Hi. I’m Nuala Woulfe and this is my temporary webpage where I hope to tell you a little about myself, my books, my comic verse and other writing. I will be updating it in the next while so by all means drop back for a look. Please use the links on the left below or scroll down to learn more about me and my writing and also read some tips on getting published.
Thanks for taking the time to look me up and find out about my new comic-romantic novel Chasing Rainbows. Chasing Rainbows was barely released when bookshops started to re-order which was brilliant news – so thank you to everybody who has bought my book already. Those of you who have a copy of Chasing Rainbows will know that I write about real people who find themselves in funny situations and I am more an ‘earthy’ than a ‘sentimental ’ women’s writer - although I like to think Chasing Rainbows still has a lot of tender moments. Writing for my second book is well under way and I am enjoying finding out about the world of women’s rugby, pole dancing, lingerie parties, women and fast cars and women who dream big dreams while dealing with nappies and night feeds. Look out for a short story called “Shoes Big Night Out” to be published in Woman’s Way shortly. Hope you enjoy the site. Remember to chase all your own rainbows and dream big dreams!
I was born in Belfast but grew up in Dublin and now live in Tipperary.
At fifteen I won my first creative writing competition sponsored by RTE and An Post and went to New York to walk in the St Patrick’s Day Parade. After my Leaving Cert I studied journalism at the College of Commerce, Rathmines, Dublin and later freelanced for a variety of national papers and magazines and worked in a number of roles for the Tallaght and Clondalkin Echo, Dublin.
At 24 I won a National Media Award for Campaigning and Social Journalism for articles published in the Tallaght Echo, and shortly afterwards returned to full-time education at University College Dublin studying psychology, politics and sociology. After graduation I worked as a researcher in the private sector until relocating to the Mid West several years ago.
As well as writing women’s fiction, I write and have performed comic verse for the modern stressed out mum and I hope to one day write an historical fiction love story and some children’s books. I love to dance – I’m not going to win any prizes for it but who cares, it’s fun - and this might be the year that I finally learn to play the guitar as well!
Ali Hughes wants more from life. More than her dead-end job with the boss from hell, and her pokey rented flat, better suited to a college student. More than her volatile family and overbearing mother, and her on-off relationship with the sexy and ambitious Detective Dave O’Connor.
While her mother is eager for Ali to settle down and marry a doctor or an architect, Ali just wants to grab her boring life by the neck and give it a good shake to wake it up a little. Flitting from course to course and from job to job, never quite fulfilling her potential, Ali yearns for excitement and adventure. Her best friend, down to earth Maggie, calls it ‘chasing rainbows.’ Addicted to courses, she starts on yet another new career – this time as a journalist and begins to find a lease of life in the most unexpected paths. Leaving her dramatic family and domineering mother behind, Ali trusts her instincts and leaves Dublin for country living attracting the attention of curious locals in the process. In the country Ali unexpectedly finds a new career, a new life and although she’s still chasing rainbows, she wonders if this time she will find her pot of gold.
Chasing Rainbows is a comic-romantic book published by Poolbeg. It’s a feel-good read and charts the journey of a young girl who follows her heart and who has the courage to find out what is real in life. Full of humorous twists and turns and endearing characters such as Crazy Nurse Karen, Steady Maggie, Sexy Pierce Brosnan ‘look-a-like’ Joe, and Lucy the receptionist, Chasing Rainbows is set in Dublin and Limerick and around the shores and counties of Lough Derg.
“There are so many good chicklit writers out there now that there can’t possibly be room for another one, can there? Well, actually, yes there can, particularly if she is as clued-in as Nuala Woulfe. The archetypcal chicklit novel is about three girls who work in a boring office together and need to find an escape from their dreary lives. But many of our best known chicklit writers are long removed from that situation, so they don’t quite get it. Debut author Nuala Woulfe, however gets it exactly. Her heroine Ali has a small flat, a big sex drive and is a bit of a dreamer. Woulfe writes well and has an easy relaxed pace that lets the humour come through. One for all the office girls out there,”
“The author has a good sense of humour and her wit shines through. The novel was very easy to read. If you are looking for a light read than this would be a good choice,”
“A modern story about the young and ditzy Ali Hughes and her struggle to find herself. There’s a lot of interesting characters who will have you laughing out loud like Karen the mad nurse, an overpowering mother, a jealous sister and the sexy guard Dave who keeps Ali distracted. This humorous story has lots of twists and turns. Ali is an admirable character who many women will strongly identify with.”
“As a journalist prior to becoming a novelist, Nuala is well able to write,”
“Woulfe’s writing is fluid, warm and witty and the plot rattles along with some steamy sex scenes This isn’t the usual chick-lit froth, there’s plenty of meat here – including a surprising twist which comes out of the blue – and there are a lot of laughs. The central character is easy to like and the on-the-edge-sister, hard-drinking nurse and terrifying mother are also good fun. Chasing Rainbows is a great read, light-hearted, fun and fresh with an underlying message urging the reader to create their own future instead of settling for one already determined,”
The Echo, Dublin.
· This may sound obvious but do the basics – learn to type and learn your way around a computer. If you need to – do a course. Contrary to what you sometimes hear, (‘oh I write everything in longhand’) in today’s world being a luddite will kill your chances of getting a publishing deal.
· Try and write as often as you can. It’s like everything else - the more you do it the better you get. Fifteen minutes a day every day is better than two hours once a week and will help get you into a routine, but I’m going to be honest with you there are times when I don’t always get to write as much as I want/should/could or need. Ditch the guilt, forget about all the hours you’ve already wasted not writing and just start now and have fun with it.
· Read non-fiction I get great ideas from popular psychology and sociology books – these books are backed up by research so you get to find out what real people really think and feel about situations, relationships, life roles etc.
· Either tell everyone you are writing a novel or tell nobody. A good bit into Chasing Rainbows I started to tell people I was writing a book because I needed the pressure of ‘how’s the book coming along?’ to keep me motivated.
· One of the best tips I ever got was to sometimes change your routine, write at night, write in the morning or at the weekend. You will be surprised at how changing the time you write can cause a rush of words onto the page. Another tip which often works is to write with your moods, write when you’re angry, sad, happy or fearful and it will add to your story.
· Find someone to support you and your writing dreams. Hopefully you will have someone close to you cheering you on but if not consider joining a writer’s group for regular support, or, maybe doing a weekend course in creative writing. A good one in the Mid West is the Killaloe Hedge School.
· Write your own story your own way and in your own style while reading as much as you can. By the time I had finished Chasing Rainbows I had become aware that it was a bit more earthy, sexy and edgy than some other chick-lit novels but I decided not to change it. It was this ‘difference’ along with the publishers liking my sense of humour that resulted in my getting a book deal.
· Face your fear. All of us are at times riddled with fear, fear that the time spent writing will come to nothing, that no one will want to publish the book, that the book cover will be awful, that the book will get terrible reviews, that the second book will bomb etc etc. If you let it, fear can eat you up and kill your writing career before it even starts. Try and enjoy your writing and try not to worry too much about the outcome.
· Lastly, a wise person once said that, ‘there are no unrealistic goals just unrealistic deadlines.’ Writing books and getting published always takes longer than you think, but if you continue to believe, continue to write one word after the next and are open to tips on improving your writing style and adding to your skills you will get there in the end.
· Best of luck, Nuala.