helen walsh

Life of a Queen

Hello stranger. It’s been a while. While the Prince Harry memoir Spare breaks bestselling records, and British journalists sneer yet gobble up every available column inch to denounce it (apparently despising the media pretty much guarantees they despise you back. . .), I’m here to talk about the Queen. And I don’t mean Elizabeth II. Last May, we took a transatlantic crossing between New York and Southampton, England on the Queen Mary 2, decades after my parents and three older […]

Why TV is Good For You.

*This was published by Open Book as part of my writer-in-residency appointment. If your mother was like my mother, you were told to turn off the television as a child (in my case, Family Ties or Miami Vice or Murder She Wrote or. . .) and pick up a book. Any book. Because everyone knew reading was better for you than staring at the idiot box. Now, far be it from me to suggest my mother wasn’t right about everything. I […]

Ask Jane (Agony Aunt)

* This was published by Open Book as part of my writer-in-residency appointment. Hi, I’m Jane, and I’m the protagonist of Helen’s novel, Pull Focus. I’m taking over the blog today to answer questions readers may about me, or the book, or anything else. What’s an Agony Aunt? A woman who replies to reader’s letters, usually in a newspaper or magazine column, and gives advice. What qualifies you to give advice? Probably not too much, but […]

How to Cook A Look

*This was published by Open Book as part of my writer-in-residence appointment. In March 2021, my house was completely destroyed by fire. Thankfully, I wasn’t home at the time.  Although the fire incinerated only one floor, the smoke and soot travelled everywhere, including via the firemen’s heavy boots as they ran up the stairs with their axe chopping holes in the walls to ensure no sparks flew unseen. Smoke and soot are carcinogenic, so the […]

How To Cook A Book

* This article is published by Open Book during my writer-in-residence appointment. This failsafe recipe will transform your bottom drawer of manuscript pages into a tasty treat for readers everywhere. Meatier than paleo, the steps below will spice up your journey from secret writer to successful author. Think of it as your breakfast of champions. A power lunch. Your new favourite weeknight dinner. . .obsession. Prep Time: 7-9 years Cook Time: 18-24 months Yield: Did you sign with […]

Characters That Capture The Imagination

*This article is published by Open Book during writer-in-residence appointment. I visited the wonderous Borghese Gallery and gardens in Rome this summer for the first time. Originally a powerful merchant family from Sienna, the Borgheses moved to Rome in the 16th century. Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew to Pope Paul V (reign 1605–1621), built this breathtakingly grand palazzo in an effort to expand the family’s influence and telegraph their wealth at a time when art was at the very centre of power, government, […]

The Writing Life

*This article was published by Open Book during my writer-in-residence appointment. It’s late October and I’m writing this on a cold, rainy day after learning my friend, the writer Sylvia Fraser, has passed away. Such profoundly sad news. Author Sylvia Fraser. Sylvia was three decades older than me and more alive than almost anyone I knew. She backpacked alone around India for three months in her sixties. She took ayahuasca (a plant-based psychedelic) in the Amazonian jungle. She demonstrated […]

Want To Join Me In Dublin’s Fair City?

The Dublin book launch of Pull Focus, postponed last fall due to Ireland’s strict Covid lockdowns, has been rescheduled for July 12th. I’m entirely delighted. As readers of this newsletter know, I hold dual Canadian and Irish citizenship, and have spent a lot of time in Ireland over the years, visiting friends and family (and my father’s grave, who’s buried in his hometown of Mallow alongside my grandparents). I also partially wrote Pull Focus during two residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie at Annaghmakerrig, […]

Hola, City of Angels 😎 🌴

Well, that was fun. Meet ‘The Jane’ – a gin, cucumber juice, fennel-infused SoCal kind of cocktail, created by Jonathan the mixologist at Piccolo Santa Monica where I held my long Covid re-scheduled City of Angels (aka, Los Angeles) book launch. A drink as feisty and original as her protagonist namesake. It was wonderful to be back in LA, a city where I previously worked. Years ago, during a two-year run on a crazy entertainment project, I’d fly […]

Scroll to top