Wednesday, April 26, 2017

GUESTOPIA: Indie Author Gareth Young

Gareth Young

It's GUESTOPIA time again! And today, I'm thrilled to welcome the larger than life, awesomely cool author Gareth Young to the stage. Let's meet him first, and if you have any further questions after the interview, feel free to leave a comment.

Gareth S. Young was born and raised in Scotland, but has now lived for more than 18 years in the American Midwest. This has played havoc with his accent. In 2010, he published his first full length story, a mystery/suspense novel called Monsters. 
In 2016, his newest novel, The Wolves of Dynamo was published. Part one of an audacious YA urban fantasy series. He is currently working on The Daedalus Syndrome, the second book in the Dynamo City series. 

Is this your first published book?

This is my second book, but first aimed at a YA audience.

What’s it called?

The Wolves of Dynamo

Which genre?

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Which age group?

Teenagers and older

Is it a series or standalone?

Part of an ongoing series.

Are you an agented author?


Which publisher snapped up your book?

I am self-published

How involved have you been in the whole publishing process of your book?

Very involved. Hired an editor and cover artist, and worked closely with both.

Do you have another job?

Yes. I work as a Train Dispatcher…like an air traffic controller for trains.

Did you receive many, if any, rejections prior?

Haven’t submitted anything to a publisher yet.

What created/what were you doing or watching when the first idea for this book sneaked up on you?

This story is based on ideas spawned from a roleplaying game that myself and my two friends, Alan Bain and Andrew Davidson, came up with more than twenty-five years ago.

How long did you plot/plan until you started writing it?

I’m a pantser, so I like to dive in quickly. I planned a rough outline and then kicked off from the there.

Once you started, did the story flow naturally or did you have to step in and wrestle it into submission?

It flowed easily.

How many drafts did you write before you let someone read it? Who was that someone?

My first draft was rough and it took another two before I let my friends Alan and Andrew read it.

Did you employ an editor/proofreader or did you have a critique partner/beta readers before you started querying?

I hired a good friend of mine to edit the book. Her advice and encouragement helped a lot.

Roughly how many drafts did it take before you sent the manuscript off into the real world?

Three or four drafts before I let people see it.

How many drafts until it was published?

Six drafts to get everything polished up the way I wanted it.

Has the book changed dramatically since the first draft?

No. Removing one character and the sections he appeared in were probably the biggest changes I made between first and last draft. The majority of changes were structure and pace related.

Are there any parts you’d like to change even now?

No, I’m happy with how it turned out. And readers’ responses have been very positive.

What part of writing do you find the easiest?

I enjoy the part where I’m first playing around with the ideas and coming up with scenes I’d love to see play out. Brainstorming ideas is the easiest part for me.

What part do you find hardest?

Editing. No question.

Do you push through writing barriers or walk away?

I don’t often try to force it. I tend to step back and try to look at the problem from a different angle. If I can’t move forward, I start at the end and try to work backwards. Whatever works.

How many projects do you have on the go at the same time?

I have many ideas stewing and I usually have a couple of projects being developed at the same time.

Do you think you’re born with the talent to write or do you think it can be learned?

I think a bit of both. I think beyond the act of understanding the language and being able to construct sentences, you need an imagination to fuel the writing. Some people write beautifully, but have terrible ideas, and some people write horribly, but come up with the most amazing ideas. The trick is to learn your craft, understand your strengths and weaknesses and work from there.

How many future novels do you have planned?

Five or six at the moment.

Do you write other things, such as short stories, articles, blogs, etc?

I have a blog where I like to talk about the things I enjoy. It’s not all specifically writing related since I include articles about comic book, music, and movies alongside the writing stuff.

What’s the highlight of being published so far?

The highlight was seeing something I wrote and finished in book form. Seeing it sit on a bookshelf and my name on the spine of the book was an incredible feeling.

Give me one writing tip that work for you.

Listen to your characters. Sometimes I’m writing and one of the characters will move the story in a direction I wasn’t planning. I like to go with the flow for a while to see where I end up. If it ends up at a dead end, it can be fixed in editing, but sometimes you stumble into surprising and exciting areas of the story you didn’t see initially.

And one that doesn't.

“Write every day”
That’s a mantra for many writers, but I sometimes need to step away. It’s important to write as often as you can to keep your skills sharp, but if the words aren’t flowing, I don’t waste too long churning out garbage before I step back.

Can you give us a clue or secret about the next book?

The next book in the series moves from Dynamo City to a whole other world…

What question have you always wanted to be asked but never have? What would the answer be?

Would you like to be paid $1 million dollars for your next book? The answer, most emphatically, would be YES!

Ha ha! We think most authors would give the same answer to that last question. Well, thanks for joining us today, Gareth, it's been great getting to know you.

If you'd like to know more about Gareth and follow his writing journey, then these links might help!

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