Interview with Gerry MacOstair

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The act or of writing, actually. The process when thoughts eventually take shape to become sentences, paragraphs, chapters ...
Who are your favorite authors?
Oh, my! After 40 years of reading across all genres, keeping this list short is quite a challenge. Let me put it this way: Unless you haven’t read more than one book (or play, or novella, or short story) by the likes of William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Isabel Allende, Hermann Hesse, Gabo García Márquez, or J.R.R. Tolkien, and felt the urge to immediately recommend each one to a friend, you shouldn’t go and call yourself a serious reader.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The urge to shape into words the ideas that haunted me while I tried to fall asleep the previous evening. If I kept a notepad on my bedside table, I’d never get any sleep.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I once contacted a traditional publisher, offering to send a synopsis for a book. They insisted on receiving the entire manuscript instead, right away. I couldn’t believe my luck – especially so, as they pretended to love it. Then, they had me waiting all of three months. No requests to make changes to the manuscript, not a sign of life. When I eventually contacted them again to check whether or not they had possibly gone out of business, they again told me how much they loved the book, and praised its quality to the skies. Some days later, they asked me to change the entire manuscipt so as to utterly conflict with its original theme. At that point it became clear that no-one had actually read the book. They simply wanted yet another title that was indistinguishable from the half-dozen books they already featured in their catalogue. So I decided that if I had to have my time wasted, I’d rather do it myself.
What are you working on next?
I’m planning on a sequel of sorts to “They Made Me Say It”. It’s supposed to offer strategies and approaches to common issues that increasingly threaten to overwhelm us – individually, but also as a species. Its working title is “Welcome to the 21st Century”.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
A couple of years ago, I discovered mountain biking. Since I’m lucky enough to live only minutes from a number of quite challenging (and therefore rather deserted) tracks, this is the perfect sport to get away from the desk now and then. I always loved to combine physical and mental challenges.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I know a number of aspiring and newly published authors, and I connected with voluntary distributors through social media. So I never run short of interesting books – and I don’t really have to look for them.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was an attempt on a hardboiled detective story that never made it past page 13, when I was eleven. Fortunately, I’m not superstitious ...
What is your writing process?
It usually starts with an idea. Then I am lost to the world, researching the background, verifying facts, following leads. If I cannot establish at least two independent sources agreeing on a fact, I drop the idea. Developing the structure is in general not that much of a struggle. Then I spend a couple of weeks thinking the entire concept over, debating with myself and a number of people whose judgement I trust, to see whether or not I’m happy and comfortable with it. The actual writing (and the knowledge acquired in the process) is kind of a reward for the hard work done.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
No, but I remember reading a collection of fairytales by the Brothers Grimm (someone who thought all children are crazy about such crap had given it to me as a present), and I remember thinking what a waste of paper it was. Fortunately, I happened upon a translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses shortly thereafter.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I don’t have a favourite. I read e-books on whatever device is handy and supporting a range of formats, mostly off-line. I think that is what “read everywhere” is supposed to mean.
Published 2015-11-01.
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Books by This Author

They Made Me Say It
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 49,820. Language: British English. Published: October 11, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Philosophy » Essays
We are living in interesting times. We are facing political, economical, societal and ethical issues, big and small. These issues keep influencing the lives of thousands, even millions of people every day, one way or another. And, perhaps even more important, they influence the way some of our fellows perceive the world we all live in. This is a signed copy.