Hayley O'Connor is a 29-year-old Nenagh author. She attended St. Mary's Primary and Secondary schools in the town. She lived in Ennis for a few years with her now husband Eoin.
They relocated back to Nenagh in 2016 and have two young daughters together - Alannah (3) and Madison (1). Hayley says they provide lots of inspiration for her work.
Hayley has been secretly writing short stories since she was a teenager but never had the confidence to pursue her dreams of being a children's author. After many years she confessed her love of writing to her husband, and with his encouragement, she decided to publish her first book.
Hayley's debut book, The Gluten Free Kid, is a child-friendly picture book which explains coeliac disease to children or anyone who is trying to understand the condition.
Hayley said "The background behind the book is that my husband and I are both coeliacs, and trying to explain our condition to our three year old was proving difficult. So The Gluten Free Kid was born. Our daughters have a very high chance of developing the condition and having this material available is very important. I have many other books written but there is nothing like this currently on the market. I felt getting this one out there first was essential so I can try to help as many families as possible."
Hayley has a background in business and retail so this is completely new to her. She plans to release another book next year, but right now her focus is to help spread awareness on coeliac disease through her book and school readings.
The book is illustrated by Anthony Corrigan.
According to Hayley: “Anthony was amazing to work with, he listened to all my ideas and really helped bring The Gluten Free Kid to life. The centre pages are my favourite, it really captures the struggle of adjusting to all the things you can't have! Plenty of times I've walked passed our local bakery and longingly stared in at all the pastries I used to eat and never realised how every bite was once taken for granted. Luckily we live in a world where plenty of gorgeous alternative treats exist but I still often find myself dreaming of what it would be like to not be a coeliac anymore. Sid my character shares this struggle and I'm sure any little boy or girl who reads this will be able to relate too”.
Hayley will be featuring at The Gluten Free Living Show on Saturday, September 28 in Dublin. Here, she will do a reading and book signing. She has received an incredible response from a number of coeliac groups in relation to her book.
The Gluten free kid, retailing at €7.99, will be out on Monday, August 12 at 30 locations nationwide.
You can find it locally at:
- Bookworm Bookshop Thurles
- Eason Thurles
- Jenny's Kitchen Gluten Free Bakery Nenagh
- Eason Nenagh
- The Nenagh Bookshop
- Horan's Healthstore, Nenagh
- Sheelagh Na Gig bookshop, Cloughjordan
- Keane's Newsagent, Roscrea
- The Bookmarket, Clonmel.
The Gluten Free Kid will be available to buy online, and also as an eBook, from the end of August.
Hayley will officially launch her book in Eason Nenagh on Saturday, September 14 from 2-4pm and all are welcome. There will be giveaways, goodie bags, meet and greet and yummy treats on the day.
For more Information see Hayley O'Connor Author Facebook and Instagram pages.
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