Tag: Author spotlight

Deano’s Grill – Thriller/Mystery author Guy Thair

Welcome to Deano’s Grill Author Interviews.
The only place to be interviewed by fictional detective and hero of the Detective Deans crime thrillers, Andrew ‘Deano’ Deans.

Today, Deano grills Thriller/Mystery novelist, Guy Thair.

Before we start, I need to caution you – You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your credentials if you do not mention when questioned something, which you later rely on in book sales, and anything you do say may be written about you.

Welcome to Deano’s Grill. Tell me your name please.
Guy Thair

Good evening, Guy. Tell us how you got into writing.
I began writing after meeting a friend of a friend online who had a blog. I’d never thought of writing anything before and it seemed like a good idea at the time, so I started Diary of an Internet Nobody just to see what happened. I’ve now been writing for about five years and I’m completely hooked.

Describe your work for us, please.
I’m not sure I can really describe “my work”, as such, because I try to vary what I write as much as possible. I like writing (fiction) in a non-linear style, to keep the reader guessing for as long as I can. I enjoy writing sci-fi-tinged stories, purely because it gives a lot of leeway in plotting and enables me to write my way out of any corners I’ve painted myself into. “Thriller/mystery” would be the closest description, I think. Almost every story I’ve written has been improvised, with no planning or even knowing what it’s going to be about when I sit down to start writing. I use a lot of writing prompts (usually one word or a few letters, often provided by other bloggers as part of a regular feature) and literally make it up as I go along.

Give us an idea of any writing routines you may have.
I only use my smartphone for everything I do (including building, administering and writing all four of my blogs, photography, video, animation and producing strange electronic music), but apart from that, I just sit down, start writing and see what happens. Incredible! I wish I could get mine to do the most basic of functions half the time!

Just in case any aspiring smartphone authors are reading this, which phone do you use?
An Android (currently, a Huawei Honor 7) One finger. (I use a Swype keyboard)

Was it a conscious decision not to use something a little larger?
No, I have never owned a computer and it isn’t an expense I can justify for a non-essential plaything. So I started my blog on my phone and I’ve become a bit of an Android ninja, I can do just about anything on it.

Tell us what you are working on now.
I should say that I’m working on a sequel to The Wrong Stuff, but I’m actually in the middle of writing another accidentally extended mystery thriller, called The Accumulator, which is just another weird serial on the blog. It has evolved all on its own, from a quick idea I had for a short story (taken from yet another writing prompt) and it got a bit out of control. I should finish it fairly soon, however, after which I may well get started on the follow up to The Wrong Stuff, although that’s anyone’s guess, I may have another idea in the meantime. I’ve also just begun a new project; on Niume, a different blogging platform, with a group of other writers. We’re focusing on making it a short fiction blog, with whatever stories we come up with, in any genre.

Describe your recently published novel, The Wrong Stuff.
Here’s the cover blurb:

“Hannah Meredith has always had a good eye and she’s a veteran bargain hunter, but she isn’t prepared, when she buys the box marked “Stuff” at a mysterious auction, for her world to suddenly unravel into a series of increasingly bizarre and terrifying events.

Soon on the run from a sinister cabal of vengeful corporate villains and their homicidal henchmen, Hannah must foil an evil plan to bring the world to the brink of global economic collapse, all the while keeping one step ahead of her pursuers.

A fast-moving thriller with a sci-fi twist, the plot stretches from chases through grimy backstreets of Victorian London back to the present day, where sudden violence shatters the tranquility of the English countryside.

Following Hannah and her unlikely allies in their frantic attempt to stay alive and save the world from disaster, The Wrong Stuff is exciting and original, with more than a touch of black humour.”

Give us a flavour of the main characters.
I guess Hannah, the lead character, could best be described an ordinary woman who is thrust into a dangerous situation she doesn’t understand. She is resourceful and courageous, but I doubt she’d have said that, she’s just someone who has had to adapt quickly to a very peculiar situation in order to survive. Frank, however, (my favourite character) is amusingly dumb, tactless, violent and not someone you would want to meet in a dark alley, but he does have some surprising qualities, my favourite of which is the ability to NOT THINK about things. Wouldn’t that be nice!

Provide one piece of advice for unpublished authors of your genre.
Do it. If you don’t, you’ll regret it.

Tell us about your previous working life.
I have done all sorts of jobs, none of which have anything to do with writing, but I’m currently working for an American aerospace firm in Devon. The most fun I’ve had at a job was probably working on markets and country shows, selling timber garden furniture. The market trader community is a very close-knit one and I enjoyed the varied nature of working somewhere different every day, but with the same extended group of friendly and cheerful people, all of whom were always happy to help and give advice (much like the blogging community, which I have gained so much experience and useful advice from over the years)

Do you possess any annoying habits, and if so, who pointed them out?
i) I’m very argumentative, I love a heated debate.
ii) Everyone who’s ever met me.

Tell us the best book you have read so far this year.
Hahaha, reading books? I don’t have time to read, I hardly have time to do everything else. I used to read constantly, I’d get through two or three books a week, easily, but I can honestly say I haven’t read a book for maybe three years.

How about a random pick for a book I’d recommend? The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by GW Dahlqusit and its two sequels are unlike anything else I’ve read.

The final two questions are geared towards your imagination. You can invite two dream guests for dinner – living, dead or fictional – who would they be and why?
Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett are the two who spring to mind, but that’s not terribly original, so I’ll go for David Lynch and Audrey Hepburn.

