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Harper Collins to publish Gods Don’t Cry by Ellen Ryan

HarperCollins Ireland will publish Gods Don’t Cry by Ellen Ryan in October

Conor Nagle, publisher at HarperCollins Ireland has bought world all language rights to Ellen Ryan’s Gods Don’t Cry from Lauren Gardner at Bell Lomax Moreton.

Illustrated by Conor Merriman and aimed at young readers, with inclusive characters and storylines, Gods Don’t Cry will be published on 26 October.

Ellen Ryan’s hugely successful first book Girls Who Slay Monsters won an Irish Book Award in 2022, and her retellings of ancient Irish myths for a modern audience were the inspiration behind the 2023 Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Parade, We Are One.

Ellen Ryan says that she has retold the stories of the Irish gods so that today’s readers might feel empowered by their message.

“I am passionate about showcasing how relatable, diverse, and inclusive the Irish gods were. I include tales of gods with Arabian heritage who found themselves fighting for the right to call Ireland home. Gods with disabilities, who defied expectations to become heroes and kings. Gods who had the guts to walk away from a family legacy of violence; and those who turned to their mothers for strength, and their fathers for comfort. I strongly believe that all children deserve to know these stories, which were preserved for us by our ancestors. And I hope that they might see themselves in these heroes, from ancient Ireland.

“I am incredibly excited that Conor Merriman will be illustrating Gods Don’t Cry. I have been a fan of Conor’s work throughout his career. He beautifully depicts the diversity of today’s Irish boys, enhanced by his lived experience, and manages to portray emotion in a way that feels tender, yet powerful. He is the perfect artist to bring our complex, Irish gods to life.”

Conor Nagle says that it’s difficult to imagine a mission more consonant with the values and ambitions of HarperCollins Ireland than Ellen’s—to rediscover, reinterpret, and reframe Irish mythology for contemporary audiences.

“Her work has already made an indelible mark on young readers, and we can’t wait for Gods Don’t Cry to build on that, by continuing to challengestereotypes, break taboos, and bring Ireland’s mythic past to vibrant, vivid life. She’ll be aided in this by Conor Merriman, an extraordinarily talented illustrator, who brings a wealth of passion to the project.”