Deadly Shot - Dan's Diary
by Patricia Murphy
GENRE: children's historical fiction/Middle Grade
Football mad, twelve- year- old Dan is a trusted messenger for Ireland’s rebel leader, Michael Collins. He promises his cousin Molly to never fire a gun, but after the dramatic events of “Bloody Sunday” in Croke Park, he is pulled deeper into the struggle. Hunted by a vengeful Intelligence Officer, Molly and Dan are forced to flee Dublin. But unknown to Dan, he holds the key to a deadly plot. And his enemy will stop at nothing to track him down. On the run, they meet Flying Columns and narrowly escape death But as Cork burns can Dan continue to outrun his enemy?
Shots were roaring out now at intervals. People surged around us and I got separated from Willie. Things became a blur of bodies swirling, noise and panic – like cows in an abattoir.
British soldiers and Tans were on the field.
I passed by another Tipperary player who was lying out flat on the ground just a few feet from the sideline. All at once British soldiers surrounded him and kicked him in the arms and legs.
“You’re one of those murdering hitmen,” they accused him.
The player pulled up his shirtsleeve. “The last gun I fired was on the Continent of Europe. That’s my regiment tattoo.”
They pulled him up then bundled him towards the dressing room. I didn’t see what happened to him.
I scanned the area, alert now. It was all one big crush of bodies like a monster, with the Tans yelling.
“Hands up above your heads!”
“Get into groups!”
They pushed people together at random, searching them, while firing in all directions.
An RIC officer ran across the pitch, “Search everyone!” he screamed.
My blood pumped in my veins. What if they discovered the letter!”
A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR
A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR
1.What's the best and worst part of being an author?
The best thing about being an author is getting to do what I love! It’s such a privilege to spend the time with my imagination, doing work I really enjoy and then seeing it in book form.
The worst part is not so much the isolation, but that there’s so much of it! You have no colleagues to support you or have a bit of office banter. When I work in television as a Producer/Director, I usually have a great team around me. There are water cooler moments, office jokes, the camaraderie of the road. At home, it's me, the fridge, a cup of herbal tea and trying not to get distracted by the Internet and twitter. It’s why I like going out to meet young readers so much!
2.Which book of yours is your favorite? Why
It’s usually the one I’ve just finished! So at the moment it's Deadly Shot. It’s also because it’s now getting into the hands of readers. A book is only words on a page until it is ignited in the reader’s imagination.
I also feel close to The Easter Rising 1916 – Molly’s Diary – which tells of the events of the Easter Rebellion in 1916 through the eyes of Dan’s cousin, twelve-year-old Molly. It’s the centenary of the Rising next year, and it's an important event not just in Irish but in world history as it signaled the collapse of the British Empire. There is going to be a lot of publicity about the centenary next year! I have been going round schools engaging with young readers and it's been very refreshing. They don’t bring prejudices to bear when they read. They respond in an open, honest way. The feedback I’ve been getting is very positive and encouraging.
3.What are your favorite authors in the genre that you write?
I admire John Boyne The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – about the Nazi concentration camps.
When I was a child, I loved A Connecticut Yankee in the Court of King Arthur by Mark Twain
I also love real historical diaries from a child’s perspective such as The Diary of Anne Frank and Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filipović about the siege of Sarajevo.
In adult historical fiction, it’s Hilary Mantel. Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies are just brilliant. An author of rare intelligence.
I also love JG Farrell, the author who lived in Ireland and tragically drowned at the age of 44. Troubles is a great book about the war of Independence told from a remote part of Ireland. Its part of his Empire Trilogy about the decay of British colonial power. Extraordinary books.
4.Which of your characters is most like you?
That’s a tough one! There’s a little bit of me in most of them. In some ways Molly, Dan’s cousin exemplifies what I would like my better self to be – compassionate, spirited, resourceful. But I often fall short of the mark! I’m perhaps more like Cassie in the Chingles trilogy – my Celtic fantasy novels – or was when I was younger. Curious, cheeky, fiercely argumentative with my siblings but loyal when it mattered.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Patricia Murphy is an award-winning children’s author and Producer/Director of documentaries. Her most recent novel is Deadly Shot – Dan’s Diary - the War of Independence 1920-22. Previous works include the critically acclaimed Easter Week 1916 – Molly’s Diary, described as “brilliantly imagined”, “beautifully written and compelling” and “ fantastic at bringing history alive for children”. She is also the author of The Chingles Celtic Fantasy trilogy. She was the winner of the Poolbeg “Write a Bestseller for Children” Competition 2004.
She is also an award-winning Producer/Director of primetime documentaries for BBC and Channel 4. These include Children of Helen House on the Oxford children’s hospice for BBC. She created and filmed the launch programmes of Born to Be Different the Channel 4 flagship series following six children with disabilities through the 21st century. Other films include Behind the Crime about criminals and Raised by the State on growing up in care. She has also made Worst Jobs in History with Tony Robinson for Channel 4.
Links to buy Deadly Shot – Dan’s Diary
Links to buy Molly’s Diary
Patricia Murphy will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Use the link below to enter.