I’ve loved Hepburn ever since I can remember; a truly remarkable person in every way, I’d recommend reading her biography, her life was extraordinary in so many ways. She was also the most utterly beautiful woman ever to walk the Earth, inside and out, no contest.

David Lynch is quite simply a genius and a giant of cinema, who also produced one of the most unique and ground-breaking tv series of all time, Twin Peaks, with which I was somewhat obsessed, (hence the peculiar “dalecooper57” username on the blog) so I’m looking forward to the reboot with considerable anticipation.

Lastly, you can charter a private jet to any destination in the world, where would you go?
Snoqualmie Falls and Bend, Oregon

Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed, Guy. Tell us where we can find your books and how readers can follow you.

The Wrong Stuff is available on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk

You can follow the blog (which is written under the slightly confusing byline of dalecooper57) at www.diaryofaninternetnobody.com and I now also have an Amazon author page:
amazon.com/author/guythair

Deano’s Grill will be back with another fabulous author interview in the very near future. If you are an author and would like to be interviewed, please leave your details on the contacts page.

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‘The Spontaneous Author’

So, why The Spontaneous Author?computer

Simple! I didn’t for a moment imagine that I would one day be the author of a book, let alone the creator of a series of crime novels. My decision to write really was that impulsive and followed a chance encounter with an author who was kind enough to spend a while chatting with me over a beer, and provided me with the inspiration to open my laptop, and my mind.

I believe everything happens for a reason and nothing happens by chance. Always have. It helped me through difficult times, and has now driven me to a complete change of existence. My wife and I had already taken a big risk; leaving our jobs in Bath and moving to North Devon with no employment to walk into. We took a chance on an opportunity, and that is exactly how I feel about my writing.

When I began, I was clueless. I had no writing qualifications, or been exposed to the world of publishing in any way. However, what I did possess was an open mind, determination, and enough life experience to give it a damn good crack. How hard could it be?

Day 1 – Open laptop. Stare at blank page. Hover fingers over keyboard – frown – down another coffee.

It wasn’t all a mystery, though. I did know the title I wanted to use, STORM LOG-0505. That was never in doubt. Storm logs had been the start of most of my investigations within the police force, so only fitting for the start my book.

In the space of about three months I had a skeleton outline for my story, and as far as writing was concerned, I was well and truly hooked. Obsessed would be another way to describe it. For probably the first time in my life, and certainly over the last twenty years, I was using my creativity. It was an empowering feeling and strangely therapeutic. I still didn’t know if my efforts would come to anything, and that was the way I continued for about another year, churning out more edits, until I realised that I needed to go to the next stage of involving a professional to review my work.

Months of solitude, doubt, hope, and plenty of despair were suddenly in the hands of someone who could rip the guts out of my new-found dream. I used Doug Watts of the Jacquie Bennett Writers Bureau, and over the following months, Doug guided me to the point of agent submissions. Within 48 hours of sending out, I had an agent requesting the full manuscript, followed by suggested improvements, and then – BOOM! I was struck down with viral meningitis. My ability to do the most mundane of tasks simply ceased. I was off work for several months, underwent numerous brain scans and tests. The effects on my physical and cognitive wellbeing were devastating, and I was sadly unable to fulfill the requirements of the agent, or entice any others.

As a result of the illness, I was left with a form of chronic fatigue, but… everything happens for a reason and nothing happens by chance. I was forced to slow down. Take stock. I’d sacrificed much in pursuit of my whim, not least family time. Sure, I was disappointed, but when one direction is blocked another invariably opens, and that route was independent-publishing.

I experienced a change of mind-set; I wasn’t a failure for not securing an agent, in fact, I was now in control. I had been waiting on email replies for months – constantly checking, double checking, triple checking. Now, I didn’t have to wait for someone else to fulfill my dream, now it was down to me, and I opted for indie-publishing.

I found an editing company, Cornerstones.co.uk to hone my work further. After speaking for a while on the phone with Helen Bryant – the founder of Cornerstones, I knew I was in very safe hands, and I subsequently found their editorial services to be completely invaluable. I researched each stage of the self-publishing process using the many excellent sources of online advice, but in particular, I found myself returning to Joanna Penn, of thecreativepenn.com, and purchased several of her superb indie-publishing guides. Joanna offered a very balanced and tested view of indie-publishing, and I made many of my decisions using her advice. I also joined the Alliance of Independent Authors allianceindependentauthors.org, where stacks of great advice helped to answer many of my questions.

I established a publishing name, Manvers Publishing, designed myself a neat little logo, decided on my options for sale – Amazon Kindle and Createspace, Smashwords (encompassing iBooks, Kobo and more), and I also decided to publish through Ingram Spark on paperback. I registered with Nielson and purchased a bunch of ISBN numbers, and I then found the icing and the cherry for my mixture.

I’d given formatting a go – shrieked, grumbled and cussed my way through several nights of pure frustration, and I then discovered Jason and Marina at Polgarusstudio.com. Those guys were simply amazing! Fast, friendly, affordable, and very professional. If they were my icing, then my cherry was definitely my cover designer, Jessica Bell, at jessicabellauthor.com. Jessica was just lovely to work with and produced the perfect book cover.

***

All-in-all, my publishing experience has been life-changing. I discovered a huge amount about me, not least, a determination to succeed… someone actually congratulated me today on my success. I played it down, said I hadn’t succeeded in anything yet. They disagreed, said publishing a book WAS a success. I guess somewhere along the line I’d lost sight of that. So, for now, I’m going to relish my success!

In my next post, I will discuss what happened after I pressed the PUBLISH button, discovered the mistakes I had made, and how everything happens for a reason… again!

 

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