Author spotlight: Harry Mc Gilloway

Welcome debut novelist, Harry Mc Gilloway. Author portrait

Why do you write fiction?
I write fiction as a way of telling the truth but without taking any of the blame for it. This is my first novel, and I guess I thought this was a safe way of doing it.

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
My book, I Will Sing My Songs for You, is a tale about Simon, a successful singer/songwriter, who, while on holiday in a small scenic fishing village in rural Ireland, meets and becomes enchanted with the beautiful Marie-Clare. And, as always, love never runs smoothly. The novel also covers behind-the-scene workings of the music industry and how not all that glitters is gold. There are pitfalls and twists along the way that Simon and Marie-Clare have to overcome, each with their own demons to conquer.  The story is set in the 1970s when the troubles and bombing in Northern Ireland are at their peak. Even though the story quickly travels from there, somehow the shadow of that conflict still lingers.
My own background is a musician. As I got older, I also had to take on other professions to earn a steady income. Each time, it always involved being a people pleaser, as an entertainer, a pub landlord, events promoter and the like. Most of the highs and the lows in this tale are actual events, but dressed in a way not to hurt or offend any of the wonderful people I met along the way.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
I don’t have an ideal reader in mind. I just tell a story and hope that those who have taken the time to read it can connect with it. It’s a story of everyday life. We all go through it. We may not all be fishermen, rock-stars, record company promoters, shrinks or groupies, but we all share the same emotions. We laugh, we cry, and we hurt when our heart gets broken. I think what helped me with this book is even though it is fiction, most of it was based on actual truth as I know it.

Please describe your writing routine.
Sadly my writing routine is not a good one. Writing lyrics and melodies for songs takes less concentration with the average piece lasting maybe three and a half minutes, but writing a novel was a real challenge for me. The book I’m writing now is not flowing so easy. Some days I write loads and that makes me feel good, but there are so many days that I just stare at the blank paper and wish for inspiration. After writing I Will Sing My Songs for You, I felt sad to leave the characters behind.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
If I truly believed that my humble advice could help another, it would be to start with what you have experienced in life and build on that. We all have at least one good story in us and if you can manage to string the right words together, then soon you will come to understand that true life can sometimes be stranger than fiction.

More about I Will Sing My Songs for You:

Young musician, Simon, is the songwriter and front man of the successful group, Simon and the Heartbeats. He is surrounded by all the trappings of a rock-star lifestyle. On a sonCover art - 500 (1)g-writing break to rural Inishowen, Co.Donegal, that borders the troubled province of Northern Ireland, Simon meets and becomes enchanted by the beautiful Marie-Clare. Simon’s fame and fortune continue to climb to a higher plane, but Marie-Clare has her own demons to conquer.
Throughout the intriguing twists and turns, they encounter breaking points and endurance, tenderness and vulnerability, deep sorrow and intense love. As their lives begin to entwine, can their relationship survive the tragedies and misunderstandings that will invade it?


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