Mairead from @SwirlAndThread – Blogger in the Spotlight


I’m delighted to have Irish blogger Mairead joining me today. Thanks for agreeing to be part of my Blogger in the Spotlight feature Mairead. First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?

Hi Joanne. Thank you so much for having me here on your fabulous book blog!! I can be famous for a day 🙂

Well, my name is Mairead Hearne ~ daughter, sister, wife and mother (in that order!) I have two wonderful young ladies in my life, Katie and Emily, and a puppy that’s driving us all insane. I am married to the very patient Vincent, a Kerryman, my soulmate and my very best friend. I’m an Irish blogger based in Cork, ‘The Real Capital of Ireland’, otherwise known as The Rebel County!! Us Cork people like to think we are amazing 🙂

What books/authors did you enjoy as a child?

O that’s easy……Enid Blyton and The Magic Faraway Tree/Famous Five/Secret Seven. Followed by Daddy Long Legs by Jane Webster.

The book that had the biggest impact on me was The Diary of Anne Frank.

What made you want to start blogging?

I set up my blog in March, out of frustration really. I needed a change and I needed to do something for me. My background is in Telecoms/IT/Sales/ Marketing and I felt I had missed the boat with social media etc. It was time for me to make a change and get back ‘out’ there again. I set up the website with the help of my brother Aidan O’ Driscoll  (, with very clear instructions from him that he would remain in the background offering suggestions etc. As far as the everyday input to the site goes, It was on me to learn and when ready, develop it a little more. It is a constant work in progress!!

I initially chose both books and sewing as the topics I would cover on the blog, hence the name. But the book reviewing has taken off at a speed beyond my wildest dreams and I’m afraid my sewing machine is getting a little dusty…but I did learn to sew so that was an achievement 🙂 

I am absolutely loving blogging!!! To be honest I think I may now have a small problem in that I’m a little obsessed with it all.

All I need is a parallel life really, as my family barely see my head popping out from behind the mobile/PC/book 🙂

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

OMG…where do I start?

I have met the most amazingly wonderful people whose path I never would have crossed. As Irish writer Evie Gaughan commented, on a post I wrote in the past,…I found my tribe!! I have been honoured with the responsibility given to me as a blogger of reviewing the writings of someone else. To be able to read and have access to such a collection of wonderful books is unreal. The publishing companies and the book groups I have joined have been so incredibly welcoming. It’s quite humbling really to have your opinion so accepted.

Tell me about your blog – sell yourself!

My blog is Swirl and Thread. The name developed from sewing and books.  The swirl of words and the thread of a story intertwining and taking you away to a world full of discovery and imagination. I think of my blog as my homage to books. I love nothing more than getting lost in a great story and to be able to convey my excitement to others when I discover a real beauty.

As a blogger I receive many requests to review books. Unfortunately I am not in a position to read them all so on occasion I will invite the writer to my site with a guest post or I will do a Q & A with them. I love the Q & As and always try to make my questions as unique to each author as possible.

Swirl and Thread is constantly developing. I am learning every day how best to put a post together and there are very gradual changes taking place. I have a few major changes I need to make, firstly my homepage photo. My kitchen tablecloth has become like my trademark now, which I love, but I need to take a photo that looks a little more professional I think (with my tablecloth of course!!)

What’s your favourite book you’ve reviewed in the past year? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose.

The Neapolitan Novels (All 4) by Elena Ferrante ~ first books I reviewed. Looking back I could have written so much more about them

The Joyce Girl by Annabel Abbs – a wonderful book based on Lucia Joyce, the daughter of James Joyce. A tragic story but so beautifully written

The Shogun’s Queen by Lesley Downer – just recently finished and reviewed. Anyone who likes Historical Fiction..please read!!

The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir by Lesley Allen – Just heartbreaking really…..childhood bullying is the subject. This book should be mandatory in all second level schools.

Ok I’ll stop now….but there are just so so many!!!

What are you reading just now? 

What Alice Knew by T.A Cotterell (25 Nov 2016) Just starting it later tonight

Product Details

Tell me about your reading habits:  book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?

Paperback will always win out for me ~ bit old fashioned that way!! I  sooooooo love getting book post. It’s like Christmas when a parcel comes in the letterbox …

I have a Sony eReader for years so I read any ebooks I get on that eg from NetGalley/publishers etc

I’m normally found with a book in my hand everywhere. I never leave the house without one…NEVER!! I grab five minutes between school drops/collections/sports activities…I read a lot in the car.

Night-time on the sofa is where I get most peace. A little jazz playing in the background, candles lit, a glass of red… Heaven!!

How can people follow your blog or connect with you on social media?

And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?

Oh it would have to be Dolly Lane in Hazel Gaynor’s The Girl From The Savoy. I love reading historical fiction and am always fascinated by that era. I love the clothes, the music, the sense of possibility and hope that people had after WW1. Dolly gets to fulfill her dream…..something we don’t always get to do in the busy lives we live today!!!

Perfect escapism 🙂

8 thoughts on “Mairead from @SwirlAndThread – Blogger in the Spotlight

  1. Great to know a bit more about you Mairead. My husband’s family are from County Clare, but our holidays are always in SW Cork – so who knows one year we might get to meet! I can’t believe you’ve only been doing this since March – your a natural, you clearly have found your tribe. Happy Reading xx


  2. Well done I know that anything you put your mind to will be a huge success Best Wishes Have read your recommended books and so far they are all brilliant Keep up the great job Mairead


  3. Lovely to read more about you, Mairead – and we ALL say The Magic Faraway Tree as one of our favourite childhood books, don’t we??!! I hope the ghost of Enid B knows! I totally get your obsession – if I didn’t feel compelled to write the wretched things, I’d definitely be a full time book blogger 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.