Wednesday, November 14, 2012


You can listen to my interview with Grainne Clear of RTE jnr Little Pages below along with a review by a little girl called Chloe of my 3 children's picture books.!rii=20%3A10069663%3A8658%3A04-11-2012%3A

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Just finished my readings for Children's Book Festival and what a way to end.....My books were reviewed by RTEjnr Little Pages.   I was also interviewed by them and hopefully this interview will be available on a Podcast shortly.....

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


A great evening reading scary stories in a beautiful shop in Mullingar called Red Earth.    It was packed with children of all ages, dressed amazingly for Halloween.


 I was delighted to attend the launch of Bee Hives sculptures, by Mark Rode at THE BEES BIG DAY OUT in Knocknacarra NS Galway yesterday when this Art Project was brought to fruition by the dreams, creativity and dedicated work of a brilliant and very busy team the KNS Hive and Team of Bees... the sculptures were stunning and I must congratulate the School on their 2 year project on bees. It is amazing. Looking forward to seeing the DVD which I had a small role in...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


What a lovely article by Nessa Robins, Nessa's Family Kitchen.   Delighted with this and Nessa kindly gave the recipe for  Ellie's Flapjacks a little recipe from my book.


I was delighted to be included in this years Recommended Reads Rogha Leabhar 2012 by Childrens Book Ireland with my latest book Beelicious recipes with honey.....a first cookbook for boys and girls:


I am almost finished my tour of libraries as part of Children's Book Festival 2012 and I have to say I had a brilliant time.   I really enjoyed my time in the Wexford Libraries, i.e. Bunclody, New Ross, Enniscorthy, and Gorey.    Then on to Tallagh Library for four readings with four different schools.   I also did some readings in Westmeath Libraries and Schools.   Just a few more to go and it's all over until next year.    I must say that the children in all the libraries and schools were absolutely fantastic and as far as I can tell they really enjoyed my visits.  Thanks to all these lovely children and to the teachers and librarians that I met on my travels.  The following are some lovely photos from the events:

Sunday, September 23, 2012


A very lovely review by Nessa's Family Kitchen for my Beelicious Recipes with honey....children's cookbook..... well worth a read.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


BEES, what amazing insects.    I have been learning about bees since 2008 and I am totally amazed at all the information I have gathered about the bee.      I am a member of a bee breading group and sometimes on a Sunday morning we all meet to learn about bees.    Part of the learning is for each of us to open up a beehive and to take out a frame and study the bee.     It is such a wonderful experience.  To be able to handle the bees you have to be very cool, calm and patient.    It is like meditating, you have to relax and wind down.   See me below doing just that.....


Earlier in the Spring I planted some sunflower seeds.    I had been reading stories to children in libraries throughout the country telling them all about the wonderful sunflower and asking them to plant some seeds to see who could grow the tallest one.   I decided to plant some seeds myself and kept track of the height of my sunflowers as seen below.    The height of the sunflower in the first picture is 7ft and in the second one 9ft. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Last Saturday week my friend Mary and I set out to The Grocery, Tyrrellspass to meet the children who were waiting patiently to learn how to make and bake Mary's Gingerbread Boys and Girls.....a simple little recipe by Mary taken from my latest children's cookbook Beelicious Recipes with honey.....

We had a fantastic evening with total concentration by the children who seemed to be enjoying themselves as they measured and counted and mixed with enthusiasm.

While the gingerbread was cooking I told the children all about the bees and the importance of looking after them and dressed up in my bee keepers suit and gave them a look into my very small beehive (without the bees of course).

