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An alien invasion of Belfast. Why on Earth?

Post-alien invasion Belfast, and humanity has been defeated. Pity no one told the locals.

I'm starting to get Inish Carraig close to release. Covers are being worked on and copyediting is underway. Now, I'm thinking it might be a good time to chat about it.

Inish Carraig is my quiet project. It's been out there, in various guises, for a long time, but I didn't talk about it. It was, at one point, agented and, generally, agents prefer it if there isn't a lot of chit-chat and what not online. So, I kept quiet and only referred to it obliquely. It's been a crossover book, a Young adult book, and now is back to that murky line of crossover territory.

I have the project back with me, and I'm delighted because, finally, I can bring it out and let the world see my vision of Belfast after an alien invasion. (The concensus from the locals seems to be that we won't notice much difference.)

As ever, the characters came to me. There was no deliberate decision to use Belfast. In fact, here's where it came from, a 75 word flash fiction entry on the subject of Innocence.


John Dray and Taz Dean; the meanest on the streets of Thean-VI. I didn’t meet their eyes.

The trial was short. Xenocide. Undeniable. They’d released the virus, killing the Zelotyr. Tragic: such artists.

Such murderers…

The verdict; guilty. Yet even here, a five year old is always innocent.

My Laura; avenged.

They passed me and I leaned, sotto voce. “Good job. I’ll see your mothers get returned tonight, boys.”

They nodded and walked free.

The five year olds are now sixteen. The voices became unmistakeably Belfast, and so the setting was chosen.

Now, I'm not a political animal, but I'm not naive, either. Most stories about Belfast say something about the place, set out views. I tried not to. Not because it's not important, but because I wanted to show something else. I wanted to show the Norn Irish black humour, particularly at moments when the shit hits the fan. Because we're good at that. I wanted to show the warmth of the people, not just the harder side (and that's shown too). And I wanted to have some fun, and I think I do (although the book is by no means a comedy.)

So, to sum it up. I have a book coming out this summer that's set in Belfast after an alien invasion. It involves a posh Belfast cop, a local hardman and his creepy, creepy son, a family of kids trying to survive, a massive prison on Rathlin Island and a group of aliens who smell like a sewage farm. I have to ask you, then - what's not to like?

Inish Carraig will be released Summer 2015, right after I pull my hair out formatting it. :) I'll keep you all posted.


Sounds fascinating, Jo. I look forward to reading it. :)
Joanne Zebedee said…
Thanks, Cathleen. (This one slipped by me, apologies.)

It's very different from my other work, in theme and feel. More grounded in reality - but still with the strong character focus. :)