Lockdown Island Thoughts of … GILLY MACMILLAN.

©Céline Nieszawer/Leextra


Occupation and Brief Resume: Gilly MacMillan is the author of six novels, all psychological thrillers, the latest of which is called To Tell You The Truth and is out in the UK in June. Gilly grew up in Swindon, lived in California for a short while, studied history of art at university, and worked in the art world after graduating. Gilly also taught photography before writing, which she began to do when in her forties. Gilly lives in Bristol with her husband, three children and two dogs.


Good film I’ve watched recently:  Parasite. What a terrific thriller and visually breathtaking.

One of the best films I’ve ever watched:  Amour. Deceptively simple. Devastatingly good. I’m not sure I’ll ever see a more perfect creation.

Got to be good if he’s in it: Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Got to be good if she’s in it: Frances McDormand.

TV Series not to be missed and why: Succession. We were glued to it. Outstanding script & performances.

Best ever comedy series and why: Parks and Recreation. Laugh out loud funny, and also perfect for the whole family. It’s the phenomenal characters and performances that make this work.

Funniest Stand Up Comedian: Norm Macdonald


 3 great albums you must listen to: 

 The Best Of …Doris Day

Here by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

F♯ A♯ by Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

3 songs you must listen to:   

Summertime, the Gershwin song, performed by Ella Fitzgerald

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty McColl.

La Vie en Rose by Edith Piaf

A great band/artist you need to check out and why: Two Gallants. I don’t love everything they do but if you haven’t listened to Sunday Souvenirs, you’re missing out.

Best artist/band you’ve seen live and why:  The Grateful Dead. I saw them in San Francisco. Need I say more?


Best Novel: Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Best Biography:  Educated by Tara Westover

Best Autobiography: Off the Road by Carolyn Cassady. An essential read it you enjoyed Kerouac’s On the Road.

A Single Poem to Inspire: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


Your signature dish: I make a mean chocolate roulade.

FAVOURITE RESTAURANT YOU CAN’T WAIT TO BOOK A TABLE IN: Our local French restaurant, where they serve a beautiful steak and frites with a glass of lovely red wine


A good recommendation to chill out with would be … a Martini Rosato, served with ice and lemon, because nothing cheers me up like a pink drink.


YOUR GREATEST DIY ACHIEVEMENT THAT HAS SURVIVED THE TEST OF TIME and what made you attempt it: I made a hopper using an old water bottle to collect water running off our front bay window and funnel it into a narrow piece of guttering. I attempted it because the window is at the front of the house and we couldn’t buy anything off the shelf that fit in the space and didn’t look ugly. My bottle solution is invisible and still working after 2 years!!!

SOMETHING THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU ABOUT ME IS …  The only thing that springs to mind is that my son plays Timothy Turner, the doctor’s son, in the BBC Drama series, Call the Midwife.

HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME – when this is all over – Returning to the Lofoten Islands in Norway with my family. We had the best holiday there a few summers ago and it would be magical to return and explore more. We went in summer but I’m curious to see it in winter.

THREE LUXURIES YOU’D TAKE WITH YOU TO A DESERT ISLAND AND WHY (Nothing that might aid an escape, messaging or making contact with civilisation allowed): My dog, because he’s my shadow plus he’s a Labrador Retriever and they originated as fishing dogs so he might be able to help me get food. A copy of Paradise Lost by John Milton, because I could read it for a long time and not get bored. Coffee and a means to brew it.

A PIECE OF WISDOM TO PASS ON: If you can learn to hold your nerve when things get scary, you’ll find you might be able to achieve more than you think you can.

ONE THING YOU HOPE COMES OUT OF ALL OF THIS: A cleaner environment, more compassionate politicians and better pay for keyworkers.

More details about Gilly Macmillan can be found at www.gillymacmillan.com