By nmurray, Jun 28 2019 01:23PM
Welcome Simon Gary to my blog. Please let everyone know about your writing journey and your new book 'Gone to the Dogs'
1. What made you want to write a book?
Since I was a boy, there was something alluring about writing a book. Naturally, this starts from consuming books during childhood. I remember reading old copies of my father’s “Jennings and Darbyshire” books, tales of two mischievous boarding schoolboys, and thinking how wonderful and ageless they were. This then, is the place where the desire to write was awoken.
A book lasts long after the author has passed and can bring pleasure to many who the writer would not meet. Perhaps that is at the heart of the desire to create art; that one day you might craft something timeless.
2. Tell us about you and where you live
I live in a small town called Gosport, that nestles on the South Coast of England and looks out across the sea. Once a fishing village, it expanded with the might of the Royal Navy, which sits across a briny inlet in neighbouring Portsmouth. There is history at every turn, each narrow alleyway telling tales of the press-gang or ale houses long gone. To this extent, I feel the sea is in my blood. I could not move far from it.
Whilst writing is not currently a full-time profession, I am lucky to have a job which is thoroughly enjoyable within the most amazing automotive plant. It will be an interesting thought process if I am ever in a position to turn writing into a full-time living, because I don’t think my other “real life” job will ever leave me.
3. What have you written and what are you working on now?
I have written four novels to this point, though I must admit the first two were largely irredeemable and no longer exist in any form. Novel three was a little better and sits on my computer somewhere. Perhaps I will open it up again one day. I recall, that whilst writing I had been reading a lot of Franz Kafka and I can see him popping up at numerous places in the text. In that sense, this four novel journey has been something of a necessary rite, in order that I might come back with an authentic voice. Which brings us to the fourth novel, and the one with which I am far the happiest; “Gone to the Dogs.”
“Gone to the Dogs” tells the story of a fictional British sit-com, set at a greyhound track in the 1970’s. It is told as a series of interviews with the cast and the writers, with each interview adding a layer to the story, either through what is said, or sometimes, through what is not said. It is a format that I have long been fascinated with, ever since reading William Faulkner’s magnificent “As I Lay Dying” as a very young man.
I knew throughout the writing process that this would be the book that would get me closer still to a publishable standard, but there were still one or two issues to overcome. Luckily, I had some help in the form of the indefatigable Matt McAvoy and his amazing team at MJV Literary Services. They were instrumental in helping me put the final polish on the work and turning it into a piece I could confidently allow unsupervised into public!
I also write a little bit of non-fiction, which is my current focus. As I mentioned, I work in the automotive industry and specialise in Continuous Improvement. I am currently working on a book which aims to share lean methods in a straightforward and easy to understand manner.
4. How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?
This is a great question! There can be no doubt that the internet has changed the publishing industry forever and has brought the dream of publishing a book within the reach of everyone. This, in turn, however, has created a problem. There are now so many books, many of them great, that are all out there, vying for the attention of the paying public. Never has defining and capturing you audience been so important. Like many, I have tried to build a platform on social media and have ran ads across all of the major social media platforms. Unfortunately, these can be both pricey and often miss the mark. If I consider my own experiences as a social media user, it is rare that I interact with ads, particularly if it is clear that they are not tailored to me. I think there is a space for running ads on sites like Facebook and Twitter, but I need to learn how to target that content a lot more. What I have attempted so for has not translated into bottom line sales.
I think, in final analysis, there is no advertising like word of mouth. Typically, this can be generated by getting reviews from respected judges and readers. This is the area that I am currently exploring. I also hope that a good book, somewhere, somehow, will find its own way eventually.
5. Where can readers find your book for sale?
“Gone to the Dogs” can be found as an e-book or paperback at Amazon, or as an e-book at Kobo. Alternatively, readers can purchase it through my own website at www.simongaryauthor.com
There is sample content on the site for those that like to try before they buy, as well as the odd book from other author friends.
Thank-you so much for allowing me to share these thoughts with you today.
Thank you too Simon, it was lovely to hear from a fellow author.