Saturday, May 18, 2013

Interview With Indie-Author Gareth Young

  One of things I like about being a writer is meeting others who write. I've met those traditionally published, digitally, and self or Indie-published. I've decided to introduce everyone to writers I have met-Gareth Young is one I met on Twitter.

Thank you Gareth for stopping by!
 Since we met on Twitter (talking about Comics no less) What is your favorite comic?
  Single issue would be really hard to pin down. Series is Uncanny X-Men.  --Mine too! Two issues of that comic book got me hooked on comics completely. One was reprinted in a UK marvel 2-in-1 over-sized comic, the other I picked up in Florida while vacationing there with my parents. I love the team dynamic, the range of personalities, the scope of the storylines...from the small, single-issue character tales to the giant, intergalactic multi-issue stories. The X-Men just captured my imagination: Storm, the strong leader and African Goddess with weather manipulation powers; Colossus, the quiet unassuming artist who could change into a metallic powerhouse; Nightcrawler, the blue, fuzzy elf-like creature who could BAMF, teleporting anywhere and then, of course, Wolverine...the ultimate badass with adamantium claws and mysterious past. Those characters just sang to me and I've been collecting comics ever since. Exactly! I adored the story lines, and how unique each one was. It was here I learned about "anti-hero"--lets face Wolverine is the ultimate one...but, I digress

 What drew you to writing?
I've always written in one way, shape or form, (on and off) but it was through a roleplaying game that I really got into it. Co-creating a world full of interesting characters and writing stories based on them, triggered my drive to go further with my writing. After many false starts I finally got a novel finished and I've found my urge to write has only increased
That's awesome--I'm with you. I found my early exposure to role playing games helped me create worlds, characters and dialogue. And fabulous on finishing a book! :)
 What is your favorite genre to read and to write.
I enjoy thrillers and science fiction stories to read and write. Those would be my favorite but I'm not afraid to cross genres. Both of those genres have their fair share of clunky novels. At their best though, they can be draw you in and stretch your imagination. I have a couple of sci-fi stories brewing which I hope to get to one day.
Oooh, they sound interesting. I am beginning to find most writers don't have just one genre to write in--which fascinates me.

You self-published your first book--tell us about this experience: frustrating, rewarding?
Self-publishing is INSTANTLY rewarding...BOOM...there you are with a copy of your book in your hand. You're not waiting for someone else to fall in love with your characters or trying to persuade an Agent you're worth their time. Instant gratification - the promise of the internet age. However, it's still a very hard route to take. You are relying on yourself and as a newbie you might not have all the skills required to make a wee story into a bestseller. With no one to answer to, you can sometimes wander off course. And while you can take pride in doing it all, you probably won't be doing it as well as you think. The biggest thing is editing. Editing is what writing really is. You become blind to your own mistakes or maybe don't even realize you're making them. Another pair of eyes is always beneficial. And then marketing, the most frustrating aspect of self publishing. Trying to spread the word about your book without spamming and alienating those followers you've accrued online. That's a difficult row to hoe.
You've summed up nicely the good and the bad. I agree editing is very important! And marketing--is frustrating no matter which way you look at it!

             --Would you consider publishing the regular route?
   Yes, I am in fact considering it now for Persephone, the follow up story to Monsters.
                 Excellent--I like the name already.

            --Would you like an agent, why or why not?
I would, if only to push me in the right direction. Right now I feel I waste a lot on energy on unhelpful things and not enough on things that might help me. Also, one would expect an agent to give you a way into the publishing machine and perhaps an opportunity to move from selling 4 books a month to 4000.
     I agree, there advantages to having an agent. I am finding it a team effort, which I enjoy.

 What are you working on now? When do you plan to publish it.
I'm editing a Young Adult Urban Fantasy story based around the roleplaying universe I mentioned earlier. This will be self-published around September or October depending on how much time I can devote to it. And then I will be getting back to finishing Persephone, a mystery/thriller and follow up to Monsters. It's dark and filled with interesting characters which I hope will be as well received as Monsters was. Very good--I like that you have more than one project. Which is important. The fact you write while having a day job etc. shows your dedication.

 When do you write? and how (late at night, long spurts, are you a plotter, pantser...etc)I do my best writing at night. After the world around me goes quiet. I write as long as I've got the itch and then try not to push too hard when it's not pouring out of me easily. I try not to plot too strictly, leaving wiggle room for interesting sideways character moments. I usually need to know how it all ends, but I don't necessarily have to know straight away how to get there. I like to let the characters wander around in their world for a while to see which direction they head off in. Its a weird thing that maybe only writers understand, but sometimes you're not in control of where your characters go...sometimes they don't say what you want the to say. Or, I'm just nuts. lol. Bravo ! I'm with you--you have to give enough wiggle room for unique characters and interesting side-bars. And you're right--we writers are a crazy lot, but I wouldn't change it for the world.