We than made some smoothies and ended the evening by having a feast of gingerbread and smoothies.  Have a look at the evidence below:

Thursday, August 9, 2012


If I Were a Bee , Dolores Keaveney

dolores_keavneyI live in Mullingar with my husband John. I have three children, and five grandchildren.My grandchildren and the bees are my inspiration.
If you had said to me four years ago that I would become an author and illustrator of children’s books, I would not have believed you. So, this really confirms my belief that you never know what is around the bend.  
I am an artist not a qualified illustrator, and I like to paint in strong vibrant colours and I think this adds greatly to my books. I love painting and it is a great way for me to chill out and to relax and to express myself in my paintings. Flowers are my favourite item to paint and I have made this my painting choice.
I have been painting for the best part of 40 years. My first art lesson was in early 70's when I attended night class in Mullingar under the guidance of our very own gifted artist Anna Marie Leavy. She was such a great teacher and when finished our group went on to form the Lakeland Art Group and I painted with this group for 25 years. I branched out on my own and have been painting miniature watercolours and painting on slate for the past 10 years. I have to say Anna Marie was a great tutor and she gave me an excellent foundation for watercolour.

Before I started to write I was a qualified holistic therapist and a Reiki Master with a small business in the holistic side of work, but this only lasted one year. I missed my garden and the outdoors and I decided to take a break for a while.
I am a member of Belvedere Bee Breeding Group in Mullingar and I love to go there to learn about the bees and what amazing insects they are. It is a great hobby and teaches how to be cool calm and collected when you have to open a beehive full of 45,000 bees and take a frame in your hand.
It was during this time and out of the blue I awoke one night with lots of poems in my head. I sat up and wondered what it could all be about. I got my pen and paper and wrote them down. They were poems about bees and I had no idea where they were coming from but I went with my intuition and felt inspired to write down these poems.
I had lots of paintings of flowers completed and I took the poems and the flowers and put them together and I had the makings of a book. It was a small picture book with simple little rhymes about bees.   I called it If I Were a Bee.  Each poem explained how the bee would travel to a flower and collects up nectar and pollen, and takes it back to the beehive and turn the nectar into honey, and feed all the little bees with the pollen.   It also explains about the beehive, how they make combs with lots of wax and also about pollinating the blossoms of the apple trees.   If I Were a Bee was in a rhyming sequence and it buzzed and flowed as you said the poem.
Where do I go from here I thought?    
I had heard of a web site called  that is ideal for illustrated books, and proceeded to make my own little book and publish it to myself.   The day I got my first little book was just an amazing experience for me. I had this small book in my hand and I was very pleased with my efforts. I showed it to some of my friends and they suggested I submit it to a publisher.   I did submit it to a few, and I got the usual reply, ‘very pretty but not our line’. I had been reading a lot about self publishing and I then decided to self publish this book. It is quite expensive at the start but I had some money which I could have used to go on the holiday of my dreams, but instead, I decided to use it to self publish my very first book.    
beebookI took the book to a graphic designer here in Mullingar, he laid it out and made the fonts more children friendly and colourful and I printed 2000 copies of my very first book. I am now on my second reprint. The year was 2008 and it was a very special year for me, it was the start of my self publishing career.  
