Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I don’t know how many books I’ve written/half written/planned. Firedance Books published two Young Adult books because they came at the genre in a new way. Wonderful reviews followed including a rather surprising one…
Some years ago the best selling author Stephen Godden challenged me to write a short story entitled ‘The Girl, the Kite and the Broken Gate.’ Some writing later and Juliet exploded into my life, tore around the story telling me what to change and that she wanted a full book – not just a short story. She went on to demand another … several times. She’s doing it again. Yes, she’s a bit bossy – though I can’t help but utterly adore her. In Muffy College, Cambridge she escorts her best friend to a college interview and it all goes bang shortly after they reach the city.
A student from Cambridge wrote a lovely review, tracked me down and I ended up spending a day in the Paddock at Emmanuel signing books in the sunshine and having glasses of Proseco thrust into my hands.
The Cross-dresser’s Habit followed, Curses Foiled next and then Rude Awakening. It’s been such fun!
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Subtle Strike being the third in the UFO:AI series of military science fiction. The first ‘Hive Mind’ was inspired by my son and we collaborated intensely over each character, scene, thread and arc. It was a wonderful experience to work so closely with him.
Strange! The series was intended for young men but the Parallel Chapters (free at http://garybonn.com/scifi/) have a huge female following.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
You really don’t want to know about my unusual habits! 🙂
I was once asked in an interview if I ever wrote naked. To my astonishment I realised the answer way ‘Yes’. Um …. let me explain. Writers always carry a notebook – with good reason. Once my wife called, “Do you want me to wipe all the condensation off the shower cubicle?” (Google translate – ‘Why haven’t you wiped the shower down?’) My son had just used the room – ha said, “No! it’s got all his notes written in it!”
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Louise Cole (Unpublished as yet – but has several MSs with a fabulous agent)
Jae Erwin (Stillness Dancing).
Janet Allison Brown (The Walker’s Daughter)
Patrick LeClerk (Out of Nowhere, Every Clime and Place, Advancing on Paris).
William Sauer (Unpublished – get weaving for goodness sake!)
Alf Haywood (ditto :P)
But most of all Stephen Godden (Kinless, Hollowspace [as Grant and written in collaboration with Colin F barnes])
What are you working on now?
I’m trying not to. Over the last ten years I’ve prepared so many books – seven are going out this year. I caught myself wondering ‘what do people do when they’re not working?’
I decided to get a hobby – and wrote three more Parallel Chapters before I knew it.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Word of mouth. It has to be that that’s working – I don’t do any promotion. I’m hopeless at marketing or selling anything. If I tried to sell pure gold I’d end up paying someone to take it away.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Oh my goodness yes…
If you are a Goodreads member read this: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/8851754-editorial-input
Remember Terry Pratchett ran his books past seven editors before he submitted them for publishing – therefore for more editing. Editors (Really skilled, trained and experienced) are utterly essential if you wish to be successful. The best way to evaluate an structural editor, copy editor or proofreader is to train in all areas. I was once asked to review a novel written by a PhD and edited by professional editors (non-fiction). The results were predictable. I begged her to take it back off the market and offered to help her rewrite it for free. She never spoke to me again. The novel was universally slated and sank into obscurity.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Gary – stop that!
Unrelated to writing – my wife said after the birth of our first child ‘We must try to spend every possible moment with them – children are only on loan’. Wiser words I have never heard.
What are you reading now?
I have no idea what will come to me next. My reading is dictated by the manuscripts sent to me for editing. It’s a wonderful way of falling in love with every possible genre.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I have three more books completed as polished first drafts. I think I’ll turn to them unless Jeanette (UFOAI series) or Juliet (Rude Awakening series) start nagging me again. I also want to watch the market and see which my/our genres sell best – that’s my only indicator of what people want most and a writer must serve the reader.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Comet in Moominland (Tove Jansson). I’d only need that. This book opened my mind and made me see what can happen when a genius writes. If only I could write like that!