Michael Egan, the creator of Laois GAA TV has signed a four book deal with Gill Books for a series of GAA themed children’s books.
The adventures of main character Declan Kirby are, according to the author, ideal for GAA loving children aged 7-12 and are suitable for reluctant readers too.
A primary school teacher by profession, it was the first lockdown back in March that resulted in the O’Dempsey’s man submitting the first five chapters of the first book into Gill Books for consideration.
The books had actually been written in Brazil two years prior while Michael was on a career break.
However, after returning to Ireland the manuscripts remained on his laptop for the last two years.
It was only during the first lockdown in March 2020 that he considered submitting his work to a publisher.
Upon receiving the submission, Gill Books Commissioning Editor, Sarah Liddy knew that Egan’s writing and the characters at Smithgreen GAA club would instantly appeal to young readers and GAA fans and offered him a four-book deal with the first two books launching this spring.
Liddy said: “We are delighted to be publishing these brilliant books.
“Michael has created a wonderfully realistic world around Smithgreen GAA club with a great cast of characters.”
The first book will be out on March 26 and it is entitled Declan Kirby GAA Star – Championship Journey.
Book two, Declan Kirby GAA Star – Away Days, is due to be out on April 30 with books three and four out later in the year around the Autumn time.
Michael said: “If these books result in a few more children reading or joining GAA clubs, that would be great.
“Of course, if this series provides another vehicle for teachers and parents to get children reading more, I’d be delighted with that too.
“For any child that is interested in GAA and likes reading regularly, hopefully this would be a series that they will enjoy but also for children who are reluctant readers and like GAA, it may be a series that gives them an incentive to read more because it’s about a subject that they have an interest in.
“It’s a good opportunity to promote reading and also GAA.
“For children not playing with a GAA club I would encourage any parent to give it a chance and I would be pretty sure that any children new to GAA would have fun and make friends upon joining a club.”
The four book series follows the trials and tribulations of Declan Kirby and his team at Smithgreen Gaelic football club; a recently formed but promising GAA team.
Although they have a talented team, there are problems beneath the surface – will their temperamental star player Dereck produce the goods when it is really needed?
And someone seems to be attempting a secret plan to have the manager replaced, just when they need him most.
Declan also carries a secret wish – that his dad will one day again come and see him play. Maybe if they make the championship final his dream will come true?