Mick Donnellan’s New Novel now Available on Amazon.

You can now read…

Mick Donnellan’s new novel 

The Naked Flame 

Amazon.

Click here:  Buy The Naked Flame Now.

Prefer Kindle?

You can now read The Naked Flame on KINDLE below:

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 

Full Maxol jacket in Mullingar.

There was big talk of a meeting due to the dire decrease in numbers. The motivational phone calls weren’t doing the trick and the screaming requests for paid expenses, accurate wages and general understanding of the Irish psyche when it came to quare companies, were falling on deaf ears. It was decided, in the spirit of respect for employees, and to add professional gravity to the situation, and in line with the budgetary ethos, that we ought to meet out the back of the Maxol petrol station beside the car wash, in Mullingar.

            We talked on the way over about how best to approach this council of war? We were coming from Athlone. They were coming from Dublin. What tactics might provide the most profitable outcome. Jimmy said we should insist on a lower target, get food expenses, and clean jackets. Last week he got a company jacket in the post that hadn’t been washed since the time of Fred Flintstone. It had the smell of a wet dog mixed with sour milk and it was too big, so he looked like a man about to jump down a manhole and go shovelling shite for the day.

            Joe was in the back, scrolling through a phone with a cracked screen, and said: ‘Do you think we could get a raise?’

            The road rolled past like an escalator, cats eyes, and trees laughing at the idea of getting more money. All this was cutting into my day. I’d already missed Joe Duffy and the future of The Hard Shoulder at half four was in doubt. Sure this is pure slavery altogether.

             Next thing didn’t I get an email, was I still ok for the interview later on?

            Interview? Oh yeah, fuck.

            That.

            There was a crowd wanting to talk about another job somewhere else. I had applied for so many I wasn’t sure which one this was about.

            I looked it up. Didn’t seem too bad. They even had an office and mad things like a payroll. It would be tight with the meeting, but I could swing it.

            Later at the Maxol, boutique ambience for big businessmen like ourselves, Midlands 103 on the speakers over the deli, a limited time offer on toilet paper. The Dublin crowd sprung for coffees all around and made half-hearted offers of chewy croissants. Then we went outside and got down to it, which turned out to be a pep talk on costs, profits, the importance of ambition and the need to keep focused on potential and growth. It was hard to hear them after a while cos there was a lad power washing an Audi and the spray was kind of drifting over into our eyes and landing on the rim of the cups. There was no move on more money, or a raise, and the lower target was taken into consideration – which meant not a fuckin hope either.

            Good job I had that interview.

            Later, caught for time, I set the phone up on the dashboard. Gelled the hair, fired on a fasht tie and got set up.

             They appeared on the screen like two fellas just back from the beach. T-shirts, tired eyes, the sitting room cabinets behind them, struggling to stay interested.

            Talked shite for a while and they said they’d let me know.

            Later the email came from Laura, Linda, Lisa, I can’t remember which.

             Didn’t go well, she said. You can’t be doing interviews in the car like that. Not professional. But we’ll keep you on file.

            Do, Lorraine, keep me on file. Thanks

Mullingar and the signal in the noise.

There was big talk about Mullingar, the holy Mecca of sales. Did you not hear about Belvedere Hills, and Lakepoint Rise and what was the name of that other place, Dalton Park? Oh, there’ll be sales falling from the sky like the frogs off Magnolia that time. So went the theory from the two ninjas that were destined to make us all rich from their performance on the Midlands campaign.

I got there around half two. Supposed to be there at 12 but I didn’t like missing the start of Joe Duffy at 1.45pm.We were supposed to work til 8pm but I was hoping to be back on the road again for The Hard Shoulder at half four on Newstalk so the window of opportunity was closing fast. The two Wolfs of Wall streets were already there, rolling smokes and discussing the price of train tickets. We drove around and found a place with a quare Irish name and parked up and got out and looked about. One lad said he’d go up here around the corner and the other said he’d go down there behind the playground and I said I’d hang tight here and keep an eye on the car and do some admin. Ya know yourself.

Later, the sun was steel blue sharp and warm like the heat through your neighbours wall. There was kids crying in houses, and dogs barking, and lads in vests drinking cans in gardens. A soft voice came from somewhere, a signal in the noise. I looked around, couldn’t see anything, then heard it again.  

Excuse me, mister, can I talk to ya…? 

It was a girl in a school uniform with jet black black hair. Standing there, waiting. I said, yeah? 

My daddy wants ya.  

And she went back inside the house behind her.  

I walked over, pushed the door. There was a smell like a blocked toilet and Chinese food in the bag too long. The girl was walking ahead, down a long corridor with thick concrete walls that were wet with condensation that looked like slime in a cave. The floor was torn lino and there was a door at the end with blinding bright solar prisms coming through the cracked panes.  

She led me into a room, noise here. The patter of a dogs feet, a telly with a show full of canned laughter. People sitting around a bed. Daddy musta been the fella under the sheets, holding a crutch in one hand and the remote control in the other. Mammy must have been the woman beside him with the ketamine eyes and the American t-shirt (Chicago Bears? Harvard? Something….) 

There were others too. More kids. They were all eating some kind of takeout from tinfoil containers. There was the sound of chewing, sucking, licking and cutlery scraping, like cars going fast on the motorway at night. One lad was in a wheelchair but I didn’t know if it was his or he just needed a place to sit. He looked up at me cross eyed and then horsed down some curry chips and said nothing.  

Mammy kept smiling at the telly. I was afraid she might slide off the bed and fall out on to the floor. She had that gravitational slant going on, and the reflexes were definitely on the blink.  

Daddy used the crutch to make a point, rose it towards imaginary memories as he spoke. The last fella that was here told him lies. And he wanted a good price. And what could I do for him? I asked him how he was fixed with bank accounts, Ibans, Direct Debits, that kinda thing. 

 No he said, not a hope. I do everything through the Post Office. Thank fuck, I was thinking, but said, unfortunately we can’t help.  

Lave it so, he said. Thanks anyway.  

Here’s the dog now, trying to bite my shoelaces, after shitting soft little pebbles across the floor. The girl in the uniform stood up, asked: Do you know you’re way out? 

And I left.