Recently, I posted a Call to Writers, asking my fellow author bloggers to allow me to interview them for guest-spots on my blog. (If you are interested in participating, please contact me.) I asked everyone thirty-five questions — some were basic, and others were multi-part inquiries — and I asked them to answer only what they wanted to or what was applicable. My friend and fellow-blogger, Gary Hoadley, had some very interesting as well as hilarious responses which I’m sure will you’ll enjoy. After you read his interview, please be sure to hop on over to his blogs and follow him for a regular dose of side-splitting humor and satire. And now, heeere’s Gary…
1. Please tell us your name (or pen name) and a little bit about yourself:
My name is Gary Hoadley. Some people call me “Stop thief”. I was born in a slum area of London named Fulham in 1962. By 1978 I was a career criminal. In 1995 I began to rehabilitate myself. The first thing I ever wrote, was a bedtime story for my cell mates kids. Some years ago, I began to write for “The Spoof” an online satirical magazine. I was known as “Armfeetandtoe” don’t ask me why. My work is still on there. A couple of years ago, I started writing for Clive Danton’s online magazine “Soz Satie” A very successful satirical outlet, that agrees to publish my work in exchange for a bag of coal and a box of matches. I love comedy, and I love making people laugh. Not all my work is satirical, I write whatever lunacy enters this small brain of mine. I have written serious stuff, a few poems, and a couple of novellas. The BBC published a couple of short stories I wrote. I’m still waiting for the royalty cheques. If you know anyone there, have a word.
2. Please provide the link to your blog (and website, Facebook fan page, Twitter, etc.):
3. How many books have you written?
I have written two books in collaboration with other writers. And two books that remain unpublished.
4. Has any of your work been published yet? If so, please share the link(s) to purchase it:
5. If you have been published, did you self-publish or use traditional publishing? Why? If you have not been published yet, what are your plans for the future?
Publisher in Canada.
6. How old were you when you started writing? When did you know you wanted to be an author?
From a very early age. I wrote a story, my teacher accused me of Plagiarising Edgar Allan Poe. I did not write again until my late twenties. It was other writers giving me encouragement that got me where I am today.
7. What would you say motivates you to keep writing?
I want to entertain. It gives me a kick thinking someone in the world is sitting down having a good laugh at one of my stupid stories. One time, a bloke from Saudi Arabia contacted me to ask if I could explain a certain passage in one of my stories. A week later he writes to me to say he read it out to his family and they fell about laughing.
8. Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you currently reading (or what is the last book you read)?
George Orwell has to be my favourite. His books are so atmospheric they move along at pace that draws the reader in, so much so, one begins to become part of the story; Anton Chekov – The shooting Party; Hans Christian Andersen – The Emperor’s New Clothes; Henry Miller – Tropic Of Cancer; Spike Milligan – Adolf Hitler: My Part In His Downfall. Just a few of my favourites.
9. What is your preferred reading method? (i.e., Kindle, Nook, paperback, hardback, etc.) Why?
Definitely a book. Hardback or Paperback. I think having the book on the shelf is a constant reminder to read it again.
10. Do you write in first or third person, past or present tense, and why?
My style varies. Depending on what situation I am trying to explain.
11. Do you “always read” or do you take breaks between reading books?
I always have a break. I like to rest my imagination for a bit.
12. How many books would you say you read in a year? How many at any one time?
12# I read about seven or eight books a year. I like to enjoy a book, so I take my time and try not to race through to get to the end. Something my Mother taught me. She was an avid reader.
ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORK::
13. What is the title of your current work in progress of the most recent manuscript you’ve completed?
14. What is your novel’s genre? Would you say there is a sub-genre? What makes yours different than other books in the same genre?
It is not a Manuscript. I have written a short story for Soz Satire.
15. What inspired the current or most recent story you’ve completed?
The futility of war. And the idiots that perpetrate it.
