Dalkey Literary Awards - 20th June 2020
Dalkey Literary Awards - 20th June 2020

DAY 2: Orlagh Collins Book Launch – Dalkey Book Festival

The air is humid and the wine is chilling as we gather in the Heritage Centre for the launch of Orlagh Collins‘ young adult (YA) book No Filter. 

David McWilliams is on hand along with a buzzing crowd to give Orlagh a Dalkey welcome to the stage.

David begins by saying how happy he is for the Book Fest to be showcasing new, up and coming authors and not just the “established talent” that the festival is known for. Although one of those established talents told him recently he received 78 rejection letters before he struck gold!

As they settle into conversation, it becomes apparent that the story of No Filter is in many ways, a universal one.

It’s a story of THAT SUMMER – we’ve all had one. The one where everything changes. For the protagonist, Emerald, she’s grown up in a world of privilege – wealth, friends, constantly on social media. But Emerald’s family, like everybody’s, has secrets. When her families ones come spilling out, she’s packed off to Ireland to stay with her Granny.

For Orlagh, it was a case of “I had to write what I know.” Naturally, social media plays a big role, as it does in young people’s lives. “There’s great opportunity and freedom online… you can build a persona… the distance lies in that self and the one you project to the world.”

The best way to experience this novel is to read it. As the conversation winds down, David asks “How did you get inside the mind?”

Orlagh quickly replies “I feel very close to that 16/17 year old!” to a  round of applause.

“It’s [adolescence] a very true time… it’s something we all remember. I didn’t find it remotely difficult to travel back there.”

Neither will you when you read No Filter. It will take us all back to “that Summer.”