Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Someone You Know By Brian McGilloway: Interview



Welcome!  Thanks for stopping in.  How did you start your writing career?

I started writing when I was a kid and every so often between then and my late twenties, I’d have a compulsion to write. When I was 16, I wrote a short novel about Catholic boys falling in love with protestant girls which was a required literary right of passage growing up in northern Ireland. When I was 21, I wrote a book called One So High which I did nothing with and which I still have. The first crime novel I wrote was Borderlands in 2003. I had been reading a number of different series and many were coming to an end– Rebus, Morse, even hints that Robicheaux was going to die. I was saddened at the thought of losing these fictional friends, so decided to write a book about a detective that I would want to read and which I could read if these various series ended. It was written for those purely selfish reasons – with no aspirations towards being published initially. Devlin reflected my concerns and worries at that time.

Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?

I was very lucky to have been taught by a number of superb English teachers throughout my time at school. My A level teacher, especially, was a man called Paul Wilkins. Paul was a published poet and I had such respect for him that he knew what he was talking about because he was practicing the art of writing while he taught literature. I showed him some stories that I had written and he encouraged me a lot. Sadly, Paul died just before Borderlands came out. He was a good friend, a fine writer and a wonderful teacher. 


Does your significant other read your stuff?

She does. My wife, Tanya, has a very sharp eye for spotting when things don’t add up or where there are gaping plot holes. She tends to read the Lucy books for me while I’m writing them and keeps me on track with regards creating a believable female protagonist. Once or twice she’d say – No woman would do this or say that. I have to bow to her superior experience. She’s always been right! Mind you, she’s also teaches Chemistry and Biology at school and we have four kids, so her finding time to read at all at the moment, on top of everything else, is a miracle. 


Are the names of the characters in your novels important?  How and why?

I really struggle with character names and often find at the end of a first draft that the characters names all start with the same letter. (Often H for some reason!) The names of the books are also becoming more difficult. Someone You Know was actually published in the UK under the title Hurt – named after the Nine Inch Nails/ Johnny Cash song of that title. But that even was a late change and the book was originally called Family Life – after the Blue Nile song – and Background Checks. The new Lucy book is called Sticks and Stones at the moment, but that will almost certainly change now.


Tell us about your next release.

I suppose having written two Lucy books concerned with crimes involving children, I wanted to move away form that for the third lest the books become repetitive. This new book begins with the recovery of a body from the River Foyle. Initial impressions are that the victim committed suicide until, upon investigation of the body, they discover that he has already been embalmed in preparation for burial. AS Lucy investigates, she discovers that the dead man’s cremation went ahead as planned, but with someone else in his coffin in his place…


What songs are most played on your Ipod?

I’d love to say something by Tom Waits which would have been the case up until six months ago, but I have a four year old daughter who I take to school each day. She’s mad about Frozen – like every girl her age, it seems – so Let It Go from Frozen has rocketed to the top of my most played list and, judging by the numbers and the still repeated playing, will never be beaten.

Someone You Know

by Brian McGilloway

on Tour May 20 - June 19, 2014

Book Details:

Genre: Women Sleuths, Police Procedurals, Suspense

Published by: Witness Impulse

Publication Date: May 20, 2014

Number of Pages:

ISBN: 9780062336705

Series: A Lucy Black Thriller #2 (Stand-Alone)

Purchase Links:


Lucy Black must protect the young and vulnerable...but can she protect herself? Late December. A sixteen-year-old girl is found dead on a train line. Detective Sergeant Lucy Black is called to identify the body. The only clues to the dead teenager's last movements are stored in her mobile phone and on social media - and it soon becomes clear that her 'friends' were not as trustworthy as she thought. Lucy is no stranger to death: she is still haunted by the memory of the child she failed to save, and the killer she failed to put behind bars. And with a new boss scrutinizing her every move, she is determined that - this time - she will leave no margin for error. Hurt is a tense crime thriller about how, in the hands of a predator, trust can turn into terror.

Praise for Little Girl Lost:

"Effortlessly blending Black's personal woes into her professional life, McGilloway weaves a taut police procedural in an unadorned style that belies the stories complexity." (Irish Times).

"Cleverly constructed, packed with vibrant and believable characters...It confirms him as one of the most original voices in the notably expanding field of Irish crime fiction." (Irish Independent).

"Assured and grittily realistic tale from an author who is being compared to James Lee Burke and Ian Rankin." (Sunday Business Post).

Author Bio:

Brian McGilloway is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Inspector Benedict Devlin series. He was born in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1974. After studying English at Queen’s University, Belfast, he took up a teaching position in St Columb’s College in Derry, where he is currently Head of English.

His first novel, Borderlands, published by Macmillan New Writing, was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger 2007 and was hailed by The Times as ‘one of (2007’s) most impressive debuts.’ The second novel in the series, Gallows Lane, was shortlisted for both the 2009 Irish Book Awards/Ireland AM Crime Novel of the Year and the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2010. Bleed A River Deep, the third Devlin novel, was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of their Best Books of 2010.

Brian's fifth novel, Little Girl Lost, which introduced a new series featuring DS Lucy Black, won the University of Ulster's McCrea Literary Award in 2011 and is a No.1 UK Kindle Bestseller. The follow-up novel, Hurt, will be published in late 2013 by Constable and Robinson.

Brian lives near the Irish borderlands with his wife, daughter and three sons.

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