My quest today is author of The Dorking Review and Churchmouse Tales, Gary Moore.
Gary thank you so much for being my quest today.
Who is Gary Moore the man? Gary, along with two other writers Skoob and Frank Jordan, have mentored me with regards to my own writing over the last few months.
Basically a middle-aged Englishman living and working in France. I have had an interesting life up to now. Ex-businessman, ex-army officer, ex-debt collector, and currently working as a heating engineer. I'm trying to figure out why my career seems to have developed backwards rather than forwards. I've dined with millionaires and drank with paupers and I've now got a much better understanding of human nature than I had when I was in my twenties. Can't understand why I'm skint! Still, much better to be happy I reckon.
Tell me, where it all began, when did you first start writing?.
How did it all begin? Well probably the story side was from about 8 years old. I had an English teacher at junior school who was either brilliant or lazy, I'm still not sure which. Anyway, once a week we had to go in front of the class and talk about anything we liked. Most of the kids were up there for a few seconds, but I would stand there and make up stories for the rest of the class and would rattle on for ten minutes or so. Ten years later I'd forgotten all about it when a girl sat next to me on a bus that was taking me to college (engineering rather than humanities) and she recognised me from junior school and remarked on how much she had enjoyed the stories that I used to make up, so I suppose that it's always been there.
The writing side came much later, only about six or seven years ago. I was walking in my garden when a fully formed story came into my head. i know that may seem strange but that's actually what happened, and I felt compelled to write it down. It took over two years to do it, but I ended up with a 70,000 word manuscript for a novel. The problem was that although I could think up the stories I'd never really been taught how to write properly and so figuring that writing was a cheaper and less harmful hobby than going to the pub I set out to learn how to put my stuff together in a more presentable (and readable) format. The manuscript is now currently gathering dust in a drawer and needs a complete re-write. looking at it now I can see a multitude of errors in it, but at the time, like all new writers I was half convinced that publishers would be beating a path to my door for it.
What inspired you to write Churchmouse Tales and then The Dorking Review.
Churchmouse Tales came about after I'd been posting on a writer's site on the internet for a couple of years. I'd found that I had the ability to write short humorous pieces and that people seemed to like them. I'd started to put some of them together to make up a self-publish book with the idea of sending it to the mainstream publishers; the idea being that they would give a finished book more attention than a slack handful of paper before throwing it in the bin. One of the other members of the site was starting his own publishing house and knowing my work, and that I had a book ready to go offered to publish it for me, which was great as it cost me nothing and everytime a copy is sold I get a dollar. I think that I'm up to about 10 bucks by now!
The Dorking Review came about as I'd found another site that did fake news stories where the writers simply posted them up. Around five percent of the stuff on the site was very good material and it occurred to me that I could put together a book of these articles very quickly as they already existed. I contacted the writers with the idea and my publisher agreed to run it and the whole thing was put together in around six months.
You also edited The Dorking Review is editing something you have done in the past.
Not really, but having used the forums on a number of internet writing sites helped. Also realising that it takes a lot of hard work to become proficient as a writer was very useful and I tried to pass on what I had learned to others. It was actually an interesting thing to do as I saw a little bit of how it works from the other side. All writers get very involved in their work and it can sometimes be difficult to explain why their stuff can't be used. You say to a writer "We're making a book about trains. go and write me some features for it". Off they will go and three months later they'll come back with a load of stories about boats. You then say "I can't use this. I need stuff about trains". "But it's brilliant" they'll say, and it all ends up them thinking that you can't recognise good writing, and you wondering why you asked them in the first place.
Are you planning to write more books in the future.
There's a second Dorking Review ready to come out as soon as we have the illustrations, and I'll probably put together a third sometime next year. I've also got a possibility of ghost writing a biography for a bomb-disposal expert but I don't know if it's going to happen or not, and won't know for another few months. I've also been writing a few humorous articles on business and finance under the banner of 'Triumphs of Marketing' for www.cafeSpike which seem to be well received and I'll probably start hawking them around the trade press to see if anyone is interested. At the moment it's more about self publicity and making the right contacts which is something that I'm not very good at. Realistically it will be at least another two or three years before I can make enough income from it to think about writing full time.
Thanks very much Gary.
Thanks very much Gary.