Children's Book Event: Interview with author Joe'OBrien & Giveaway!

Today I want to welcome author Joe O'Brien to the blog. Today Joe is here to talk about his novels and his lastest release Beyond the Cherry Tree. Enjoy the interview and check out the giveaway at the end!

Joe O'BrienCan you tell us about yourself and your writing history?

Joe O’Brien…. Born 1971, Dublin, where I still live…..

I’m happily married to Mandy and have three children, Jamie, Tamzin and my angel in heaven, Ethan.

I have run my own landscaping business for the past fifteen years, mostly working from March to October, then I write full time from November to March along with doing events and author readings….

I began writing children’s stories shortly after the loss of my first child Ethan, at birth in January 2001. I wondered where Ethan was and what he would be doing and how he would be growing up, so I imagined a boy having adventures in a magical world and began to write. That’s when I created Alfie Green, a nine year old boy and his secret wonderful world of Arcania, where he goes on magical adventures.

There are nine books in the Alfie Green series ( readers 6 to 9) to date…

I have also three football novels for readers of 9plus, ‘Little Croker’, ‘Feile Fever’ and ‘Tiger Boots’, and my latest fantasy novel for 9plus, ‘Beyond the cherry tree’.

I’m currently working on two new series for boys and girls of 9plus….
Book Cover
You just recently released your fantasy novel Beyond the cherry tree, can you tell us a little about it?

Beyond the cherry tree is a fantasy adventure novel for boys and girls of 9plus…

It is about a thirteen year old boy, Joshua Bloom who, while on a class field trip to Cherry Tree Manor, discovers something quite magical in the library. Joshua then finds himself on an adventure of a lifetime in search of the missing General Edgar Pennington, only to discover that he is truly on a quest to find the truth of his own past, present and future.

Where did you get the idea for Beyond the cherry Tree?

The idea to write’ Beyond the cherry tree’ came from a mixture of ideas from other stories I was working on…. I suppose it and its characters evolved in time… I do that a lot. I write many stories or even start many stories and create many characters and they come to life through a completely new manuscript after going back to them again and again.

I love classical style books. I wanted to write something that wasn’t particularly modern or current to present reading trends, such as vampires etc. Good old fashioned kings and queens, Knights and dragons and wizards and witches, and at core of the story, an ordinary boy finding himself in extraordinary circumstances…..

Your main protangnist Josh is sent to the land beyond the cherry tree, what is this magical place like?

To quote Bortwig….

‘’Beyond the cherry tree lies a land so wonderful and enchanting, inhabited by so many amazing and magical creatures, and peoples of great bravery and character.’’

What is a typical writing day is for you?

A typical writing day for me is…….. When I’m writing full time from November to March, I tend to write very quickly, usually writing between 1500 and 3000 words a day. I would have spent a lot of time during other months of the year working on plots and characters and storylines etc, so I’m very well prepared and organised by the time I’m fully committed to a manuscript…

I tend to see the children off to school before I get stuck in to writing for the day, and I drink a lot of tea. The little frequent trips up and down the stairs between my writing room and the kitchen allow my mind and fingers, little breaks…

I would try and finish up by late afternoon when the children are back in the house as I love to spend as much time with them as possible, and then I would return to my manuscript late at night. The dog loves when I’m in full writing mode as he normally gets a late night walk, something I do to run my day’s work over in my head and prepare myself for the next day…

Why should we read Beyond the cherry tree in one sentence?

You should read ‘Beyond the cherry tree’ because……

I’ll leave that answer to those who have read it and enjoyed the venture BEYOND…………..

Like the sound of Beyond the cherry tree? Thanks to OBrien Publishers you could win yourself a copy! O'Brien have kindly offered two paperback copies of Beyond the Cherry Tree to my readers! To be in with a chance of winning, fill out the rafflecopter! And yes, the giveaway is international!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I appreciate knowing how the author came up with the idea for the book. One of my students' favourite questions is where an author gets their ideas.

  2. Great interview, you know when a book starts in a library its going to be good, lol. Sounds really interesting and my son loves fantasy books.

  3. You can't go wrong with " Good old fashioned kings and queens, Knights and dragons and wizards and witches" - BEYOND THE CHERRY TREE looks wonderful.

  4. Thanks for the interview! I love reading about where authors got their ideas for their books from and I love how he wanted to write a book that is "at the core of the story, an ordinary boy finding himself in extraordinary circumstances….." which is something a little different than what books have been about recently : ) Sounds like this will be a great book!

  5. Thank you so much for a fantastic book giveaway, that i would love to have the oportunity of reading and reviewing! Also, thanks for a most interesting interview - i am definately adding this book to my to-read list. x

    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

  6. I think the book l;ooks great and it will help get kids reading more, especially boys.

  7. I love the sound of this fantasy. My boys seem to be spending too much time reading about underpants and farts these days! Though I can see it appealing more to my 7yos rather than my 10 year old.

  8. I hope more children read books like this-it sounds fab

  9. The books sounds like a great fantasy book my daughter will love it

  10. Sounds Really Good, I Can't Wait To Read It.

  11. Wow - it sounds magical and will captivate both young and old (er) readers imagination wow xx

  12. Seems a very interesting read!

  13. This sounds interesting,I would love to win it.Thanks for the chance,lovely giveaway.

  14. I landed here struck by the cover... but then reading the interview I got also very interested in the novel itself! Both me and my little sister could read it. Thanks for the giveaway! Fingers crossed :)

  15. Thanks for the review and giveaway ! xD

  16. I'm trying to get my little cousin interested in books, hopefully this one will catch her attention. :D

  17. I think my grandson would love to read your books!

  18. I think my children would love to read your books!
    Sarahleaf.lea620 @

  19. Great interview! The book sounds both interesting and fun and even though I'm not really in the right age group, I'd love to read it. :)

    Thank you for the giveaway! :)

  20. Author Joe O'Brien would like to thank you all for stopping by and leaving great comments! Good luck in the giveaway!

    Happy Reading

    Megan :)

  21. Sounds a fab read especially for older boys which can often not want to read

  22. This sounds like a great read. As an adult who appreciates good literature for kids, I'd love to read it myself before passing it on ;-)

  23. Sounds like a wonderful book - I look forward to reading it!!! :)

  24. I'm looking forward to reading it :)

  25. It sounds a good book and one that my sons will enjoy