wish I had more photos to show, but honestly, it was so messy I didn’t dare pick up my phone! I tried marbling some paper over the weekend, and I picked two different ways: using shaving cream, and using cornstarch.

I treated some paper with alum before starting on the actual marbling.