Thursday, 7 May 2015

Author Chat with Brian O Gorman | Giveaway

Today we have author Brian O Gorman on our blog. He is the author of Pharmacon, Dawn Of The Spiders and No Dogs Land. Know more about him and his books here! Below is a giveaway too for a chance to win a signed copy of No Dogs Land!! 

Q: Tell us a little about yourself?
A: My name is Brian O’Gorman, I’m 40 years old and I originally hail from Ormskirk Lancashire in jolly old England. I am married and my household currently houses two teenage boys and a ten year old girl. I have a son and daughter whom live elsewhere. I am a lifelong horror fan, and I love a good book, a well brewed cup of tea or a good tall glass of stout. I am, at times drawn to a good video game and I love a good film.

Q: How did the idea of writing your debut novel, Pharmacon, came?
A: I had written a short story about a man who had a time machine. His ultimate aim was to travel back to a time before he was born and live out the rest of his life in the past. Once he had died, the time would come when he would be born again, therefore he would end up living forever in a constant loop. However his plans are ruined when an old friend turns up with a shotgun and blasts him just as he is going into the machine. The machine gets damaged and he ends up going just twenty years back in time and living as a homeless tramp that stalks his other, younger self. I shelved the story, because I didn’t think it worked. About a year later I read an article about a human ear that had been grown on a rat and I was struck by the idea of a machine that could sort out human deficiencies without the need to go to such lengths. The idea began to bubble in my brain and then I was taking my evening medications and the information leaflet fell out. I had a look at it and it was listing a ton of side effects that the meds could have. That was the eureka moment; What if a healing machine had a grotesque side effect. I began to change the story I had written to match this idea, and it just snowballed from there.

Q: Since how long have you been writing?
A: I started at primary school. I loved writing daft stories and generally the teachers would award me gold stars. It continued through my teenage years, but I never allowed anyone to read anything I had written. Looking back, it was probably a good thing, some of my outlook on the world was vastly different to how it is now and the stuff I was writing didn’t have much in the way of joy or hope. Some of the ideas are still floating around even now.

Q: Where do you see yourself in next 5-10 years?
A: I would like to think that I have a string of moderate successes behind me and that I continue to get the same buzz as I felt when I unboxed my first printed novel. I am aiming to make a comfortable living doing something I totally love and providing for my family. My children will be grown up by then too, so I am looking forward to having some fun times with my wifey.

Q: Why do you write and what is the easiest and hardest part when writing a book?
A: It’s no secret that I am a long term sufferer of manic depression or bipolar affective disorder as it is more commonly known. Writing is a good outlet for all the creative fantasy that whirls around in my head. There are times when I have very little control over how I feel, I sometimes don’t know which version of me is getting out of bed on any given morning, whether it is sad and teary me or irritable me or OCD and anxious me. Whichever version of me it is, they all love to sit and write, it gives me focus and an ability to have control over a world of my own choosing. If it’s a bad day, I tend to be more merciful to my characters or give them hope.
The easy part for me is when I have got an idea and the basic concept of where I want the story to go, then I can just freeform, make it all up as I go along. I never plan out a story much beyond the basic characters and the challenge they are going to face. Everything else just happens as it happens. As far as endings go, I change them right up until publication. Pharmacon originally had a happy ending, but I felt there was more story in there so it had to change.
The hardest part is keeping track of continuity and a time line. I find it really easy to get lost and not know how much time has passed from one chapter to the other. I normally find these discrepancies when I proof read, that’s when the cursing starts.   

Q: Have you faced any challenges yet, in the field of writing?
A: Plenty. Most of which come from people who don’t take what you are trying to do seriously. One of the most amazing comments I ever saw was from somebody from my long forgotten past. I had just put out Pharmacon on kindle and they said “How can he write a book, he’s too thick.” This person obviously forgot that I have a pretty good standard of education and I have been writing for years, and the fact that I had an ebook right there on Amazon. You do get a fair bit of negativity, people can be very cruel when it comes to critiquing your work, but that’s something that you do get used to. On the plus side, most people, especially other authors can be very supportive. For me, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

