Laois man Michael Egan, the creator of Laois GAA TV, is set to publish the first two books of a four-book deal in an exciting new GAA themed children’s series.
Published by Gill Books, book one ‘Declan Kirby GAA Star: Championship Journey’ will be published on Friday, March 26, with the release of the second book, ‘Declan Kirby GAA Star: Away Days’, following a month later.
A primary school teacher by profession, Egan first began writing the series while on a career break in Brazil. However, after returning to Ireland the manuscripts remained on his laptop for the last two years and it was only during the first lockdown in March 2020 that he considered submitting his work to a publisher.
Upon receiving the submission, Gill Books Commissioning Editor, Sarah Liddy knew that Egan’s writing and characters would instantly appeal to young readers and GAA fans and offered him a four-book deal with the first two books launching this spring.
“We are delighted to be publishing these brilliant books. Michael has created a wonderfully realistic world around Smithgreen GAA club with a great cast of characters,” said Liddy.
The O'Dempsey's man has been a primary school teacher for over ten years and has coached several school GAA teams. He set up Laois GAA TV three years ago, a website which shows highlights and live coverage of GAA club games within Laois.
According to the author, the books are aimed at GAA-loving children aged 9 and over and is designed with “reluctant readers in mind”.
“For any child that is interested in GAA and likes reading regularly, hopefully this would be a series that they will enjoy but also for children who are reluctant readers and like GAA, it may be a series that gives them an incentive to read more because it's about a subject that they have an interest in,” Michael explained.
“For children not playing with a GAA club I would encourage any parent to give it a chance and I would be pretty sure that any children new to GAA would have fun and make friends upon joining a club”.
“If these books result in a few more children reading or joining GAA clubs, that would be great. Of course, if this series provides another vehicle for teachers and parents to get children reading more, I’d be delighted with that.”
About the books
GAA Star: Championship Journey - Follow the trials and tribulations of Declan Kirby and his team at Smithgreen Gaelic football club, a recently formed but promising GAA team. Although they have a talented team, there are problems beneath the surface – will their temperamental star player Dereck produce the goods when it is really needed? Meanwhile, someone seems to be hatching a secret plan to have the manager replaced, just when they need him the most. Declan also carries a secret wish – that his dad will once again come and see him play. Maybe if they make the championship final his dream will come true?
Declan Kirby GAA Star: Away Days - Declan Kirby can’t believe it when he’s selected for the county team. What’s more, a few of his Smithgreen teammates are chosen as well. Declan and his friends band together to try and win an All-Ireland underage competition and travel to Galway where they find out all is not what it seems.
The first book in the series, ‘Declan Kirby GAA Star: Championship Journey’ will be published on Friday, March 26 and is available to pre-order HERE. The second book, ‘Declan Kirby GAA Star: Away Days’, will be published on April 30 and is also available to pre-order HERE too.