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On Names

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The third Lucy Black novel, Preserve the Dead, is due out at the start of August, except, in the US, it will be called The Forgotten Ones. The idea of a book having two names in two different territories is not unusual but it can be confusing. The same thing happened with Hurt which, in the US, was called Someone You Know. In both cases, the decision to change the names was made by the respective publishers, who felt that their name would work best in their region. As an author, I feel a need to balance giving the books their best shot in each area with not confusing readers or misleading them. I know some people bought Someone You Know having already read Hurt, believing it to be a new Lucy novel, for which I can only apologise. I will try always to make it very clear, here on Facebook and on Twitter, when I have a new novel released.

It’s not the first time that the names of my books have been changed. The Nameless Dead was originally called Isle of Bones until the publisher felt it sounded too much like a horror novel and suggested the change. I liked the first title, which is mentioned several times in the book, but could understand their concern. The second Lucy book, Hurt, was originally called Family Life, while the new Lucy, Preserve the Dead, had a working title of Sticks and Stones, which is the opening line from the Tom Waits song, On the Nickel, about homelessness. In fact, to add to the confusion, some sites have listed Sticks and Stones as the final title of the novel too. 

It’s not the first time I’ve used a song title as a name either; Bleed A River Deep is a song by the English singer Ed Harcourt. Little Girl Lost, on the other hand, takes its name from the William Blake poem of that name. Hurt was originally called Family Life after the Blue Nile song of that name and its eventual name in the UK came form Johnny Cash’s version of the Nine Inch Nails song, Hurt.

I’m working on the fourth Lucy novel at the moment and similarly am struggling to settle on a title for it. The working title was Sins of the Fathers, but I suspect that will change….

For the sake of clarity then, this is the list of my books to date with their alternative titles where relevant.

Inspector Devlin Series
Borderlands
Gallows Lane
Bleed A River Deep
The Rising
The Nameless Dead

DS Black Series

Little Girl Lost
Hurt (UK)/ Someone You Know (US)
Preserve the Dead (UK)/ The Forgotten Ones (US)

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Brian McGilloway is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Inspector Benedict Devlin and DS Lucy Black 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 was Head of English. 

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  • Guest
    Sam Bogle Tuesday, 09 February 2016

    I have just started reading Brian's books. Could not put it down. Read first book in 2 days. Master of suspense does not do you justice. I live in the local area so can relate to all the places named in the Strabane/Lifford area (especially the Cineplex). Look forward to completing both series.

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  • Brian McGilloway
    Brian McGilloway Wednesday, 10 February 2016

    Thanks very much Sam - that's incredibly kind of you to say. I'm delighted you're enjoying the books. Thanks for your support.

  • Guest
    Sean Crawford Tuesday, 26 January 2016

    Hello Brian thanks to you I have started reading again...started off with Preserve the Dead and then all the Insp Devlin books. Brilliant and the fact that i know all the locations is even better, Just two Lucy Blacks to read now. Thanks again and looking forward to the next one.

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  • Brian McGilloway
    Brian McGilloway Wednesday, 10 February 2016

    Thanks very much, Sean and I'm thrilled you're enjoying the books. The next one is finished now, though I'm not sure about publication date just yet. Thanks for your support.

  • Guest
    Stephen Twells Sunday, 02 August 2015

    Hi Brian,
    My name is Stephen Twells. I am chairman of Foyle search and rescue. I have been a volunteer with them for the last 14 years. I have read a few of your books. I really enjoy crime novels. I know you have a new book launch. Thank you for mentioning Fsr. Stephen

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  • Brian McGilloway
    Brian McGilloway Wednesday, 10 February 2016

    Thanks for your support, Stephen and for all the work you and the FSR does in Derry. It was my pleasure to include the group in the new book.

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