I’d like to welcome Gary Bonn to the Thursday Throng chair today. Gary lives in Scotland with his family and an alarming number of accident-prone chickens. His writing is informed by his long experience working with children with social, behavioural or mental health difficulties and equally by his fascination with hunter-gatherer societies. He throws a mean spear.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read this novel, a horror story perhaps, and of course we all know that I’m a ‘behind the cushions’ coward when it comes to that particular genre. I wouldn’t say that I was pleasantly surprised as it’s not that sort of a novel, but I did find it intriguing and enthralling at the same time. I read it through in just one sitting because I was captivated by the story line, I just had to know what happened next.
This story examines what we might revert to should we ever have our basic understanding of what it means to be human challenged. The fear that was generated in the world population as the ‘fear’ spreads was something I could, quite easily imagine happening. How it is handled and controlled by a small group of people is both chilling and affirming.
I was particularly impressed by the characterisation of Beatha, a damaged and psychotic young woman as it really seemed that Gary had a true understanding of what it is to feel so mentally insecure. A really good YA read that I’m sure many would enjoy.
The Gary Bonn Interview
What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?
That I spent several years teaching people how to live, think and behave like hunter-gatherers.
Mind blowing stuff and wonderful fun 🙂
What did the best review you ever had say about you and your work?
With ‛The Evil and the Fear’ I’m spoilt for choice. I didn’t even dream that it would be so well received. I’m stunned.
If I were to choose a single line it would be from Nikki on Goodreads.
‛Possibly one of the strangest and most amazing books I have ever read.’
Maria Komninos said:
‛How they (writers) manage to get inside the mind of someone like that and being able to get it right is truly awesome. Bonn has done that brilliantly.’
Seriously, reading that string of reviews is like being hugged by lovely strangers.
What did the worst review you ever had say about you and your work?
Bad reviews are inevitable – even if only from trolls. I haven’t had one as yet, but…
An editor said after reading my latest YA novel draft, ‛Before you write another book, get therapy.’
Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?
Eccentricity, loneliness, and exhaustion. Writing frequently takes 60-70 hours a week. Not many people know this, but for every hour a reader spends reading, the author has spent 200-300 hours writing and editing it.
Have you ever written naked?
I wasn’t expecting that question, but, due to the nature of writing as a profession, it deserves a response.
A writer needs a notebook and pencil/pen with them at all times. Once, when my wife complained about the condensation on our shower partition, I had to shout, ‛Wait! Don’t wipe my notes away…’ Maybe I need to buy a waterproof pen.
Who would you like to play you in a film of your life?
Me. Being me is profoundly irritating and hard work. I should be paid for it.
Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?
Absolutely tons. Helping aspiring writers is one of my most consuming passions. Let me find what I think are the three most important. Umm…
- Write. No joke – this is the biggest stumbling block for many.
- Be your characters. They must take over from you and react, think and feel in their own, unique, way. Let them do their own thing – even if it means rewriting the whole book around what they want to do – not what you wanted.
- Get editorial support from several professional fiction writers/editors, particularly if you wish to self-publish. It is vital to understand that, though you made the story, created the characters and situations, and wrote it all down, a book is a team effort. You are blind to your mistakes, and there will be buckets of them. The Evil and the Fear was beta read by five people, structurally edited by three, copy edited by one and proof read by one. Apart from me, that’s ten people, all of whom helped make it better. Every writer I know spends more time editing other people’s work than writing their own. Please listen to this – it’s so saddening when you see a self-published book go out without any editing. Few may read it, fewer may finish it and reviewers may kill it.
How do you remain sane while working?
You can only achieve this by stretching the definition of sanity beyond recognition. I tried to get this concept over in the story ‛Surreal’ in the Firedance anthology. I’m not sure if I did as well as I hoped, but one editor said she actually cried with joy at the last line. Fine, 🙂 something worked.
Where do you find your inspiration?
If you empty your head – something will drop in. Ideas seem to float around us, waiting for space to fill.
The group WriterLot http://writerlot.net/writerlot.htm is a constant source of inspiration. It’s a site offering a new piece of work every day – the fill a coffee break, or provide a bedtime story. Often the writers challenge to each other to write in a new genre or in different narrative styles. Some of the challenges have been directly responsible for stunning work – and subsequent success with agents and publishers. ‛Expect Civilian Casualties’ is a case in point (thank you for that wicked challenge, Stephen Godden. I’ll get you back one day).
If you could commit the perfect murder where would you hide the body?
In the sun.
Don’t laugh. It’s worked so far.
Where can I find out more about Gary and buy his books?
Why ‘The Thursday Throng’?
These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.
If you would like to see all the Authors who have been featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here: womanontheedgeofreality.com/2012/06/17/the-thursday-throng/