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Brian is an award-winning and best-selling author of seven critically acclaimed narrative non-fiction books about the colourful personalities of Western Canada’s past.
One of his titles, Romancing the Rockies, won him the inaugural Dave Greber Freelance Writers Award and a nomination for the Canadian Rockies Award. Another title, Scoundrels and Scallywags, topped the Canadian best-seller charts for more than 18 months and was short-listed for the prestigious Grant MacEwan Author’s Award.
Brian’s latest title, Leaving Dublin: Writing My Way from Ireland to Canada, is a book of memoirs tracing his story from his upbringing in suburban Ireland to his life in Canada as a writer, broadcaster and musician.
His other books include the first biography of renowned Canadian historian James H. Gray, and the first biography of the celebrated 19th century Irish folk poet Mary O’Leary, which was nominated for the Irish Times Literary Prize.
A former staff writer with the Calgary Herald, Brian has written freelance articles and columns for magazines and newspapers across the United States and Canada, including the New York Times, Globe and Mail and Toronto Star.
Born and educated in Dublin, Ireland, Brian immigrated to Canada in 1966 and settled in Calgary in 1974. Over the course of his varied career he has worked as a golf caddy, lounge waiter, customs officer, nightclub pianist, church organist, radio news announcer, and a featured storyteller on CBC Radio’s Daybreak Alberta – a popular program heard across the province.
As a newspaper and magazine journalist, Brian has written on a variety of topics including politics, business, theatre, contemporary music, medicine, education, and travel. He has served on the national boards of The Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Canadian Theatre Critics Association.
Brian has won national and regional awards in Canada for his journalism. They include two Western Magazine Awards (Gold Award Alberta, Science and Technology Award), for stories on regeneration of animal brain cells, and the national Hollobon Award for medical writing in Canada, which he won for a magazine feature story on open-heart surgery.