Interview with J.T. Tierney, Author of The Butcher on Colfax

26 Jun 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Butcher on Colfax?

I grew up in Denver. It wasn’t until after my family moved away from there that I learned the story of my great-grandfather, who had been a butcher there in the early 1900s and got himself in lots of trouble over the years. I decided to use some of those true stories as the building blocks of a larger fiction about Irish immigrants to Denver at that time.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I prefer to read literary fiction. I can’t say there’s any particular genre I like to write, as I’ve only written two books—this historical novel and a love story about two wordplay enthusiasts who meet on Cape Cod while seeking respite from pandemic-induced isolation. That novel’s title is Love, Literally.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

In my queue to read are: Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog; Kate Christensen’s Welcome Home, Stranger; Dolly Alderton’s Good Material; Mary Ellen Taylor’s The Promise of Tomorrow; and Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Forever, Interrupted.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

Chapter 28 features a “pork war” between Emmett Kelly and Moshe Federman, the proprietor of the Jewish meat market next door. I had fun writing it, and I hope readers enjoy it.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Not so much quirky as pathetic or pathological: when I’m really in the thick of writing a book, I can sit and work on it for 12 or 14 hours at a stretch.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

How hardworking, ambitious, resilient, and enterprising most immigrants are.


J.T. Tierney is the author of the new book The Butcher on Colfax

Connect with J.T. Tierney

Author Site

Buy The Book

B0D44B8KV3 cover image

Buy The Book

Sign up for our email and we’ll send you the best new books in your favorite genres weekly.'