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Matt Griffin

Matt breaks from the cage

LOCAL author and illustrator, Matt Griffin will launch his debut novel, A Cage of Roots, this Friday.

Matt Griffin was born in Dublin in 1979, grew up in Kells, County Meath, and now lives in Clarecastle with his wife Orla and daughters, Holly and Chloe.

Matt works as a full-time illustrator and has garnered a reputation as one of the most eclectic graphic artists in contemporary illustration, collecting awards and accolades for his work in film, blue-ray covers and movie posters, as well as illustrations for editorial magazines, such as Wired. He also illustrated A Cage of Roots.

Matt had been working with publishers O’Brien Press as an illustrator and was asked by art director, Emma Byrne if he had any of his own stories.

“Funnily enough, I’ve always had lots of stories and hundreds of ideas for stories and had done some journalism in my 20s but I hadn’t done any creative writing in years. She said ‘if you have some of your own stories, why don’t you pitch us one’.

“I pitched the beginnings of this, A Cage of Roots and they liked the concept so we took it from there.

“I was delighted with the whole thing and I’m in the process of writing the sequel to A Cage of Roots now, so that will be out around the same time next year. The plan is for three books in the series and then we’ll see what happens,” Matt said.

Ayla, the central character in A Cage of Roots, grew up in a New York orphanage so has no idea who her family is. It is not until she comes to the Limerick/Clare area in the West of Ireland that she finds out just how deep her roots really are. There her past rises up to haunt her and seeks to destroy her, as Ayla is abducted and buried alive in the bowels of the earth.

Above ground, her three best friends set out to find and save her from a fate that has been lying in wait for centuries. Guided by Ayla’s uncles, they must make a treacherous journey that takes them down among the very roots of time.

The novel is suitable for children aged 10 and over and since its official publication in March this year, it has received rave reviews from children and adults alike.

One 10-year-old reviewer, ‘Martin’ wrote that the book is “Very atmospheric, dark and spooky. The opening chapter gripped me and then the later ones scared me – don’t read it alone and in the dark!”

The book’s launch takes place this Friday (April 17) at 5pm in The Ennis Bookshop.

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