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Indie Author’s 20 Questions: David Gaughran

01 Jun

Like promised, this week is a new indie author! And with a new author come new answers! David was fun to talk to as I’m sure you will quickly find out!

So let’s start!

 

 1.) David, tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m Irish, I’m 33, and I’m a Leo. I like fast cars and slow walks on the beach. I’m not tall, but when I wear a hat, it lends me a military bearing. I’m superficial, but loyal as a puppy. I like going to new supermarkets in foreign countries. You can tell a lot about a country from its supermarkets.

2.) How long have you been writing?

Since I could hold a pen. I was always scribbling some nonsense. I stopped for a while in my twenties, but I started writing seriously, i.e. with the aim of publication, in 2006.

3.) Do you have a preferred genre that you read? Is it the same as what you write?

I read pretty much anything with a good story. Police procedurals, literary stuff, classics, thrillers, mysteries, fantasy, science fiction, hard-boiled detective stuff, memoir, history, anything. When I write novels, I tend towards historical adventure, but with short stories my stuff tends to be more speculative. One day I’ll bring the two together.

4.) What is the title of your book and where can it be found?

“If You Go Into The Woods” is a two-story collection for 99¢ from Amazon and Smashwords.

“Transfection” is an old-school science fiction short, also available from Amazon and  Smashwords for 99¢.

5.) Describe your novel in 15 words or less.

Both e-books are strange stories from a world that’s not quite right.

6.) Where did the inspiration for your story come from?

“Transfection” came from a good old-fashioned drinking session. I was talking with my friend about genetically-modified food and we just went off on a crazy tangent from there. I get a lot of ideas this way.

“If You Go Into The Woods” was something I actually wanted to do in real-life, but my better half convinced me it was too expensive, and a little bit weird.

7.) How long did it take you to complete this novel from concept to published?

“If You Go Into The Woods” was originally written over two days in August 2009. I spent six months sending it to magazines, then gave up. About six months after that, a small UK literary magazine picked it up, and a month later a US magazine bought the reprint rights. In May it was included in a hardback anthology, and three weeks
ago I self-published it.

“Transfection” was written over three days in April, then my beta readers savaged it over a week or so. Two weeks later it was for sale online.

8.) When you sit down to write, how does that process go? Do you outline or just let it evolve?

It’s different with stories and novels. For me, novels have to have a minimum of structure – I need to know the storyline, if only in very general terms. Then I bullet-point a few chapters and get going. With stories, I don’t really need anything to start – just a title, or the opening line and I dive right in. In both cases, they can
change dramatically while I am writing. I often don’t know how the sentence is going to end.

9.) Are there any aspects of writing you struggle with?

On good days, none of it. On bad days, all of it. I have to break it down into manageable chunks – especially with novels – or it can be overwhelming.

10.) Are there any aspects that you simply glide through?

When I first started writing, dialogue was a real struggle. But once I got the knack, it became quite easy. Now I have to force myself not to write the whole thing as dialogue.

11.) What sets your book apart from others in the same genre?

If I have to classify “If You Go Into The Woods”, I would be forced to say literary, for want of anything better. But that doesn’t sit right to me either. I think what sets it apart is that it is more about presenting a sketch or a snapshot of a character that is revealed through their actions, rather than revealing character through some arbitrary “journey”.

12.) What is the location of your story setting and why did you choose that place/time? 

“Transfection” is definitely old-school science fiction. I used to love the stories of people like Philip K. Dick, where you often weren’t sure if the story was set on another planet or whether the main character was just losing his mind, and I tried to capture some of that.

13.) Your main characters, tell me about them. What is their back story? How did they find themselves where they are now?

Jiri Beranek is an eight-year old kid living with his single mom. There is a lot of stuff going on around him that he is trying to get a grip on, but doesn’t quite. He desperately wants to be older, but it’s quite clear that may bring him no joy.

Linus Eriksson is a loser, there’s no other way to say it. He screwed up his whole life, and now he is railing against his situation. He wants the world to change, but his tragedy is that he doesn’t realise that change must come from within.

14.) I’d like to know more about your book. Tell me all about it.

They are both super-cheap – less than a stick of gum, with twice the taste.

15.) What do you want readers to take from your writings?

I want them to have more questions than answers. I want them to be a little creeped out (and they should be). I would also like them to be filled with an infinite desire to bestow my e-books on all their friends, colleagues, and relations as presents.

16.) Are more books to follow or is this a stand alone?

Next month I have a book out called “Let’s Get Digital”. It’s part manifesto for the digital revolution, and part hands-on guide to digital self-publishing. I’ll be selling it for $2.99 on Amazon, and, just for kicks, I will be giving it away as a free PDF on my blog too.

Later in the summer, I will release the historical novel I have been working on for four years. “A Storm Hits Valaparaiso” is set during Argentina’s war of independence from the Spanish Empire and follows a variety of rogues, slaves, Indians, prostitutes, runaways, and ex-convicts as they get swept up in a war that crosses the continent.

17.) Where can readers find you?

Harvest Home. It’s a dinky little boozer in Sodermalm, Stockholm. I’m there most Friday nights.
Aside from that, my blog is my online home: http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com

18.) What are 3 random things about yourself that readers might like to know.

I like to toast my bread on one side only. I believe that one day we will discover a unified theory of gravity that will encompass all knowledge and revolutionize the world in ways that we can only dream of. Finally, I like hats.

19.) What do you do in your down time? For fun.

I love doing absolutely nothing. If there were an extra six hours in the day, I would waste them all.

20.) How about letting me have a sneak peak at chapter one?

Sample for “If You Go Into The Woods”

Sample for “Transfection”

David was such a good sport to sit down and play along. I really hope that everyone that takes time to pop in here also takes the time to take a look at each of Davids books. And after you’ve taken a look, go ahead and buy them. You know you want to!

Melissa

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5 responses to “Indie Author’s 20 Questions: David Gaughran

  1. Lindsay Edmunds

    June 1, 2011 at 7:37 am

    “I love doing absolutely nothing. If there were an extra six hours in the day, I would waste them all.”

    Last Saturday was like that for me — bliss and perfection!

     
  2. davidgaughran

    June 1, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Hi Melissa,

    Thanks for the interview! Great questions.

    Dave

     
  3. G.W.

    June 1, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    My favorite answer…lol
    “I like to toast my bread on one side only. I believe that one day we will discover a unified theory of gravity that will encompass all knowledge and revolutionize the world in ways that we can only dream of. Finally, I like hats”

    Great interview.

     
  4. David Cleinman

    June 8, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Melissa, I had a blast reading this interview. David cracks me up every time.

    In addition to his genius sense of humor, he also maintains an amazing educational blog for writers, Indies, especially!

    Well done!

     

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