Eoin Colfer - My Week
My desk is in an old stable we’ve renovated in the back garden. For that reason I don’t have a long, London-style commute. Actually, my first duty on a Monday morning is to get my son to school. And being in Ireland, that’s only 200 yards away. It’s very relaxed.
My younger son, Sean, is nine, and he’s like a young Roger Moore. He comes down in his dressing gown and slippers, he sits at the breakfast bar, his mother makes him a hot chocolate, with the cappuccino foam, and he sits there with his iPad. I imagine if we’d let him smoke a cigar he would, he is that chilled. I go to my desk very calm. In fact, I might soon have to hire someone to annoy me in the morning.
Most mornings I go to the gym where I do a kettlebell class with lots of other middle-aged people – who have also realised too late you can’t eat fried chicken for 25 years and not pay the price. I go mostly for social reasons. When you sit in the office all day it is good to get out and meet people your own age for a chat.
I don’t really work office hours but I do work a full day. I work from two till seven and then from eight till 11. That’s mostly editing. I wouldn’t be able to write all the time. When I was young I could. I could write three books at a time. But now I just do one book at a time.
Last Tuesday I flew to New York for the BookExpo America. It’s a big trade fair. It is great for me. I get to meet people who sell the books, to make eye contact and shake hands and thank people in person. I think book sales depend on champions in the bookstores who really like the books and 'hand-sell' them, as they say. It was a great trip. My wife and I had a nice hotel and they flew us business class. I’ll know I’m on the way down when it’s a rowing boat and the Holiday Inn.
Every Thursday I’ll meet my mates in a pub for a drink. Or we go to a place called the Red Chair in Wexford for an open mic night, when the local singers get up and sing a few tunes. I like to keep in touch with my old teaching friends a lot, even though we don’t have the same world
any more. I’m careful not to ever complain about anything though. If I do, I’m just buried. “Oh yes, you have a tough life – you have to fly business class to New York…”
In my normal week I usually have at least one school visit. It’s usually one of my mates who calls me up and says, ‘I’m bored. Come down here. Bring a box of books. And I’m not paying you.’ It’s usually grand. The kids in Wexford all know me. My favourite question from a kid is: ‘If you were a good writer, which one would you be?’ Things like that make it special. Keeps my feet on the ground.
Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian (Puffin, £12.99), the final book in the series, is out now