Time to check out Mick Donnellan’s new novel – The Naked Flame.

Mick Donnellan’s new novel 

The Naked Flame 

now available on Kindle and as Paperback.  

You can read The Naked Flame on Kindle here: 

The Naked Flame on Kindle

You can buy The Naked Flame on Paperback here: 

The Naked Flame in Paperback 

About The Naked Flame:  

Set in Athlone, the heart of the Irish midlands, The Naked Flame is a story of love, loss, betrayal, and passion. John joe is engaged but doesn’t want to get married. He’s not sure how to break this to Karen. Then it’s time for the stag party in Madrid. There he meets Marilyn. They spend the night together and everything changes. Now the wedding is cancelled, the police want to talk to him about a double murder and the phone is ringing with mysterious requests to come to London. John joe suddenly finds himself in a surreal world, full of unusual characters and extreme danger, with no obvious way out. Met with impossible choices he can only trust the alluring woman that offers all the answers – but at what cost?  

 Mick Donnellan’s fourth novel is rich in comedy, tragedy, hints of the absurd and undertones of a man in existential crisis. The story thunders along with unexpected twists and ominous turns that culminate in a devastating climax. A unique tale, it strikes an emotional note, and is guaranteed to supply an entertaining read. 

About Mick Donnellan 

Recent Awards/ projects: 

Mick Donnellan is the author of three previous novels. El Niño (2012) Fisherman’s Blues (2014) and Mokusatsu (2019). 

The Naked Flame was completed during a retreat at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in late 2021. 

When not writing fiction he works as a successful Playwright and Screenwriter. Film credits include Tiger Raid (2016) adapted from Mick’s Play Radio Luxembourg.  He has recently received the Agility Award through the Arts Council of Ireland and the Mayo Theatre Bursary through Mayo Arts Office.  

His most recent Play Nally was supported by Westmeath Arts Office and aired in May 2021 as a Zoom/Youtube performance. It was attended by over two thousand viewers on the night and many more since.  

You can watch Nally here: https://youtu.be/FiJYuaa5x2Q  

In May 2020 Mick had a monologue (The Crucified Silence) chosen as part of the Scripts Ireland Play festival. After a week of intensive workshops with Playwright Eugene O’Brien, the monologue was directed by Jim Culleton (Fishamble) and performed by Aaron Monaghan.  

Mick is currently part of the Galway Theatre Development Programme run by Andrew Flynn in conjunction with Galway’s Town Hall Theatre. He is also listed on the Irish theatre institute here:  http://irishplayography.com/person.aspx?personid=47564 

About Mick Donnellan:

Mick Donnellan completed the MA in Writing at NUIG in 2004. Since then, he has worked as a novelist, travel writer, teacher and Playwright. He completed his first novel, El Niño, in 2004 and immediately secured a literary agent. He left Ireland soon after and went on to live in Spain, Australia, and Canada. While traveling he worked as a journalist and co-founded the Arts Paper – Urban Pie – in Vancouver. Upon returning to Ireland he went on to work with Druid (2009) and RTE (2010)  and El Niño was published in 2012 with excellent reviews.   

Later, Mick established his own theatre company, Truman Town Theatre. All Truman Town Plays are written, directed, and produced by Mick. The company exploded on to the theatrical circuit in 2011 with their hit Play – Sunday Morning Coming Down. Following a national tour, they went on to produce (and tour) two more hugely successful Plays Shortcut to Hallelujah and Gun Metal Grey. These dramas eventually became known as the “Ballinrobe Trilogy.”  

Moving slightly from rural settings but not themes, the theatre company toured a fourth Play, Velvet Revolution. Set in a stark urban landscape, it created interest in Mick’s work among the film industry. He followed Velvet Revolution with his fifth Play – Radio Luxembourg – and it was immediately optioned by London Film Company Dixon/Baxi/Evans and adapted for the screen.  

While the film was in development, Mick’s second novel – Fisherman’s Blues – was published. As it rose up the ranks, and enjoyed positive reviews, Mick was taken on board as screenwriter on the Radio Luxembourg project. After some months commuting to and from London, the script was complete, and a shoot was organised in the Jordanian desert. Titled Tiger Raid and Starring Brian Gleeson, Damian Molony and Sofia Boutella, it was accepted into the Tribeca film festival (New York) and was also seen at Cannes and Edinburgh. The Irish Premiere was screened at the Galway Film Fleadh. You can read more about Tiger Raid and watch the trailer here:    

 Other exciting projects include the screen adaptation of Shortcut to Hallelujah with Florence Films. The screenplay is titled Sam and is based around the gypsy curse supposedly set on the Mayo Football team as they returned home as All Ireland Champions in 1951. Set in the present day, Sam is drenched in Irish lyricism and modern-day dark humour. The script has been met with keen interest by film producers and actors throughout the industry.  

