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.


#2 – Train drama.

The car was pure broke so I had get the train. There was a black girl in the station that didn’t know how to use the ticket machine. She went up to the steward at the door and asked him for help. He was white Irish, Midlands thick. Always up for being contrary, looking for the fight, thinks he’s Steven Segal and the station might be under attack. He looked at her suspicious, like she might be some kind of scam. He listened, incredulous, then shook his head and said he couldn’t help her and it wasn’t his job anyway. He was just there to mind the door.

          So she went back pressing buttons. Dublin Connolly? Dublin Heuston? City Centre? Collect Prebook tickets? Single? Day Return? It was all nonsense. She went on the phone, made no headway there. Asked other passengers but they didn’t want to know. So she went back your man again, said:

         ‘Please, you work here. I need your help.’

         He gave her the up and down, said: ‘I’m not here to help you.’

         ‘Can you please tell me how to buy a ticket?’

         ‘No. And you’re not gettin on the train without one.’

A second lad came along. Wiry. Security badge on his arm. A name like Estefan. Cold eyes behind the mask. Delighted there was some action. He crowded the girl, asked: ‘What’s the problem here?’

         Segal said: ‘Has no ticket.’

         ‘No ticket?’


         She got nervous, said: ‘I just don’t know how to use the machine.’

         ‘It’s over there.’

         ‘I know, but I need you to help me.’

         ‘Why would we help you?’

         ‘Because you work here, and I don’t know what I’m doing…’

         Segal huffed. Estefan leaned in closer, like he was going to sniff her, said: ‘Where you goin?’

         ‘Dublin. I need to see my child and I can’t miss the train.’

         ‘Well you won’t be comin through here without a ticket.’

         She sighed, backed away a bit, wondered, then said: ‘How bout this – I get on the train and I buy from somebody on there that might actually help me?’

         Segal rolled his eyes. Estefan stood at the door, arms folded said: ‘You’re not goin anywhere.’

         Noise stage left, a door squeals, enter a third employee, wearing a high viz vest with the company logo and name on the back. Had the look of someone with authority and experience in customer service, maybe even conflict resolution. He walked over, asked: ‘What’s the problem here?’

         She spoke first, said: ‘I’m really sorry, but I can’t use the machine and these two guys refuse to help me, maybe it’s my fault, call me lazy or whatever, but I just can’t figure it out….’

         High viz looked at her, at the two lads, raised his arms, said: ‘I’m sorry, but if you’re too lazy to bother gettin a ticket then you won’t be gettin any help from anyone here. Now, that’s the end of it…’

         She started to protest but the train arrived. A heaving horse on the platform. Passengers with tickets trying to get through. Segal like a bouncer watching in case she made a dash.

         I walked over, said: ‘I’ll show you how to buy a ticket.’

         ‘Can you please?’


         There, she gave me her visa card and pin number, said: ‘Please just get me a ticket to get to Dublin so I can see my kid, that’s all I want. I should sue this place.’

         The ticket popped out. The train made noises like it was about to take off. I said: ‘Run.’

         And she did. Segal made sure to take a good look at the ticket on her way out. She said it was a disgrace what happened. He followed her all the way up the platform and to the door of the carriage, shouting: ‘It’s not my job to be buying tickets for the likesa you….do you think I’ve nothin better for doin….?’

         And then she was on and the train was gone.

         After, all three stood around. Estefan, Segal, High Viz, said things like: ‘Never again….shouldn’t have to put up with that kinda thing from anyone…if she ever walks through that door I’ll make sure she’s not allowed get a train ever again from here…who does she think she is???’



Lord of the Fingers

         ‘How are you anyway?’

         ‘Not too bad. Things gone a bit weird around here, though.’

         ‘How so?’

         ‘There was big shit there last week. Cops all over the place.’

         ‘What was goin on?’

         ‘Some fella runnin around with a knife or a machete or somethin…’

         ‘Where was he goin with that?’

         ‘I think he was chasin some other fella, and then the other fella’s fingers were cut off. Did you not see it on the paper?’


         ‘The cops were goin around lookin in all the bins?’

         ‘For what? The machete?’

         ‘No. The fingers.’


         ‘I know.’

         ‘Are you still writing Plays?’

         ‘I am.’

         ‘Did you see when the government got in they didn’t quote an Irish artist? I thought that was weird.’


         ‘The most patriotic time in Irish history since the war of Independence.’


         ‘And every artist in the country couldn’t work.’

         ‘They quoted Shakespeare, did they not?’

         ‘They did. And that’s what I didn’t like.’

         ‘Why? Because he’s English?’

         ‘No. Because If you walk down the street of any dead Irish town and ask the people – how’s your Shakespeare? What’ll they say?’

         ‘I don’t know.’

         ‘They’ll say – who cares? My pub’s closed, my shop’s out of business, my house is getting repossessed, who’s got the time to talk about Shakespeare? Unless you’re in Government.’

         ‘So if they quoted an Irish Playwright they’d be doing much better?’

         ‘It means that in all the time they had to organise, and talk about speeches, that somebody, somewhere must have said: Should we quote an Irish artist? And somebody else said: “No, fuck it. Let’s go with Shakespeare.” They don’t know their audience.’

         ‘They were voted in.’

         ‘They were. Would they be voted in today?’


         ‘Exactly. There’s lads goin around here getting their fingers cut off and the government are quoting Playwrights that died six hundred years ago. I don’t see the connection.’

         ‘Me neither.’

         ‘They’ll be gone by Christmas.’

         ‘Brought down?’

         ‘Fucked out.’

         ‘What then?’

         ‘Hopefully, the next crowd will listen. Are you writing anythin lately?’

         ‘I’m sending out a new novel?’

         ‘Any bites?’

         ‘Not a thing yet.’

         ‘Is it shite?’

         ‘I don’t think so. I don’t know.’

         ‘Rejection is usually a good sign.’

         ‘Except when it’s your bank card gettin rejected.’

         ‘There’s that too. How’s the other books sellin?’

         ‘Alright. Hard to know with Amazon.’

         ‘Sure every daft bastard is writing a book these days.’

         ‘Stiff competition.’

         ‘You should write about a fella getting his fingers cut off with a machete.’

         ‘I might.’

         ‘And the fingers get ate by a dog and they have to wait for the dog to have a shite to get them back.’

         ‘Sounds like a bestseller.’

         ‘I’m tellin ya. Who needs JK Rowling, boy? Lord of the Fingers…’


         ‘I better go.’

         ‘Sound. G’luck.’


Buy Mick Donnellan’s novels by clicking here.