I submitted this small book to libraries throughout the country and was delighted when they took in into stock and booked me to read at the Children’s Book Festival.   For me this was a great achievement to have your book in the libraries and to be able to read it to small children and to explain about the bees.   The children loved it.
To date I have self published 5 books and I am working on another at the moment.
I launched my first book  If I Were a Bee in May 2009. My second book Jenny the Little Brown  Hen was launched in August 2010. I applied for and received a grant from Foras na Gaeilge to translate Jenny to Jenny an Chearc Bheag Dhonn which was launched in April 2011.   I also launched a spiritual book in August 2011, which is for everyone young and old alike called Earth Angels Are Everywhere; Are You One?  
I have compiled, illustrated and just launched my 5th book called Beelicious Recipes with Honey in April 2012 and this is a first cook book for boys and girls.   My granddaughter Ellie has written some of the recipes and this adds great charm to the book.  My grandsons Greg, Mal, and Will also contributed to the book with their cooking of the recipes along with little Ali.  All the recipes have been tried and tested many times by my grandchildren.
I have two distributors: Eason and Argosy. I have been lucky to have appeared on Nationwide RTE. I have many wonderful reviews for my books from Siobhan Parkinson, Manchan Magan, Benji Bennett, Mary Arrigan, Mary Esther Judy, and many more.
The following is a kind of a roadmap for anyone who intends to self publishing. This is the route I took with my self publishing and I hope you the reader finds it helpful.
  1. Write the book
  2. Find money to self publish
  3. Edit Book
  4. Decide to Publish or Self Publish
  5. Apply to Nielsen for ISBN
  6. Design front cover of book.
  7. Get book typeset
  8. Print mock-up
  9. Edit Edit Edit
  10. Print copies for review and submit to people you would like to review so that you can insert it into the book.
  11. Submit to Easons, Argosy at least 8/10 weeks before the launch so that they will either agree or not to distribute the book for you and so that it will be in the shop when you launch.
Edit Edit Edit
  1. How many books will you print
  2. Send to printers either yourself or your graphic designer who has designed the front cover and who has type set the book.
  3. Print invites, posters, banners
  4. 3 Weeks before launch put out fliers/web texts/emails/invitations
  5. Get a WEBSITE IF POSSIBLE. Very important for people to look you up and check out everything about you.
  6. Submit books to libraries for their catalogue.
i.e. 1 Book to British Library UK
     5 Books to Trinity College
     1 Book to National Library of Ireland
You will find addresses in Neilson information.
  1. Register Book on PubWeb online Neilson
  2. Submit book to libraries throughout the country to see if they will buy it.
  3. Contact all shops throughout the country with an email telling them about your book
  4. Sell at craft fairs, functions etc etc.,
  5. Set up Facebook page
  6. Sign up Twitter
  7. Set up Account on /
  8. Join
  9. Get your book into the newspapers. Think local. Do your homework, become a story of local interest. ‘Local authors publish book’….
  10. Contact everyone you know and let them know you are a published author. Get some nice testimonials and write ups.
  11. Get into magazines.
  12. Have book signings if possible in local bookshops.
  13. Focus on an event, or an accomplishment, not about purchasing the book.
  14. Keep thinking about ways to get you and your book in the paper.
  15. Write your next book.
  16. Most important of all enjoy what you are doing ……..and don’t take it too serious.
Self publishing is not for the faint hearted.   I have spent many long hours on my computer. I am a very positive person and rarely do I suffer from negativity. I meditate daily and I think this has been a wonderful help to me with my publishing journey and in the past I have completed the Artist Way Course and have found it to be fantastic.   I look forward to the future with anticipation and I have many more books which I hope I will publish and whatever it brings I will embrace it with gratitude.
(c) Dolores Keaveney July 2012
For more stories from visitors, check out Writing&Me