16. What is your target audience’s age, gender, etc.?
A tough question. I would like to reach out to all ages.
17. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your story?
It is a complete send up of the Battle Of Waterloo.
ABOUT HOW YOU WRITE::
18. How often do you write?
I do not write every day. But I do make notes and put ideas on paper.
19. Approximately how many words do you write at each sitting?
From one line to a thousand words or more.
20. Do you do your own editing or send it to someone else?
I’m a bit Dyslexic, so I always get someone to have a look before my work is published, especially stuff that goes online. My good friend Clive Danton gives it the once over. It is a golden rule I think everyone should follow. Saves all that cringing when you see those glaring mistook you jist mode.
21. What is your method of writing? (i.e., Do you write the entire manuscript, then go back and make changes? Do you plan chapters as you go along or write the story then go back and add chapters? Do you re-read as you go along or after you are done with the first draft?)
I have no method. I just write. Sometimes it can be for hours, other times, it can be for ten minutes.
22. Do you have a muse? If so, please elaborate. If not, what inspires you?
People. I love people. All the different characters from every corner of this fantastic planet of ours. And history, oh how I love to pick apart history and turn it on its head. Lovely.
23. How long does it take you to write a full manuscript?
Could not honestly say. Again, it depends on what I am writing.
24. Do you give yourself a word limit for each day or a time limit to finish your novel? If so, please elaborate.
I never set myself goals. I like to let the natural rhythm of my imagination dictate how much I write.
25. How do you come up with your character names and geographic location / business names?
I spent two years living on the streets of London back in the 70s. Some of the characters I met will never be forgotten. And, as a monument to them, I often include them in stories. I have had an interesting and varied existence. The people that have been in my life, even for a brief time, are a library of voices and faces.
26. How long (or how detailed) are the notes you take before you start writing?
If I am writing a comedy about a certain historical character or event, then I will research to make sure I have my facts right. When I write more serious stuff, I do take a little time to look up certain things that are important to the story.
27. Do you have any “must haves” to help you write? (i.e., a full cup of coffee, a view of the ocean, etc.)
I like a nice big mug of splosh! (tea). And, when one of my children come through the front door, a sandwich is usually demanded with the threat of the electricity being disconnected if they do not comply.
28. Do you only write during a certain time of day or in a certain location? If so, do you make yourself stop after a certain time?
In the garden. The conservatory or lounge. I am easily distracted. So I write until one of my family or my dogs want my attention.
29. Does your real life ever neglected because of your writing? If so, how do you feel about that?
No, there is nothing more important to me than my family and friends. I did once forget my deaf Great Dane was out in the yard. He smashed the door down. Irene, my wife, was not impressed. I blamed my twelve year old daughter, my son, the next door neighbour…
30.What is the quirkiest thing you do or have ever done when writing?
I talk as I write. No one in the house needs to read it. They have already heard what I have written!
ABOUT YOUR WORK::
31. If you have written more than one novel, which is your favorite and why?
Shylock Humes and the case of the missing Cod.
32. If you could be one of your own characters for a day, who would it be and why?
Shylock Humes. A real twit and the world’s worst detective. But, he makes me roar with laughter because he does not realize how bad he really is. Which is a bit like me and my writing.
33. If one of your books became a movie, who would you choose for the “perfect cast” of main characters?
Will Ferrell as Shylock Humes; Robin Williams as Dr Watsit; John Cleese as Inspector Corner, of the Yard;
Timothy Spall as Sergant Pillery; Ray Winstone as Morrihairy; and Bette Midler as Mrs Benson.
34. What is the oddest thing you have ever researched for one of your books?
The timetable for trains leaving St Pancras Station.
35. What is the most difficult thing you have ever researched for one your books and why?
The timetable for trains leaving St Pancras Station.
Thank you, Gary, for allowing me to interview you. I was already a fan of your satire, but I learned a lot more about you today. I hope everyone else has enjoyed learning about you and your work as much as I have.