Cold Forged: An Interview with Ken Bruen

9780802147936_bb963BookPeople’s own Scott Montgomery sat down with Galway Girl author Ken Bruen to pick his brain and talk more about the book that’s been selected as the MysteryPeople Pick of the Month.


Scott Montgomery: I think you found as many different interpretations of Galway Girl as you did with the title Cross. What do those two words conjure up in your mind at first glance?

Ken Bruen: Galway Girl in my mind instantly brings up a blend of Scarlett O’Hara, Mallory, Becky Sharpe, a wild blend of devilment, vulnerability, a sharp tongue, wild wild sense of fun, rock chick/goth leavened with a peculiar Irish sense of pride and cussedness stubbornness, they dwell less on the awfulness of a situation but more, how the hell do I get outa this?  Loyalty seems to be a staple part of their spirit but cold forged on how often they are betrayed.

SM: This book appears to put Jack on a slightly different path. Have you had this one in mind for some time?

KB: This book veers towards a whole new direction as it is the penultimate book, the final instalment is done and dusted and everything here is like a portend.

SM: Jericho is an interesting nemesis in the sense that not only is she incredibly dangerous, that while a new character so much of Jack Taylor’s past is connected to her. Was there anything in mind when constructing her?

KB: I felt that Emerald needed a companion in insanity who emerges from the darkness to fulfil whatever twisted endgame Emerald never got to accomplish, the major difference being that Jack had a weird attraction to Emerald but with Jericho, it’s all black malevolence. And true too, I wanted a chance to write another kick ass female.

SM: Are many of your supporting characters created  beforehand or are they mostly constructed during the writing of the story? I’m mainly thinking of your former Rolling Stones roadie turned falconer, Keefer.

KB: In my head, I usually have a set of supporting characters ready to fire but it is has to be the right book, Keefer nearly came into book 7 but it wasn’t the right time, I am fascinated by characters on the fringes of Rock but not the main players, rock is so rarely written realistically in fiction but I thought a guy from th sidelines of the biggest band in the world might have a skewed view of the phenomenon. I did six months as a roadie for a very bad band and know the hierarchy of roadies.

SM: You often bring up the current events happening while you are writing the books. How do you think it affects the writing or story other than giving background?

KB: Current events play almost like a Greek chorus to the story, as in if something utterly incredible happens in the book, you see real events that are just as unbelievable so it adds surreal energy to what I narrate. If you go’ That’s way too dark’  about an event in the story, alongside is the real world going, literally, ‘Oh Yeah?’

SM: Which are a couple of your favorite songs featuring a Galway Girl?

KB: Only 4 songs seem to me to be the nearest to Galway Girl

‘Sad Eyed lady Of The Lowlands’

‘Madame George’

‘Ballad of Lucy Jordan’

‘Jersey Girl’


Galway Girl is available to purchase from BookPeople in-store and online now.

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