I’m very pleased to welcome Australian author Gary Lines to the blog today. Gary’s novel, Doing Life in Paradise, was published on 8th February by Clink Street Publishing. You can order from Amazon UK here and Amazon.com here.
First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?
Sadly, I don’t look like Orlando Bloom as will be evident in my pic. I am a writer and as such my favourite exercise is eating and drinking. I am 64, educated in Adelaide Australia, have lived in New York, Paris, Los Angeles and various cities in Australia – I think I have a nomad gene.
What inspired you to start writing?
I have always written, I was published in my high school annual magazine when I was 16 and it was excruciatingly bad, since then I have continued to assault the world with my writing, whether they want it or not.
Tell me about your journey to publication
I have written 7 screenplays, two novels, numerous short stories, a play and an episode for a television show, which aired on the Nine Network in Australia. I have won several national competitions for writing and runner up a number of times. Not all of this was published or produced, but it is all part of a writer’s apprenticeship. So my journey has been, and will continue to be, to keep writing; this is the only way to succeed as a writer, as obvious as that may be.
In a nutshell, what is your latest book about?
Doing Life in Paradise explores the impact and ripple effect of trauma on a group of strangers inextricably linked by, and witness to, a tragic accident.
Through the eyes of its flawed, larger than life characters, each trapped in their own psychological struggle for survival, the novel exposes the absurdity of life, and dependence on hope to find meaning within life’s disinterest. It explores the peculiar places life can take us, while exposing the curious strategies we each employ in order to survive.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
In my experience titles write themselves. I rarely start with a title. I let the work, the story and the themes of the novel tell me what it should be called. If you read this novel, you will see how the title tells the story.
How do you plan to celebrate/did you celebrate publication day?
LOL, I might be a bit beyond celebration. I suppose a delicate French champagne might be my choice. I will share it with my partner, she has had to put up with me and my writing life for decades. I woke up on Publication Day, anxious to see how life had changed, unfortunately, it was a Wednesday, which in my neighbourhood is rubbish collection day. So I put the wheelie bin out, nothing’s changed.
Do you have a work in progress just now?
I always have works in progress but yes, specifically I am writing the sequel, where the protagonist is the writer of Doing life in Paradise but is still nonetheless fictional and loveless, but he has a plan.
What’s your favourite book you’ve read in the past few months? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose!
I hate to say this because it will make me look like a pretentious prat, which might not be far from the truth according to some. I read Prof Terry Eagleton’s new title Hope Without Optimism, it is very good, if you are interested in these things, and you might not know it but you are interested in these things, if you choose to read my novel. I have also read Jonathan Franzen’s latest Purity. Franzen is a very clever storyteller.
What are you reading just now?
I am reading John Irving’s avenue of mysteries.
Tell me about your reading habits: book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?
I usually read two or more books at a time. I never read in the bath, I hate baths and if you drop your book you have a problem but not as much of a problem as dropping your Kindle. I read anytime but probably late morning after my writing session. I am old fashioned, I still read printed books. I do not possess a Kindle, I barely understand my stapler much less my phone.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
I don’t Tweet, I don’t Facebook, I don’t Instagram, I can do post-It-notes. But you can send me an email by going onto my web page; www.GaryNLinesAuthor.com. I will read it. I may even answer.
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
The White Whale in Moby Dick. Captain Ahab went mad as he spent his life in pursuit of his white whale. I think a life spent driving someone mad is a life worth living. We all have our White Whale; it drives us and destroys us.