Featured Author – Garry Kay

Garry Kay

Garry Kay volunteered today to be grilled by me on his latest book and of course I will not stop there. We must find out more about this author. At least I want to know more. 🙂

Welcome Garry. Make yourself comfortable. Have a drink. There’s coffee and tea. grab whatever you fancy and let’s start with your bio. Who is Garry Kay and what has he done before coming to this point in his life? Oh, you have a real author Bio? Well, let’s not waste it, give it here 🙂

Garry is 49 and lives in Cornwall with his wife Ginny and two teenage children Hannah and Sam. Garry did an economics degree at the University of Surrey and Michigan State University. In 1986 he started as a trainee reporter on the West Sussex County Times in Horsham. After the County Times, Garry joined the Yorkshire Gazette & Herald in York as sports editor. He then took a career break with Ginny to work in a bar in Lanzarote while she worked as a holiday rep. He returned to York as chief sub-editor before joining The West Briton in 1995 as deputy editor. In 2000, he joined the Press Association in Leeds as new media chief sub-editor, but missed Cornwall so much that he returned. Since then he has made a living through property investments and writing novels. During his time at the Yorkshire Gazette & Herald, the paper won the coveted Press Gazette national award for Newspaper of the Year, a success Garry repeated at The West Briton in Cornwall.

Garry! You have had a writerly life all along! Great start and loved that tidbit about the bar too. 🙂 Now that we know a little about you let’s get a bit more personal. Now you will have to answer my questions. Oi! No running away! Come back! Oh, you just had to stretch your legs? Pfff, lucky us.

Before you change your mind, here’s the first question

Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?

With a glass of wine and a game of backgammon with my wife. She always lets me win

Okay, sounds like you have a good deal going on. Best make sure not to make her run away with any funky writer OCD ticks. 🙂 But tell us, how do you work around those moments when the muse has gone and done a runner on you?

Go and build houses until it comes back, then play the music that inspires … always a different song for each book … was Hurt by Johnny Cash for Don’t Fear The Reaper

Great song! See for yourselves folks. Youtube video of Johnny Cash playing Hurt.

Right, you have a winning formula there. Now, let’s first do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun. And by yada yada I do not mean boring, or in any other way stupid questions, but just the traditional ones. You know? The ones we secretly all want to know the answer to.

First, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

Don’t Fear The Reaper

Don't Fear The Reaper

Available at Amazon

That cover makes me thing something awful is going to happen to very normal people. What! I’m right? Hahaha, yes do reveal a bit about the book before we continue.

One of the best film endings ever is The Italian Job. ‘Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea.’ But what happens next? Don’t Fear The Reaper starts where The Italian Job ends but there’s no gold and it’s not in Italy. It’s a crashed bus full of tourists balanced upside down over a cliff in Corfu. The Grim Reaper arrives in playful mood with a quota of 16 to fill. It’s all about the moment your life flashes before your eyes as you face death.

Oh, wow! Yes, I must find the time to read this one.

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

No. Songs are always very emotive for people and I generally go with a song title that fits the story.

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?

I never write to fit a genre. I let the story flow naturally. But, there are so many genre, it is always easy enough to tag it to the closest and give people a good idea of what to expect.

Right with that out of the way and to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.

What don’t you like about writing.

I’m happy with most things, the only thing that can be troublesome is avoiding distraction from the rest of the family, especially when working on a complex plot. There can be a lot of minute detail in your head which must fall into place to avoid continuity errors.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

For me, a good Amazon review from a total stranger on the opposite side of the world is the best publicity you can hope for. Making money from writing is a very low priority for me. I just want to be as widely read as possible. So I am always happy to give away copies to anyone who offers a possible review, even if they just tell a friend they read a good book.

Tell me, when you’re on a roll, the muse is in the house and happily guiding your pen, what would seriously drive her/him away?

Personal grief. When I’m happy, I can keep the focus. Fortunately I have a good family. I’m always happy.

That is very nice to hear, and I’m happy for you. But, what does your muse look like and does he/she ever play tricks on you?

My muse gives me ideas when I’m asleep. Not in dreams. I just seem to wake up with fresh ideas. They physically wake me up and I get them written down. But I don’t know what they look like. It’s dark.

Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?

Never speak to them, but they do make me laugh (out loud sometimes), they make me cry (even after reading through many times) and they make me angry, upset, anxious, and more. They seem very real to me. I hope that is passed on to my readers.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

I eat far too much chocolate, especially when writing, so I have to go off and build houses so I don’t get too fat.

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

No problem. Research. Accuracy in all factual matters is vital to credibility of any novel, so I spend considerably more time researching than reading. There are many days when I could have worked very hard but written nothing.

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

Sorry, but I can’t give a light-hearted answer to that one. For me, it boils down to, “The King is dead. Long live the King.” When I first heard that phrase as a child, I thought it was stupid, but as time passed, I came to realise that our time on earth is so utterly insignificant and we, as individuals are so completely insignificant, that you start asking questions like why are we here? And what’s it all about. Living for as long as possible seems to be the common theme. But we all die, so we try and live beyond our death … in the minds and hearts of others. The king is dead, but his memory lives on. Leonardo Da Vinci died nearly 500 years ago, but we all know who he is. Having children, if we are really honest with ourselves, is in some small way driven by the desire to live as long as possible. Our children are part of us. They are the most likely to remember us. William Shakespeare lives on, as will J K Rowling and E L James. When I’m gone I want as many people as possible to have my books on their shelves and for my children to proudly say, “My dad wrote that. It’s a good book.”

That triggered a moment of silence in me Garry. I’m glad you are here today and gave us this little piece of wisdom we all must know, but somehow seem to forget in our daily routines.

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

I was reluctant to put my photo on the back cover of my books. I’m not a minger, but I’m no James Bond and looks matter. Readers will say they don’t care what an author looks like, but it’s all part of the package. When my Kids were young and cute, we were invited to a photo shoot by a modelling agency which needed more families for their portfolio. I have a good-looking wife and a son and daughter who inherited her looks. We got no bookings and a year later I checked over the agency’s site and noticed that our family shots had been photo-shopped. My face had been air-brushed out and the agency was, after no bookings in 12 months, trying to sell us as a single parent family. Oh how we laughed.

Hahahaha, the vanity of people and how gladly we are all mislead by advertisements. But that’s a topic for another time. It is a good story, thanks for sharing it. Thanks for being here and giving me the opportunity to get to know you a little better.

I hope you had fun and it wasn’t too impertinent? 🙂 

Thanks again for coming over and taking the time to answer my questions. I do hope you will consider coming back when you have a new release.



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