Friday, August 3, 2012


These are some photos taken by my friend who has hens. She decided to give them a treat and introduced them to the story of Jenny the little brown hen....who was very lonely until a beautiful golden rooster arrived called Sylvester and all her dreams came true. I think the hens really enjoyed the story. What do you think? This is one of my children's books which I have illustrated with watercolours and is available to buy on my website and through Amazon.

Monday, July 9, 2012


I love going around libraries reading my books to children aged between 4 - 8 year old. When I go to the libraries I usually dress up in my beekeepers suit and put on my bee slippers and bring along my little bee hive (without the bees of course) and I have great fun reading my book If I were a bee.... and Jenny the Little Brown the children. They absolutely love to hear the stories and they particularly love to hear all about the bees and to see the inside of a beehive, and to examine the frames. I show them the empty frame and then one with combs in it and finally one full of honey. They are amazed. I usually give them lots of information about the bees. I continue to read getting on to my hen book and we have great fun talking about Jenny the little brown hen and her six little chicks and we end the session with Jenny sitting on her little eggs (chocolate ones of course) and when the children have their little poem told to Jenny she surprises them with a little chocolate egg. We have great fun and everyone enjoys my readings. You can see below some pictures of my readings.:

Thursday, July 5, 2012


GREAT REVIEW OF IF I WERE A BEE....BY SURREY BEEKEEPER JAMES THE BEE KEEPER As many of you know, despite now being an author myself (From A to Bee) I also like to spread the word about other beekeeping books and hence I do plenty of beekeeping book reviews. However rarely do I get the opportunity to review Children’s beekeeping books and so I always enjoy receiving them in the post. Being a bit of a big child myself I love reading beekeeping books that are aimed at children and Dolores’ book is absolutely on the money. Beekeeping for children needs to be several things in my mind but bright, fun and exciting are up there are primary objectives. If I Were a Bee does this on many levels as you can witness from its front cover. It immediately stands out and wants you to open it up. Before even reading it to them, my two young boys (3 3/4 and 1 1/2) instantly sat down and started turning the pages looking at the bright colours and excellent illustrations that Dolores herself has penned. Having had three children of her own and now five grandchildren, it is of no surprise she knows how to draw and tell a story. There are 28 pages, all wonderfully illustrated and they follow the bee around on it daily duties along the premis “If I were a bee I would ……..” It really is a brilliant beekeeping book for children and will hopefully get a few more little ones interested in our fantastic hobby. You can buy the book from or purchase through Amazon. The price is £7 or €10.

Monday, July 2, 2012


The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig is a  haven for authors, artists, musicians, composers, film makers, performing artists.    I spent one week there in May and it was a week I will always remember.  I was lucky to recieve a bursery from my local County Council and in the first week in May 2012  I packed my paint brushes along with  my watercolour paints,  some beautiful 300 lb weight watercolour paper and made my way to The Tyrone Guthrie Centre.   I really did not know what to expect as this was very new to me.   I am a self published author of only 4 years, you could say I developed my talents late in life as I am a grandmother with 5 beautiful grandchildren.   I have written/illustrated and self published 5 books and when I received the bursery I did not know what I would do.   Would I write, would I illustrate a children's book or would I paint big pictures?    I never thought of what the house would be like or about the wonderful people I was about to meet.....

From the moment I drove in through the white gates I was transported to a deep sense of calmness, peace and belonging.  Annaghmakerrig lake was gleaming in the sunshine and   I was greeted with openess and friendliness by the staff.   I got a tour of the house and was very lucky to be given my very own small studio and adjoining bedroom called the Artist Room in the big house.    There were other cottages alongside the house where one could go for a week, or even one month but I was glad to be in the house itself.   My room was so compact and peaceful and it was there that I worked morning till nightime creating my masterpieces.

I chose to paint a selection of poppies, large and small and I had a wonderful week doing just that.   I had been extremely busy for many months before my week in Annaghmakerrig and I really appreciated this wonderful opportunity to spend time with myself resting, meditating and just painting. 

There was no need for me to worry about cooking or chores because everything I needed was left in readiness in the huge kitchen.  The friendliness and willingness of staff  to cater for all our needs was just beyond words and the meals were meticulously planned  on a daily basis. 

There is a tradition that all artists staying  in the house meet at 7.00p.m for dinner and the gong rings out to call everyone to the large dining table which seats up to 20 people.   People relax and get to know one another and each evening people move around the table and within a few days everyone knows their neighbour.  Everyone talks about the beautiful food and everyone benefits from hearing about each others work, their ideas etc and how the athmosphere of the house lends itself to the development of and sharing of ideas and art.    I met many amazing authors, artists, playwrights, composers and performing artists each one was working on something new, or putting the final touches to a play, or a piece of artwork.   Many of them had been there several times before and they assured me that if this was my first trip, it would certainly not be my last.

I think they are right...........

Below is a selection of paintings which I completed in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Co. Monaghan.


I was very lucky to visit the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins recently with Plan Ireland Children's Charity.

Plan worldwide are celebrading their 75th Anniversity and is one of the oldest and largest children's development charities in the world working in 50 of the world's poorest countries.  Their education, health, water sanitation and livelihood projects work to lift millions of children and their families out of poverty.  I have been a long time sponsor of children with Plan and was one of 60 people who met with the President.

I am donating a percentage of all sales from my book 

                                   EARTH ANGELS ARE EVERYWHERE; ARE YOU ONE?

Saturday, June 2, 2012