JULIAN GOUGH BIOGRAPHY
Julian Gough is the author of several novels, a children's book (which Neil Gaiman has called "a breath of fresh air in children's fiction"), some BBC radio plays, and the narrative at the end of the wonderful computer game, Minecraft. (TIME magazine's computer game of the year.)
He was born in London, raised in Tipperary, and educated in Galway. In answer to your most frequently asked question: Gough rhymes with cough. He now lives in Berlin, drinks coffee, writes books, steals pigs, and sleeps late.
His most charming novel is Juno & Juliet. His funniest, and oddest (and most prize-winning) novel is Jude in Ireland (originally known as Jude: Level 1). It concerns a young Irish orphan's search for true love. 2016 sees the publication of his first children's book, Rabbit's Bad Habits, which Neil Gaiman called "a laugh-out-loud story", and Eoin Colfer called "an instant modern classic".
Later this year, Picador will publish Connect, a rather thrilling novel for adults. Connect is a very different book to the Jude novels; it is the story of a family falling apart in a near-future America of self-driving cars, surveillance drones, and alarmingly enjoyable computer games. ("How far would you go to protect your child? Would you kill a man? Would you destroy the world?")
The BBC Radio 4 play "The Great Hargeisa Goat Bubble" introduced a couple of million new and slightly bemused listeners to the world of Jude, and "The Great Squanderland Roof", also on BBC Radio 4, saw Jude in a tense face-off with Europe's leading bankers and politicians. It later became the number one hit Kindle Single, "CRASH! How I Lost A Billion And Found True Love."
Jude in Ireland was shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, alongside excellent books by Alan Bennett, Will Self, John Walsh, Garrison Keillor and Joe Dunthorne. (Julian highly recommends Alan Bennett's superb The Uncommon Reader.) Will Self won the prestigious prize. However, certain scandalous events subsequently forced Julian to steal Will Self's pig. Let us draw a veil over the entire unsavoury incident. (If you really must know more, you wretch, Google any combination of the words "Julian Gough", "Will Self", and "pig".)
Somewhere in there, Julian won the BBC National Short Story Award (at the time, the biggest prize in the world for a single short story), for "The Orphan and the Mob". (Opening line: "If I had urinated immediately after breakfast, the mob would never have burnt down the orphanage.") The story is also the prologue to the genre-mangling Jude in Ireland...
He also, in his youth, wrote the words (and sang) on four albums by the cult Galway group, Toasted Heretic, and had a top-ten hit in Ireland with "Galway and Los Angeles", a song about not kissing Sinead O'Connor.