Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run every couple of days for the next month or so – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.
Today, I’m pleased to introduce you to Gary Griffin, the author of the Beautiful Girls Mysteries. Gary has been with us for quite some time, and we recently re-released his fun detective series with all new covers. Gary’s a professional and kind man with a background in detective work and I enjoy reading his stories; part of me wonders how much of the crazy stuff that happens to his protagonist actually happened to him!
1. The first book I can remember reading is: The Pigman by Paul Zindel. I was impressed how Zindel alternated the first person points of view between the male and female protagonists from chapter to chapter. I have used that technique a few times in my books. The book impacted me, especially how the protagonists’ friendship with and love of the Pigman changed their lives, even though at times they act badly and immaturely towards Mr. Pignati. I also read a lot of young adult biographies of famous Americans.
2. The first book I ever wrote was: Sexy Girls (original version) in 2004 and 2005. I wrote that on a dare as I said it was a life goal to write a book. My former wife (now in heaven) said, “Just do it”. That was the kick in the pants that got me going!
3. An average day in my life goes like this: During the work week I wake at 5:40AM. I kiss my wife and leave the house by 6:25. I catch my commuter train at 6:55 and begin my creative hour of reading and writing. This is where and how I have done most of my writing for my five mystery novels. I work from 8 to 5, and then have another hour on the train home. I don’t do as much creative work on the night time ride, but it’s always there if I want to do it. Then, I arrive home at 6:45 and have dinner with the family. Often there is some evening event with my theatrically & musically talented family. Weekends are more relaxed and not as structured but still busy.
4. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing from: I found it during an internet search as I was considering how to publish my second mystery, Modern Girls. I had originally self published my first novel but it cost some money and I was wondering if there was a better way to go. There was, with ireadiwrite (the company’s name at the time).
I decided to submit my book because: The company sounded right for me and Michelle was receptive to my writing.
5. The last book I read was: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need: To be on my commuter train! Hah! That’s where I do a lot of my writing, but I also get inspired to write in other places. I do a lot of current event reading of all kinds of subjects and they inspire my writing ideas.
7. My ‘day job’ is: Predicting the future for a big insurance company.
8. I carve out time to write by: Because I need to do it. Plus, I have a lot of blocked out time on my commuter train. I like to be productive and writing is one of the things that help me achieve that good feeling.
9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice: Some sleep on the train! I also give up some pleasure reading and talking time with others.
10. I am currently working on: I’m editing my fourth mystery novel, Philadelphia Mystery. Also, I have my fifth novel, Delaware Detective, about half done.
11. The best piece of advice I ever got was from: Byron Dyer (a former boss) and it was: “Follow the money.” I was working as an business investigator and that was the best thing to do to solve financial frauds and other mysteries.
12. The best piece of advice I would give is: “Keep mixing and pursue your passion!” That’s the best way to be successful!