Here is what Conor wrote for Final Draft the newsletter of the Irish Writers' Union:
Ireland Literature Exchange, Culture Ireland and the Irish Embassy recently combined forces to host the first showcase of Irish writing in India, with the events all being held in New Delhi in advance of a major bookfair there. It was exciting to be included in this event and rather too exciting that our hotel had a major fire, with all the guests having to be evacuated.
The embassy staff were wonderfully supportive though and all the events ran smoothly, with good coverage in the Indian press. For me, the highlight was going off to speak in a couple of schools along with my friend and fellow fantasy author Oisin McGann [see top picture, at Agra Fort]. Like energetic kids anywhere in the world, those at Vasant Valley School [see picture below] were full of enthusiasm for their favourite books and characters, with Darren Shan and Eoin Colfer’s works featuring among them.
The standard of English that they had was very impressive and, thanks to Oisin, their vocabulary has now been enriched by the terms like: ‘eejit’, ‘howya’, ‘banjaxed’ and ‘grand’. The Vasant Valley kids were quickly to pick up an authentic Dublin accent. On a personal level it was a very rewarding trip, but there are longer-term issues about copyright and the publishing industry in India that mean any gains for Irish writers in terms of an Indian audience are likely to be slow to emerge.