From ghostwriter to two-times book author: Luke Francis Beirne publishes his second novel

Portrait of Luke Francis Beirne, St. Thomas University Alumna and writer for 'BLACKLION.' (Submitted: Charlotte Schwarz)

Luke Francis Beirne is a St.Thomas University alumnus and is publishing his second novel Blacklion, where he ventures into the thrilling world of espionage.

Blacklion is about a CIA agent who travels to Ireland to infiltrate the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in order to prevent them from succumbing to Soviet influence.

“I wanted to draw attention to the fact that instability in smaller countries can have global consequences,” he said.

Beirne said he tried to highlight the complexity and uncertainty that surrounded terror organizations in Ireland during the Troubles.

Before publishing two novels, Beirne was a ghostwriter.

He would receive a plot outline and he just followed the formula. He got to work on more than a dozen genre novels, contributing to many publications such as Honest Ulsterman and Hamilton Arts.

‘BLACKLION.’ On its launch day at the Gallery 78 , organized by Westminster Bookmark. (Submitted: Charlotte Schwarz)

“I look up to my dad hugely,” said Beirne about his father, Gerard Beirne, who is also an author. He added his father always made him feel that writing was also a possibility for him. He said he was always exposed to it at home and “that made the greatest difference.”

Now he has published his second novel at Baraka Books Montreal, the same publishing firm that shared his first book.

“They have been incredible,” said Beirne. He added “It feels great” to publish his second novel so quickly after the first one.

“I felt honoured. I’m incredibly grateful,” said Beirne.

Blacklion was selected as one of the CBC’s recommended books to read this fall. He added that the number of books published yearly in Canada makes the list difficult to feature.

Beirne said Blacklion draws on the thriller genre and he decided to make use of elements of fiction to reach a more general audience.