There is great excitement in Rathdowney and surrounding areas as newly published author, Kay O’Connell, gets set to launch her children’s book, 'Swanky Spider Meets Professor Pendulum.'
Kay is already an accomplished writer having written many works of poetry and prose but this is the first time that she has had her work published in book form.
A native of Rathdowney, Kay is married to Tom O’Connell from Loughmore, County Tipperary and they have a daughter, Zara.
Kay’s late dad, Michael O’Sullivan, was the person who encouraged her to pursue her creative side from the time she was a small child. His devoted belief in his daughter gave her the impetus to explore her artistic side.
"True happiness is having the opportunity to create," she says. Her mother, May O’Sullivan (née Gilman) is an avid reader and this is where Kay developed her love of books. She was always encouraging her children to read.
Kay’s creative genius was developed in the early days of family life in Rathdowney when she would read to her younger sisters, Ellen and Rose. Pretending to read from a favourite book, Kay would create great adventures with her wild imagination and be highly entertaining at children’s bedtime. She says it was a necessity to be able to make up stories for her siblings as in those days the nearest bookshop was twenty kilometres away.
Many years later, when her daughter Zara was born, Kay’s passion for stories and writing was rekindled. She wrote many short stories and a lot of the characters that are in this published book were developed at this time. Her husband Tom and Zara have encouraged her in her chosen art as they know that it is this that gives her the greatest joy. They are very proud of her and have supported her through the years. Her dad, Michael, will surely look on with delight as it was his constant love and can-do attitude that fostered her self-belief.
Kay has been giving some talks about her book to primary school children in the local schools and her visits have been received with great success. She is heartened by the fact that in this technological age, children are increasingly being encouraged to read books.
She praises the teachers in the schools who she says are nurturing this love of reading. She also compliments the parents of children who actively encourage book reading and less screen time. They are giving their children the beautiful gift of reading. Books have an emotional resonance and they can shape a young person’s life. She says, "A child needs to be read to and a child needs to read, it fuels the fire of intelligence and imagination."
The launch of Kay's book 'Swanky Spider Meets Professor Pendulum' takes place on Friday, July 19 at 7pm in Bookworm, Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Kay will also be reading an excerpt from her book and will be signing copies on the night.