New novel Dear Blue shines light on mental health taking readers on roadtrip across Ireland

GCN alumn Saoirse Schad has just announced the forthcoming publication of her debut novel Dear Blue, a dark comedy about mental health.

The image shows a split screen image of Saoirse Schad and the cover of her forthcoming novel Dear Blue. On the left, Saoirse has blonde bobbed hair, wide-rimmed glasses and red lipstick. On the right is a graphic of blue feathers with the words Dear Blue across them.
Image: Saoirse Schad

Emerging author and GCN alum, Saoirse Schad, has just announced that she will be self-publishing her debut fiction novel, Dear Blue. Billed as a “dark comedy on the subject of mental health”, the book is set to launch on October 10 this year.

Dear Blue tells the story of Jay O’Leary and his quest to conquer his depression. He sets himself the unwieldy challenge to follow the steps from a mental hygiene pamphlet, road trip around Ireland and tackle the one and only item on his bucket list in just seven days. 

Saoirse Schad, who has openly spoken about her own struggles with mental health on GCN before, describes: “I’m so happy to finally be putting this book out into the world.  I’ve been dreaming of publishing my first novel since I was eight years old and I think this is the story I’ve been waiting to tell.”  

She continued, “A lot of it draws on my own experience with mental illness and mental health struggles, so it’s been a deeply personal project for me.  It’s scary putting such a vulnerable chunk of myself out into the world for public consumption, but I really think it will be a healing experience overall and I’m very much looking forward to our publication date.”

This morning, July 13, the author joined her former GCN colleague and broadcaster Marlon Jimenez-Compton on his weekly Dublin South FM radio programme, The Marlon Show, to announce the book’s imminent publication. 

She discussed how she had begun documenting her recent struggles with depression first through her blog, Confessions, and later on her Instagram page.


As well as discussing the steps she’s taken to overcome her mental health condition, she was also delighted to reveal that she will be collaborating with former GCN magazine editor and co-creator of the Petrified podcast, Peter Dunne, who will be editing Dear Blue.

Peter says he is “delighted to be a small part of Saoirse’s journey as a writer,” describing her as an “important voice in the conversation on reducing the stigma of people seeking help for their mental health.”

He continued, “Her openness and bravery in discussing these essential topics are to be applauded. Dear Blue promises to be an engrossing and unmissable read and I’m proud to be involved.”

Watch out for updates on Dear Blue on Saoirse’s website here, and listen back to her interview on the Marlon Show here (available from July 14).

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