Q: Who is your biggest support in achieving your goals?
A: Two people have believed in me from day one. The first being my Mum, who sadly passed away in October 2013 nearly a full year before my first book was published. It is my biggest regret in life that she never saw it happen, because I know how proud she would have been. It was her that got me into Stephen King when she handed me a copy of Pet Semetary and told me to read it. I have read pretty much everything he has written since. I released my second book Dawn of the Spiders on, what would have been, her Birthday. The promo carried a tribute to her as do all the books I will release. She was my mother, my co-conspirator and my buddy and I miss her beyond words.
The second person is my wife Zoe. God knows where I would be without her love and support. She listens to every idea I have and tells me if it is any good or not, she proof reads for me and designs most of my book covers. Beyond all of that, she just takes me for who I am, and I know for a fact I can be a difficult guy to live with at times. But we share everything, all the bad stuff and all the good times. The love I have for her simply can’t be measured.

Q: Any projects in the pipeline?
A: Got some good stuff going on at the moment. I have been writing another scare fest called Blackout which tells a story of a man who, after a serious accident can see evil rising in people before they commit acts of violence/murder etc. He has a plan to stop such an attack happening during a solar eclipse whilst everyone is busy staring at the sky. Sounds a bit simplistic, but I don’t want to give too much away. I am also writing (at my daughter’s request) another children’s book called Cheat Mode. This is a story of a young gamer that has his computer struck by lightning during a freak storm. His damaged computer can still have cheats put into it but they affect the hapless young geek who types them in, rather than his game. Would you take out the school bully with an invincibility cheat? I know I would have done…
After that I am cracking on with the next part of Pharmacon. I have some of it written already and it is remaining a bit hush-hush at the moment, but I can tell you that the machine will return and so will our friendly neighborhood Pylon Man.

Q: How well do you think is the audience receiving your performance?
A: The majority of them are offering a lot of positive praise. I do get requests which is pretty good. Lots of people want to see the Pharmacon sequel and some want a follow up to Dawn of the Spiders. The children’s book market is a different kettle of fish altogether; I can’t wait to see what the reaction to No Dogs Land is like. I got asked for an autograph in my local supermarket the other day which was awesome.

Q: Please tell us something about your new book?
A: No Dogs Land came about after I had published Dawn of the Spiders and my daughters wanted me to write something that they could read. I asked them what sort of a book they wanted and it went something like this: “It’s got to have dogs in it that can talk and it has to be a world full of dogs that live underground.” That was my task and I had to write it, so I came up with a plot. “Many years ago all life on earth has come to an end, but deep underground the dogs survived. Four friends, Cally, Gizmo, Poppy and Dylan learn about the above ground known as No Dogs Land and the mysterious Whisperer who, legend has it can restart the world and let the dogs run free again. The four friends make their plans and set off to find the above ground, but many dangers await them.” This plot was approved and off I went. I like to think of it as being a little bit like The Goonies, but with dogs. There is a twist at the end and an open door for a sequel if it generates enough interest. My daughter Keira designed and drew the cover for the book and she had a read of the proof copy. She has given it the thumbs up, so hopefully other children will enjoy it too. It hits Amazon on May 18 on kindle and paperback.

Q: Your message for all authors and for those who want to come in this field?
A: The bottom line is, if you sell one copy of a book or a million copies, just enjoy the process of letting a story unfold in front of you. I can’t get over just how amazing it is to unbox your first run of paperbacks, there is a sense of achievement that I can’t compare to anything else on earth. I have heard a load of people say to me “I have always wanted to write a book” and I always tell them to give it a bash, you never know where it might take you. Another important thing is, never, ever give up on it. You only need the right person to read your work at the right time and you could be set for an amazing career.

Q: List of all the books you have written?
A: There are many that never saw the light of day so within the last two years….
*Rain (short story, unpublished)
*Level Spirit (memoir about living with manic depression, currently shelved)
*Dawn of the Spiders
*The Darkanoids (Shelved, due to the fact that I think it’s rubbish)
*No Dogs Land

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
A: On the 16 and 17 May I will be giving away Dawn of the Spiders on kindle for free in the lead up to No Dogs Land being released on the 18th. If people come and like my author page on Facebook they can be in with a chance of getting their paws on a signed copy of No Dogs Land.

Know more about him here:
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads: Brian O’Gorman

Thank you Brian for agreeing to this interview! Looking forward to reading your books!

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