Mick has lectured part-time in writing at the AIT (Athlone Institute of Technology) in County Westmeath. The course has enjoyed an exponential increase in numbers since its inception in September 2017. April 2019 saw the release of the well-received Tales from the Heart which is a collection of creative work from the students. It was launched at the college by bestselling author and esteemed politician Mary O’Rourke. 

Mick has worked as a writing lecturer at NUI Galway.


Notes on Reviews….

The odd thing about reviews is they’re not reviews anymore. They tend to be banal descriptions of the story that begin with what happens at the beginning, give away all the plot points and then spell out the end. There is no opinions, no critical analysis, no understanding of where the title being reviewed fits into the artistic landscape. And this asks the question if the reviewer knows what they are talking about. Yes, the artist is often neurotic and despises the indifferent art of reviewing, and yes; a review can be written in ten minutes where the project – say, a book – may take years. So you have a journalist taking your work and saying what they think they understand based on a speed read and a glance at the back cover. It’s quite possible the reviewer may be experienced enough to know what’s good and what’s another turkey. They may even read the entire work and form a justified negative opinion and call it as so. But. The art of the review itself ought to be a balanced act of expertise. It should be considered an art in and of itself. One where the reader comes away with enough information to decide for themselves whether to invest their time in the work – but no so much that all the suspense and surprise is spelled out in explicit detail and now there is no need to ever think about the work again one way or the other. There is a difference between a review and a summary. A summary can be useful in a meeting, or prior to an exam where you need factual points of a subject in question. In a summary you are not expecting creative ideas, unexpected plot twists, original or intriguing tales. You just want the information. You don’t compare a summary with another summary and ask yourself which summary is better. But you do with books. When an author’s work is being reviewed it’s important to know where in the career this work has appeared. How the creative journey of the artist is developing and where this talent might lead. The reviewer ought to be able to reference and notice the influences (or lack of) on the writer. They should be able to conjure their own comparisons with books he or she has also read and come to a balanced conclusion. The review should be critical – constructive where possible. Sure, a work may be hopeless but not always. And what we have now when it comes to reviews are a disguised form of summary. This might be acceptable in a college newspaper in the early days of a journalistic career but not on national media. Not on television, or newspaper, or digital versions of either. It’s lazy by the reviewer, does nothing for the author, and is of no real use to the reader or potential audience.


Check out Mick Donnellan’s Work on Kindle

Notes on the digital age….

You don’t know who you are. You used to know. But not anymore. There was a stage when you could count all the people you knew respected you and those that didn’t. You could say with relative ease how many things and instances you should regret and ought to be ashamed of. But not anymore. Now you’re unsure. You don’t know what people think. What they really think. You search for validation in the online world. It works briefly, like a drug, and you are sedated, but then the drug wears off and you’re worse than before. There is an inkling that the world has formed an opinion. A false one. It’s a constant feeling of walking into a room that goes suddenly quiet as if you have been the topic of conversation. It’s not that people go quiet publicly – it’s that their minds suddenly switch to a certain mode. Something they know, or have seen, or think, or has formed their idea of who you are. It happened with work. You were going for the interview. Your CV was sent in. All relevant details supplied. Past experience. Age. Suitability for the role. Cover letter. Education. Enough to work on, to consider, and then allow the candidate to make an impression. But then someone said: ‘Let’s google him.’ And the task fell to the girl it always falls to. The one that can type fast, find the sites, declutter the search to the juicy bits. They found you on Facebook and looked at all your pictures. The holiday. The friends. The relationships. They got an idea of the type of person you are. Then it was on to Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. Linkedin. They went into your friends pages. Your family’s pages. The friends of your friends. And the family of your family. They looked at everything. Would they marry you. Would they sleep with you. Would they work with you. Could they like you. Those opinions in that status update. Maybe it was sarcasm. Maybe it was racist. You shared that article on US politics. Seemed to support the candidate they don’t like. Is he critical of #metoo? Let’s not hire him. Not the right fit.

And then there was the girl you met. It seemed to go well but then went cold. Maybe it was her friend. The one always on the phone – what did she find? And some days you say hello to people and they’re not really responsive. Or they ask you things they couldn’t know unless they were looking at your online profiles. You talk to strangers like friends, and friends like strangers. Everything is a surreal bubble of virtual possibility. When you dropped the petrol hose and the fuel went everywhere, you saw it on Youtube in your mind. When a passerby said something funny you saved it later for sharing. When you met an old friend you took a selfie to tag it in a while because there was nothing else to do. Nothing to say. Nothing to feel. There is no substance. No reality. No emotion. There is no human connection. You don’t know who you are, everybody else does, but you don’t. Everything is chaos.