Five Monkeys – An interview with Kieran Galvin

Elisabeth Schaffalitzky

We recently had the opportunity to have a chat with Kieran Galvin, author of Five Monkeys and ask him a little about his writing and his book ideas.


Five Monkeys: Gender Bending Suspense, Sex & Satire by [Galvin, Kieran]Tell us something unexpected about yourself!


I’ve moved home more than 30 times and spent the last ten years in the Middle East. I also wrote and directed a movie ‘Puppy’ which was released in cinemas in New Zealand.


What novels affected you the most growing up?


The Odd Sea by Frederick Reiken, Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk


Where did the idea for your current book come from?


While I was living in Melbourne, Australia, I met a transgender woman who had reverted to being a man and I found this fascinating. On top of all the psych-social-sexual questions it raised, he has also experienced some strange physical issues. I was fascinated. The main character in my book shares this trajectory but is otherwise completely fictional as I wanted to explore the character in my usual darkly funny way.


Do you think there’s any way you could ever run out of ideas for books?


Not so long as I have access to wine.


What is your routine for writing and has this method changed over the span of your career?


Long walks, lots of ‘down’ time, followed by very disciplined bursts of writing 10-14 hours a day for months at a time. I also like to work in coffee shops and usually incorporate some travel. My book ‘Five Monkeys’ was written in Barcelona, Budapest and Doha.


How important is marketing and social media for you?


It’s super important and very draining. I’ve been marketing mainstreams businesses for years so I prefer more measurable results-driven campaigns. I think social media is good for awareness but I’m not convinced it converts (profitably) to sales for writers. I see it more as a way of building a following for future books rather than driving sales for current books.


What advice would you have for other writers?


Be brave. Don’t be tempted to write genres that you don’t love. You know you’re writing is good when you experience the emotions of your characters first hand or when they say things that surprise you.


What are you reading now?


Rant by Chuck Palahniuk


What’s your next step?


Writing my next novel. Writing the screenplay version of Five Monkeys.


You can buy Kieran’s book Five Monkeys now here




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