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Short Fiction & Interviews

For Younger Audiences

Travelling Light - Published by Irish Times (June 2016)

Your father fills the passenger seat of his ‘62 Plymouth like moving day, the blocky boxes of his shoulder threatening to spill out over the seat back, his hands messy-huge on the dashboard. You don’t remember ever seeing him sit in the passenger seat before. He never needed to slide on the faded leather the colour of butterscotch - he could reach everything from ‘captain’s chair.’

Threadbare - Published by Little Island’s Castaway Magazine (September 2014)

When a monster is needed – and monsters are needed, as much as heroes and wizards are needed – Threadbare slinks from a cave or a crevasse or a crack and takes the shape the story needs.

For Older Audiences

Crossing - Published by New Irish Writing & nominated for the Hennessey New Writing Award (June 2014)

Cormac Roberts looks like he should have a hinge in the middle. He's too tall and none of it's weight; if the wind wasn't shouldering waves against the bulk of the ship it'd pick him up and drive him halfway through an Irish Sea swell.

Fortunately, it settles for rattling his cigarette papers, chasing tobacco sprigs from his fingers. Finally rolled, the cigarette disappears behind an ear where it is immediately soaked beyond all usability, the lighter into a pocket of his hoodie. There they wait. Cormac needs his hands for this.

Pandora - Published by The Quotable Issue 4 (Spring 2011)

And after her sin they packed her screaming into the folds of the box.

Their skin was already clammy to the touch, the sallow chill of something twice-drowned. She bit and she scratched, feeling runnels of flesh and carrion blood rise under her nails, their hands kissing bruises on the umber darkness of her skin.

They did not speak.

There was nothing to be said.

Time Signature - Published by Minus 9 Anthology (Spring 2010)

There isn't much further to go back now. My hands are greyed with dust from cramped months in this chamber. My breathing is shallow and creaking from the dust that hangs in the air like a lost constellation, the shaking almost constant now, the candlelit words fading into blurry shapes of age faded ink.

The bard's witticism had struck deep with the Emperor, and his rage had lasted for weeks. I had not even attended the banquet, nor the bard's summary execution.

My hands were cramped from writing of such things and if the insult was not to be recorded, then what importance was the bard's name, or the music that he played? Reasons were of import to history, not people.


Irish Independent (22 April 2016)

'Talking to kids about books knocks the edges off you' - Dave Rudden As the second instalment of his YA trilogy hits the shops, Dave Rudden tells our reporter about meeting his young fans, trying to bring his first book to the big screen and why he wouldn't rule out writing a romance, with a few dragons thrown in...

Trinity News (7 April 2016)

Cavan-born author Dave Rudden is a natural showman: when you have a booming stage voice, an electric presence and bristling red hair, it’s difficult to be demure. I met with him recently to discuss the launch of his debut novel Knights of the Borrowed Dark, and to chart the long and difficult process that led him to its publication.

Irish Times Feature (1 April 2016)

Dave Rudden: 'I tell kids darkness can be beaten' Dealing with self-harm, mental health and ideas of bravery, Rudden's first book for children, 'Knights of the Borrowed Dark', explores difficulties he himself has faced

Anglo-Celt Feature (18 March 2016)

This time two years ago the Celt was reporting that unknown writer DAVE RUDDEN had signed a breath-taking book deal. Ever since Dave has been crammed inside the cannon, helmet strapped on, and waiting to explode into the public consciousness with 'Knights of the Borrowed Dark', the first in his fantasy trilogy. Now finally, finally the fuse sparks are about to ignite gun powder. Watch him go.


‘Oh Hi Mark – I Would Love To Talk To You About Feminism’ - Published by Headstuff (insert)

Carelessly entering any debate is a bad idea. Carelessly entering one on a topic you may not have a lived experience of is a really bad idea. I understand that you want to defend your gender as you may not have witnessed the behaviour that regularly features in these debates, but you have to understand that if you are a straight white guy, you’re not standing in the same place they are. Step one is research, open-mindness and listening.

‘My Leaving Cert – Arrows & Airlocks’ - Published by The Irish Times (insert)

Real life gives you more than one draft. It’s easy to look forward and imagine your life as an arrow in flight, the trajectory set from the release of the bow, but there will be innumerable corrections to that course, some you control and some you won’t. It’s important to recognise the ones you can.

‘How Fanfiction Helped This Writer Go From Bullied Teen To The Next J.K. Rowling.’ - Published by Buzzfeed Books (insert)

If you haven’t heard of Dave Rudden yet, don’t worry – you will. The Irish writer’s debut book, Knights of the Borrowed Dark, hit international shelves on 11 April this year. It’s an action-packed fantasy adventure that will have fans of JK Rowling, Neil Gaiman, and Terry Pratchett clamouring for more.

Why Teenage Boys Are Told Not To Feel, And Why That’s So Wrong - Published by The Guardian (insert)

I’m lucky enough to be able to say that words are my job. I’ve loved them since I was a kid – the sheer power of the right phrase in the right place. There’s a magic to them – these simple sounds that can cause fights, mend friendships, inspire armies and create monsters. A well-chosen word is a weapon, and the wrong word can work its way like a splinter into your head so you never forget it, no matter how hard you try.

The Problem With Parents - Published by Female First (insert)

Peril's a great word. I think about peril a lot when I'm writing because when you're a kid the word has a very specific meaning. For a child, peril means thrilling. Peril means eavesdropping on the villain from behind his spiked throne. Peril is a daring rooftop duel or abseiling down a cliff-face using a hastily purloined school tie.

10 Fantasy Books That Changed Me - Published by W.H. Smith (insert)

Books are totems and teleporters – replacing the world with something vivid and strange and just for you. Every trip to the library as a kid was a passport to a new realm – Hyboria, Lorien, Narnia, Klatch – and on the rare occasions I came back I came back different. Here are ten fantasy novels that changed me. I hope you like them.

5 Burning Questions About Editing - Published by (insert)

Editing is an invaluable skill. No matter how much planning you do before you start writing, your story will always evolve as it is told and it’s editing that makes all those changes and little details make sense from the beginning. Pacing, character development, little plot details – all these are planted in the first draft but need successive drafts to be brought out and polished. Only when it’s as been examined from all angles by you, the writer, should it be submitted for an agent’s eyes.

8 Ways To Get Serious About Your Writing In 2015 - Published by (insert)

The more romantic writers (which is, to be honest, all of us) will tell you that writing is a vocation – an addiction, a compulsion, a calling. The problem isn’t not writing, it’s keeping enough paper in your burnished steel-and-copper Remington to keep up with us, lest we start writing on tabletop, curtains and our own skin. On the rare occasions writers’ block rises, then all that sunshine and magic fades away and we are bereft, useless and hollow, screaming our frustration at the sky.

Go Big Or Go Home – Studying An MA in Creative Writing - Published by (insert)

I wanted the Masters to fix my lack of discipline and the fact that I knew nothing about writing except that certain words looked better in a line than others. I’d imagine that’s what attracts a lot of people – the need to step beyond your own amateur efforts, the feeling that there’s another level you want to reach and you’ve maybe come as far as you can on your own.