Brian McGilloway

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.
Connect with Brian at these sites:


Q&A with Brian McGilloway

Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
A mixture of the two, I think. I tend to read or hear about current events and take the kernel of an idea form that, which then allows me to examine issues which are important to me and to integrate elements of my own experiences.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
I start at the start. Generally, I have an idea where one plot strand might end up, but the ending changes for me as I write. I take much comfort in Doctorow’s comment that writing is like driving at night in the fog; you can only see as far as the end of your head light, but you still make it home safely that way.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
My routine has changed since I’ve gone full time. I leave the kids to school at 9 am and write through until about 12.30. I stop then and am doing school runs all afternoon. Depending on deadlines, I might do some more in the evenings. I aim to do around 1000 words a day and find I can manage that in a few hours each morning. Idiosyncrasies? – I always need to have a cup of tea when I’m starting. Never coffee.

Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?
It is now. I was a teacher of English until last year when I took a career break. I loved teaching very much and had a lot of fun working with the kids but it got to the point where I was so stretched that I was worried I’d not be doing justice to either my students nor those who are kind enough to read my books (never mind my own wife and children) if I continued trying to balance them all.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
Too many to mention. James Lee Burke will always stand head and shoulders above in the genre for me in terms of prose style and sheer humanity in his writing.

What are you reading now?
Bad Blood by Arne Dahl. I’m interviewing Arne next week in the Dublin Writers’ Festival and am very much looking forward to it.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’m editing it at the moment. It’s working title is Sticks and Stones and it’s another Lucy novel about the discovery of a dead body in the River Foyle which has already been embalmed and prepared for burial.

Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
I don’t know because I don’t tend to see the main character’s faces. My wife thinks Michael Fassbender would be a fine Devlin (but I think she may have her own reasons for that choice.) I met a Derry born actress last year called Laura Pyper who I thought would make a great Lucy Black.

Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard?
My notes are always hand written on various note books and scraps of paper. I always type my manuscript though. Much easier to revise and much easier for everyone involved to have to read.

Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
Walking the dogs with my kids, watching a good movie with my wife, reading a good book on my own.

Favorite meal?
I’m a coealic so something gluten free. Gluten Free Lasagne, perhaps.


About the book

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.


Genre: Women Sleuths, Police Procedurals, Suspense
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: May 20, 2014
Number of Pages:
ISBN: 9780062336705




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1 thought on “Guest Author BRIAN McGILLOWAY

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your conversation with this author with us. Glad to hear a new Lucy Black mystery will be hitting the bookshelves soon!

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