A Novel About Autism in Nineteenth Century Nova Scotia

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Recent News

Front Page of July 21st The Cole Harbour Wire

Poor Farm has been in the news recently! Along with the reading at Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum, there have also been features in local media. Check out below for more details:

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Pictures from a Reading

Outdoor Reading at Cole Harbour Heritage Farm (Credit https://dartmouthbookexchange.ca)

As mentioned in a previous post, I had the pleasure of reading at the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum. The weather was lovely and, thanks to Heather and Sawyer, we had tables and chairs set up out in the main yard of the farm. Heather is curator of the museum and was of invaluable assistance in the research behind the book. Also thanks to Sue Slade from Dartmouth Book Exchange for helping with organization and sales. She even made mini-book themed chocolates! Finally thanks to everyone who took the time to attend and discuss Poor Farm.

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Reading at Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum

Cole Harbour Heritage Museum

I will be reading from Poor Farm at 2pm on August 1st at Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum. It will be an outdoor event with lots of time for reading, discussion of local history, book-signing. Whatever you like! Copies of Poor Farm will be available at a discounted rate from Dartmouth Book Exchange (Cash only) or from the Museum gift shop. Here is the Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/870591490215872

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A Night To Remember

Signing Books At The Old Triangle

As a new author, the prospect of a book launch is a fraught one: Will people come? Will I mess up the reading? In this time of Covid-19, there is the added complication of cancellation due to lockdown restrictions. We weren’t really sure if an in-person event could go ahead until the day before.

In fact, the night was everything I dreamed and hoped for: we sold out of tickets and books and the audience asked wonderful and insightful questions. It was truly a night to remember for the rest of my life. Especially since my son Martin (along with my wife and the rest of my family) were there to share it with me⁠—the best Father’s day present I’ve ever had.

See below for video and photos from the event. Thanks again to my family and friends for coming and helping out; to Erik and Brian at The Old Triangle; to PLT for all their support; Niki Davison for the photography; and Brenda Thomson from Moose House Press. This could never have happened without you.

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Press Release

Moose House Publications

O’DRISCOLL’S SECOND BOOK TELLS THE STORY OF AN AUTISTIC BOY’S FORMATIVE YEARS SPENT ON A POOR FARM

(Granville Ferry, NS): Ronan O’Driscoll couldn’t have predicted that one of his daily walks with his son could serve as the catalyst for his second book, Poor Farm, published by Moose House Publications.

O’Driscoll, author of Chief O’Neill, recalls taking the stroll with his Autistic son when they came across an abandoned graveyard for inmates of a former poor farm nearby. Touring the land, O’Driscoll was forced to contemplate how his son would have been treated in the days of poor farms, which inevitably led to the crafting of a searing and uplifting tale of the poor farm, its staff and its inmates.

“Our own journey with our son has allowed us to merge his Autistic experience, and our experience as caregivers, into the story of an Autistic boy residing on a poor farm,” says O’Driscoll. “Writing this work was an exceptionally moving journey, and my hope is that Poor Farm will be a novel that others can connect with on a similarly deep level.”

O’Driscoll’s second literary venture, which will donate a portion of sales to Playing and Learning Together – a non-profit after-school and support program for children and young adults on the Autism Spectrum, is already receiving accolades from his peers.

“The first chapter grabs one’s attention so strongly and is written so heartbreakingly beautifully,” says Clary Croft, author of Witchcraft, Helen Creighton: Canada’s First Lady of Folkore. “The reader is immediately drawn in.”

“Ronan O’Driscoll is a marvellous talent whose words strum and pluck the truest of notes with an honesty that reverberates,” says Gerald Collins, author of The Hush Sisters and Fintan Moon.

A socially distanced book launch will be hosted at The Old Triangle in Halifax, where O’Driscoll’s books will be available for purchase. Registration will be capped at 40 people to adhere to public health protocols. A virtual event will be scheduled for a future date for those unable to make it in-person. To register, visit Ronan O’Driscoll Book Launch Tickets, Thu, 17 Jun 2021 at 6:30 PM

Readers can find Poor Farm at independent bookstores across Nova Scotia, from Chapters, Coles and on Amazon. Copies can also be purchased online from Moosehousepress.com. Digital copies are available from all major e-book outlets.


For additional information:
Brenda Thompson, Moose House Publications
brenda@moosehousepress.com
(902) 308-0881.

Poor Farm Book Launch June 17th

Atlantic Books Today No. 93 (May 2021) – p. 46

Thanks to Atlantic Books Today for including details of Poor Farm in their latest issue. It is very exciting to see my book up there with other great fiction from around our region.

In other news: we are hoping to have a book launch on June 17th at The Old Triangle in Halifax! The details are yet to be finalized but, fingers crossed, we will have an in-person socially-distanced event on the Thursday night before Father’s day. I will make a donation from any books sold on the night to PLT: Playing and Learning Together – a non-profit Autism after-school support program I am on the board of.

Watch this blog for more details as they become available!

Irish Times Article

Photo of Ronan O’Driscoll [Credit: https://www.snickerdoodle.ca/]

I got the opportunity to write an article for the Irish Times about the stress of balancing life and work while under lockdown. I also talk a little about how the experience led to the writing of Poor Farm. I hope it will be of interest to readers of this blog. Here is the link to the the Irish Times Article.