Dolores Keaveney at work in her studio. She is launcing her latest book, The Scary Spider, next week.

Look out for the scary spider

Dolores Keaveney launches her latest book, The Scary Spider, on Thursday October 30, it at the Westmeath County Council buildings in Mullingar, when Manchán Magan will do the honours.

This is how Dolores Keaveney’s latest book, her seventh, came about:

“Well over a year ago we were chatting in the kitchen when we noticed a massive spider on the windowsill outside. We all rushed over to watch it and my sister Chris – a keen amateur photographer – took her camera out and captured the moment. Almost immediately the story started forming in my head and when I had a few minutes to myself later, I jotted it down.

“I was working on my last two books ‘Meet The Fairies In My Back Yard’ and ‘The Adventures Of Jenny, Sylvester And Their Six Little Chicks,’ at the time, so The Scary Spider had to wait her turn! In spring 2013 I finally started working on the illustrations and it has taken me until now to do all the work to get the book to the boys and girls.”

The book, The Scary Spider, is now finished, and on Thursday October 30, Dolores launches it at the Westmeath County Council buildings in Mullingar, when Manchán Magan will do the honours.

“From the start I decided that Halloween would be the perfect launch time, but not because it’s a Halloween story,” said Dolores.

“As a mother and grandmother, I know Halloween can be a scary time for small children and spiders and spiders’ webs are a big part of that. I hope this not so scary spider story will help the smaller children overcome their fears - or better still not develop any in the first place.”

The book launch will coincide with an exhibition of original artwork from Dolores’s books. “The full content of the exhibition is going to be a surprise! If you want to know more you’ll need to come and see it for yourself,” she said.

Dolores has been painting for 40 years and gets her inspiration from her garden in summertime when it is full of beautiful flowers. She decided to self-publish and in 2009 launched If I Were A Bee. The success of that book spurred her to write and illustrate more, and she has published one or two books a year since.

Dolores says: “I plan to continue creating children’s picture books. I already have several more ‘Jenny’ stories in the pipeline and I am working on my first children’s novel, for seven to 10-year-olds, which I hope to launch next year. I have also been lucky enough to work with a new Irish children’s author to illustrate her first book which will be launched in the near future.

“Apart from my books I hope to continue to secure more licensing contracts for my art.”

• See; and (of which Dolores is a member.)