Gary is not only a talented writer, but also a commercial litigator. He grew up in Plymouth, Devon and has moved about since. A hard worker, Gary made it into Warwick University where he studied law and did his postgraduate studies in Chester, at the College of Law. He doesn’t have pets because he’s allergic to animal hair, but he does have three beautiful children who he cherishes, two sons and a daughter. He is a foreign film lover and a huge fan or opera. When I asked for an example of other work he’s done, he told me he used to work in a graveyard! Yikes!
1. What are you working on right now?
I’m working on a standalone thriller based in two time periods, the last days of WW2 in Berlin and modern-day America and Europe. The challenge is in drawing the threads together into a coherent whole and not repeating important aspects of the story in both strands.
2. Can you tell us a little something about it?
It’s about a lawyer whose daughter goes missing in Central Park and his journey to find her. He teams up with an FBI agent, who isn’t what she seems, and unravels a decades-old mystery in the process. There’s action and suspense, and more than a few twists and turns. I’ve finished the first couple of drafts and it should be in good enough shape to submit to my publisher in a couple of months.
3. Tell us, why do you write? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
This is a difficult one to answer without sounding a little pretentious. In the last analysis, I write because I feel compelled to do so. It’s not about money. It’s about being creative. But it’s also deeply therapeutic, and when I’m writing my mind clears of everything else.
I find my inspiration in many places. I’m interested in international relations and watch a lot of foreign news channels, which gives me ideas for my political thrillers. But inspiration can come from anywhere. The kernel of an idea for my latest thriller came from a paragraph I read in a nonfiction book on European esotericism!
4. When I write, I require Jaffa cakes (and lots of them), do you have a writing must-have?
Tea. I drink far too much. I can forget to eat as long as I’m tanked up on tea.
5. What is your favourite book?
Tough question as there are so many I’ve enjoyed over the years. My favourite books are thrillers, nonfiction military history and literary novels. If I had to choose one, it would be The Narrow Road To The Deep North by Richard Flanagan, which won the Man Booker Prize of 2014. It’s a book about love and war, man’s inhumanity to man and the endearing hope inherent in the human spirit.
6. Which author’s career, alive or passed on, do you admire most, and why?
I’d have to say Cormac McCarthy. He writes extraordinary westerns and literary thrillers. His early writing career was difficult but he ploughed on and has written some of his best work, including No Country For Old Men and The Road, in his seventies, a time when many people are putting their feet up. I admire, hugely, people who do great things in later life.
7. Tell us something about yourself…an annoying habit or party trick perhaps? Can you speak a foreign language or have a hobby?
I have many annoying habits, the worst of which is probably shouting at the TV when I disagree with what is being said. I enjoy boxing, although these days it’s just the training. I read, of course, love foreign films, especially French and South American, and I’m utterly in awe of Richard Wagner’s operas. To be honest I’m a simple person. What I enjoy most is spending time with friends and family.
8. Do you have a blog, website or social networking account people can go to if they wish to learn more about you or your work?
Yes, I’m active on social media, especially Twitter. If people would like to connect with me they can do so via these platforms:
9. What are your writing plans for the remainder of 2015?
I’m writing the third Tom Dupree thriller and planning a novel I’ve been thinking about for a few years, a hybrid novel, encompassing literary, thriller and historical elements.
10. And now, for the most important question of all: Jaffa cakes – love them or hate them?
To be honest, if you offered me one over a cup of tea I‘d gladly accept, but I can’t remember the last time I ate one. But if a writer is going to have a weakness I’d say tea and Jaffa cakes are pretty innocuous ones.
To follow Gary and his work please use the links below:
Gary is a talented writer and it was great fun interviewing him. And he’s the first I’ve interviewed who worked in a graveyard. True what they say – you never know who you might meet.