Tom Galvin


Dublin-born Tom Galvin was educated at University College Dublin and St Patrick's College, Maynooth, graduating with a BA in English and Philosophy and MA in Philosophy. He also studied for a City & Guilds professional qualification in traditional photography.

In 1994 he went with APSO (Agency for Personal Service Overseas), the state body for overseas development, to Poland to work as a teacher in a state school where he later began writing regularly for the Warsaw Voice, and contributed to programmes on Radio Polonia.

He left Poland after five years and worked as a writer for In Dublin magazine and Village Magazine before joining Independent News & Media, where, in 2007, he edited the Evening Herald’s Polish section. That same year he published his account of life in Poland in his book There’s an Egg in My Soup (O’Brien Press) and later his novel, which he also wrote in Poland, Gabriel’s Gate (Book Republic), was published. He also wrote The Little Book of Dublin (New Island) and That’s Cork (Collins Press).

He left Independent News & Media in 2018 and now works in further education. He is writing a new novel and performs regularly as a passionate songwriter and musician. He lives in Wicklow, with his Polish wife, Asia, and their twins.

TALK: The long and winding road: The pros and cons of self-publishing

When writer  and musician Tom Galvin submitted his latest book to a publisher in the UK and was told: ‘A good read and well written…the story is powerful … [but] the author would be better off self-publishing’, he realised that something was not quite right.

The worlds of traditional and digital publishing had faced each other head on and created a void that writers were being sucked into by the thousands every day. Knowing this all too well, Galvin, rather than face rejection with dejection, bravely decided to jump into the abyss. And so began a long and lonely journey on a road full of cruel twists and turns, lies and deceit, scammers and bloated credit card bills, extended periods of self-doubt and self-loathing … and self-publishing.

The result was The Ghost Song, a book that tells the story of a traditional singer/songwriter trying to compete in the age of digital music but struggling to get heard above all the noise. With songs to accompany the tale, Galvin takes a skewed look at the insanity of going it alone as a writer but with the compulsion to go on nevertheless.