Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Virtual Book Tour for Deadly Shot - Dan's Diary By Patricia Murphy

Deadly Shot - Dan's Diary
by Patricia Murphy


GENRE: children's historical fiction/Middle Grade



Football mad, twelve- year- old Dan is a trusted messenger for Ireland’s rebel leader, Michael Collins. He promises his cousin Molly to never fire a gun, but after the dramatic events of “Bloody Sunday” in Croke Park, he is pulled deeper into the struggle. Hunted by a vengeful Intelligence Officer, Molly and Dan are forced to flee Dublin. But unknown to Dan, he holds the key to a deadly plot. And his enemy will stop at nothing to track him down. On the run, they meet Flying Columns and narrowly escape death But as Cork burns can Dan continue to outrun his enemy?


Excerpt :

The mean-faced Tan moved forward and cocked a gun in my direction. “You with the ball! Stop, you little Fenian brat, or I’ll shoot!”

He advanced towards me, his eyes flaming down the barrel of the gun. I thought I was going to wet myself with fear.

On impulse, I skied the ball straight up to heaven. It soared higher than the rooftops. Everyone tilted their heads. From the corner of my eye I glimpsed the young rebel making a run for it towards Saint Andrew’s church on the opposite side of the road.

“POW!” a shot rang out.

I prayed it wasn’t the rebel. But the lifeless thud of my ball was almost as bad. The Tan had shot my dearest possession. But they hadn’t even seen the gunman!


AUTHOR Bio and Links: 

Patricia Murphy is an award-winning children’s author and Producer/Director of documentaries. Her most recent novel is Deadly Shot – Dan’s Diary - the War of Independence 1920-22. Previous works include the critically acclaimed Easter Week 1916 – Molly’s Diary, described as “brilliantly imagined”, “beautifully written and compelling” and “ fantastic at bringing history alive for children”. She is also the author of The Chingles Celtic Fantasy trilogy. She was the winner of the Poolbeg “Write a Bestseller for Children” Competition 2004.
She is also an award-winning Producer/Director of primetime documentaries for BBC and Channel 4. These include Children of Helen House on the Oxford children’s hospice for BBC. She created and filmed the launch programmes of Born to Be Different the Channel 4 flagship series following six children with disabilities through the 21st century. Other films include Behind the Crime about criminals and Raised by the State on growing up in care. She has also made Worst Jobs in History with Tony Robinson for Channel 4.

Book Video:


Links to buy Deadly Shot – Dan’s Diary

Links to buy Molly’s Diary

Blog Spot by: Patricia Murphy:


How do you spark young reader’s interest in history? It’s just full of dead people and facts and old-fashioned dusty things. It all happened a long time ago when the world was black and white, as my young daughter believes because that’s what she sees in old photos. My approach is to put the story back into “history” with a strong plot and give historical figures a pulse by showing them as they really were at the time. After all, they weren’t always up on a pedestal or in the graveyard. They were once flesh and blood, ate their dinners, quarreled and got dressed in the morning. Living their lives in full spectrum color, just as we do. But I’ve also drawn on my own family history to ground the story.

In my novel Deadly Shot about the 1920’s Irish War of Independence the main character Dan, is loosely based on my late grandfather.
When I was little I was riveted by his account of being a boy scout in 1920’s Ireland. But he wasn’t just tying rope knots and learning to use flint to light fires. He belonged to the Fianna, militarist boy scouts who supported the rebels during Ireland’s guerilla war against the British. His tales involved being a lookout, running messages for rebel leaders and burying guns in the local park. He was a wonderful man, and hugely indulgent to his grandchildren. So I’m fairly confident that he wouldn’t mind how I’ve expanded his story into a dramatic narrative involving spies and sinister double agents. Plus a chase that sees the main characters rushing to the Treaty negotiations in London to stop war breaking out again. He always defended my overactive imagination!

I also drew on my fascination with my roots to flesh out the past, an interest that many of us share judging by the obsession with genealogy. My great-great grandfather was a Surgeon Major in the British Army stationed in India. He dis-inherited his son, my great-grandfather because he ran away to sea rather than join the British navy. Then the black sheep eloped with my great grandmother who was a Presbyterian, while he was a Catholic. In those days mixed marriages were frowned upon. My grandfather never met his own granddad. But somehow he inherited the Indian army ceremonial sword. He and his brother used to play with it down the park, slashing weeds pretending they were enemy troops in some childish war-game.
But as they grew older there was no need to pretend. From 1919-22 Ireland was plunged into a state of near anarchy during the bitter guerilla war. After the failure of the 1916 Rising, most of the country now supported the rebel’s aims for an independent Ireland if not their means. There were shootings, assassinations, attacks on police barracks and British troops. The British retaliated with the introduction of specialist counter-terrorist forces “The Black and Tans” and “The Auxiliaries”, hated for their brutality and reprisals on innocent civilians.
When my grandfather told me the exploits of his youth, he never glorified war. He grew to deplore violence and always emphasized that war and conflict were difficult times for children.
I also gave Dan my granddad’s prowess as a footballer. My grandfather was capped for Ireland’s youth team. While the sword has long vanished, we still have the velvet green cap. And of course the stories. For stories are part of our inheritance as much as our genes. They are the DNA or our culture and pass on the values and the concerns of one generation to the next. I have taken quite a few liberties with my grandfather’s stories to take us through the narrative of the war of Independence. But I’ve stayed faithful to the main historical events.
My previous novel The Easter Rising 1916 – Molly’s Diary that tells the story of the Easter rebellion through the eyes of a twelve-year-old girl is now being taught in several schools in Ireland. I have been getting great feedback from teachers who have told me that it’s the first time some of their pupils have stayed awake in history class! I’ve also been delighted to hear that some kids have given the book to their parents and grandparents to read. I think my grandfather would have been pleased!



Patricia Murphy will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. I really enjoyed reading Patricia's blog spot, thank you for sharing! Simply amazing!

  2. Very interesting post, thanks for sharing!

    1. Victoria, its a pleasure. I enjoyed writing it.

  3. Sounds like a really good book, thanks for sharing!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Mom Jane. Its really important to me that kids enjoy reading. Books really have to compete against social media so its important to hook their interest and keep them turning the pages!

  5. Thanks to TeresaNoel for hosting and to everyone who stopped by!