Emerging Butterfly Launches New Book

Author Bernie McGill launches her book Butterfly Cabinet

Local author, Bernie McGill, has launched her eagerly anticipated debut novel The Butterfly Cabinet this month having received a book deal with prestigious London publishers, Headline Review. The book is also due to be published internationally early next year.

 Bernie received assistance from the Arts Council’s

Support for the Individual Artist Programme (SIAP) which has helped her to develop a professional career as a writer. Over the years, Bernie has evolved as an accomplished playwright; creative writing tutor; and now, published author.

The Butterfly Cabinet, Bernie McGill’s first novel, tells the unforgettable story – based on a real incident that took place in Portstewart in 1892 – of two women linked by the tragic death of a child. The story unlocks the secrets surrounding the tragedy and explores the private thoughts of the girl’s mother, whose great passion for collecting butterflies has aroused the suspicion and condemnation of the local community.

Commenting on her success, Bernie McGill said: 'It’s been a really exciting year for me, with a number of developments in the past few months. I originally set out to create a collection of short stories, one of which was the captivating story of the death of a young girl, inspired by events that happened over a hundred years ago here in my home town of Portstewart. While writing the short story, I gained a place on the Creative Writers’ Network mentoring programme and with the help and support of my mentor, author Damian Gorman, the work developed into a full novel.

'I am delighted with the final result, a fictional account that I hope brings the story to life for many readers. It’s been a long journey to get here, but thanks to the help and support I received from a number of sources, particularly the funding I received from the Arts Council, I’m really looking forward to seeing my book in print.'

While writing the novel, Bernie also maintained a job as a creative writing facilitator and freelance arts fundraiser as well as looking after her two young children.

Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented: 'Bernie McGill’s recent success demonstrates the calibre of the artists we have here in Northern Ireland who are producing work of the highest international standard. An artist’s professional success is often dependent on receiving the right kind of support, at the right time, to nurture their talent. In Bernie’s case, the Arts Council was delighted to provide the endorsement and support that helped Bernie to complete her novel and we wish her every success.'

The Butterfly Cabinet is available in bookshops nationwide.