What advice would you give new writers? Or anyone about to self publish?
Don't be too precious about your work. Sure, you've worked hard crafting a brilliant story and now you want to thrust your magnificence upon the world. Wait. Back up a second. Have someone who isn't YOU edit it for you. Have some trusted crit partners or Beta Readers take a look at it and LISTEN carefully to the feedback you get. Don't get all huffy about it...just listen and use what you learn to improve your work of art. And even if you do everything right, and it's a solid block of literary gold, people still might not like it. You can't force them to like it, so accept you will get some bad comments and reviews. Don't flip out and get all bratty about it. Having said ALL of that, remember it's your work and you have to be happy with it when it goes out into the world. Pick your battles, but stand up for the important stuff. Don't let the meaning or point of your story be lost in editing/publishing. No one knows your story better than you.  
This is SO important--what readers want varies so greatly. I've heard this before in this world 25% will love you, 25% will hate you, and 50% don't care. And this applies to anything especially with creative things. It's a difficult thing to learn. My favorite thing you said--"No one knows the story better than you." Yes!

We talked about Scotland being Scottish--and yes, I'm going there, do you have a kilt?
As a matter of fact, I do! I had to buy one to bring with me to the States to get married in. It's not actually my family tartan, it was the only one available in my size and in my price range. lol. It's the Holyrood tartan. I've also got the Ghillie brogues, socks, sporran, flashes, belt and the wee sgian dhu knife to tuck in the sock. ;) 
Very Cool! Ha! Next time I interview you, I'm going to quiz you more about your Scottish background --because I'm devilish like that. :)

 For fun: If there was a movie or book that were real (I know, work with me here), and you had a chance to go there--which one would you choose? And would you bring anyone with you?Lol. I'd have to choose one of the many sci-fi concoctions that I've spent so many years enjoying on the big or small screen. I'd love to fly around the galaxies in the Trek or Star Wars universes. See all the amazing things those folks see. I'd take a helpful sidekick along, my Passepartout, if you will, to keep me right and watch my back, just in case. :) I'd interview extensively for the position. lol. I wonder if the Hulk would tag along?Oooh, the Hulk would be an awesome, if not possibly destructive guy to have around. I like it!

 and do you like the movie 300...? *grin*
Loved the movie 300. I did actually read the graphic novel and was impressed immediately when the previews came out that the visuals captured the feel of the comic book. Sure, it was a heightened reality but it was done with great gusto and made no apologies for being an enjoyable slug-fest. And of course a Scottish Leonidas just added to the fun.
This is why I liked the movie as well! And oh, Yeah, Leonidas....awesome!!

Monsters Blurb:
Monsters By Gareth Young
Doyle Godwin works nights as a Private Investigator in the small town of Gabriel's Horn. He has learned how to hide his twisted, giant frame in the dark. Avoiding the cruel eyes and taunts of the locals, he ekes out a living tracking down adulterers and other night-dwellers, living vicariously through the images he captures on camera. Lurking in the shadows, he is content with his world until, one day, the only woman he ever loved walks into his office and hires him to find her missing daughter.
Emmy Watson is losing hope. After three long weeks, her daughter Scarlett remains missing and the FBI have slowly removed themselves from the search, leaving an impotent Sheriff's department no closer to solving the kidnapping. Her heart broken and her nerves frayed to their ends, she hires Doyle, Sheriff Reid's main suspect, forcing the town's Boogieman out into the daylight.
Sheriff Emerson Watts has discovered a body beneath Mt Rainier's watchful gaze. An ex-FBI agent with a once bright future, he sifts through the detritus of the murder scene and realizes there might be a connection between his case and the missing girl in Gabriel's Horn. Trying to meet with Sheriff Reid, he instead bumps into the deformed detective and triggers an avalanche which threatens to swallow them all up.
MONSTERS is a dark, complex, character driven psychological thriller and features a protagonist who echoes classic characters like The Hunchback, Frankenstein's Monster and The Phantom.
Author Bio:
 Gareth S. Young was born and raised in Scotland. He packed up his kilt and moved to the United States and now does much the same he did in Scotland only people think his accent is way cooler.
In 2010, he self-published his first full length story, a mystery/suspense novel called Monsters. 
*Note click on the highlighted names and it will bring you to Gareth's blog. Here are links to buying the book on Kindle or Paperback:   Monsters on KindleMonsters Paperback

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you come again. :)



  1. Great interview! I always meet the most interesting people on twitter :)

    1. Hi Kellie,
      So do I!, Gareth is a fabulous person. :) It took me awhile to get used to twitter--but now I love it.