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Jan 21, 2022

#PodcastersForJustice

Award-winning Irish author, Ruth Gilligan, spoke to me about researching the gothic wilds of Ireland, how to engineer a thriller, and her latest, The Butchers' Blessing.

Ruth Gilligan is a writer and academic from Dublin and was the youngest person ever to top the Irish Bestsellers’ List.

She has published five books and her most recent novel, The Butchers' Blessing, (published as The Butchers in the UK) is described as a "...haunting and unforgettable thriller brimming with secrecy, tradition, and superstition...". It won the 2022 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, whose judges called it "...a page-turning, roller coaster of a read.”

B&N Reads called the book, "An achingly beautiful novel of family, tradition, Ireland and the deep secrets buried in all three," and it received a Starred review from Publishers Weekly.

Ruth contributes literary reviews to the Irish Independent, Guardian, TLS, and LA Review of Books. She's also a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham and is an ambassador for the global storytelling charity Narrative 4.

Stay calm and write on ...

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In this file Ruth Gilligan and I discussed:

  • How a high school writing exercise turned into a bestseller
  • The in-depth (four-year) research process behind her latest
  • Why her meticulous plotting is like architectural engineering
  • How to write a thriller from four unique POVs
  • Why writers always need to set themselves greater challenges
  • And a lot more!

Show Notes: