Interview with Gabriel Farago

What are your five favorite books, and why?
War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy;
For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemmingway;
East of Eden; by John Steinbeck;
Paradise Lost; by John Milton;
To Kill a Mockingbird; by Lee Harper;
The River God; Wilbur Smith
The reason I love these books is this: they are totally original, brilliantly written, inspirational and therefore timeless. For a writer like me who is always striving for excellence, they are shining examples of what can be...
What do you read for pleasure?
Not surprisingly, I love reading thrillers. Perhaps this has something to do with wanting to find out what the ‘competition’ is up to...
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
My website—the hub of the wheel.
All roads lead to Rome, or in my case, to my website. I look at my website as the main contact point between myself, the author, and the outside world. It’s the sign above my shop, the ad in the paper, the entry in the phonebook, the name on my office door all wrapped into one and much, much more. I’m therefore stating the obvious when I say that it’s of vital importance to make a good impression right from the start.
It is what the cyber-world SEES and how it learns about you, how it perceives you and how it judges you and what you stand for. It is an extraordinary opportunity to INTRODUCE yourself and your work, and it is absolutely crucial to get this right from the very start. Once again, we only have seconds to do this, and if we fail, our visitors will move on and rarely return for another look if we disappoint them and fail to engage. There are no second chances.
I am very active on social media and extensively use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Goodreads and LinkedIn to promote my work. I spend approximately one hour a day dealing with social media. These are the main tools I use for building my author profile and market my books.
Describe your desk
Three large screens, printer, fax machine, copier, speakers, several framed photos, an assortment of pens, notepads and coffee cups, all surrounded by reference books, strategically arranged along a wooden bench facing a panoramic window overlooking a sprawling garden. Yes, I think that’s about it.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
As a lawyer with a passion for history and archaeology, I had to wait many years before I could pursue another passion – writing – in earnest. However, my love of books and storytelling started long before that.
I grew up in Austria in my grandfather’s hunting lodge and went to school in a monastery run by the Jesuits. This has not only given me a splendid education, but instilled in me a great love of books. I remember as a young boy reading biographies and history books with a torch under the bed covers, and then writing stories about archaeologists and explorers the next day, instead of doing homework. While I regularly got into trouble for this, I believe we can only do well in our endeavours if we are passionate about the things we love. For me, writing became a passion at an early age and the books I read as a young boy certainly influenced my writing later in life.
When did you first start writing?
Ask any serious storyteller if he can remember the first story he told in public. I’m sure he can; most vividly. I certainly remember mine.
It happened at school in Austria many years ago. I must have been about ten or eleven at the time. Before sending us home for the day, our teacher told us that we would all have to tell a little story to the class the next day. Instead of being intimidated by this, I was actually very excited. I had been telling stories to my grandmother and my two great aunts who were living with us, for years. I remember when they got tired of listening to me, I used to tell stories to Lumpi, our dachshund, who was usually asleep by the fire. So, the most difficult thing for me was not to think of a story I could tell in class, but which one to choose. I settled on the one about the Major and the photograph in the window; one of my favourites.
After telling my story in class the teacher asked me to write it down, which I did. The story was sent to a local paper which actually published it. After that, there was nothing that could hold me back!
This was the little story:
“It happened in Prague on a warm Sunday morning in the spring of 1904. The dashing young officer – a major in the Austro-Hungarian army – had just arrived by train from Budapest. Looking very dapper in his uniform as he crossed the Charles Bridge, he was on his way up to the castle to meet a friend.
Not only the young women promenading on the bridge, but even the haughty matrons hurrying to church turned their heads as he walked past. When he left the bridge and entered the Little Quarter, something caught his eye in the shop window of a well-known photographer. The major stopped, lit a cigarette, and looked at the photograph displayed on an easel in the window. It was a portrait of a young woman sitting on a chaise lounge. She looks like a Greek goddess, he thought, fascinated by the striking woman in the photograph. The officer stood there for a long while, oblivious of the throng of the passers by giving him curious looks.
The major returned to the studio on Monday morning and asked to speak to the photographer who had taken the picture he had so admired the day before.
‘Can you tell me who that young woman is in the photograph over there?’ he asked, pointing to the picture in the window. At first, the photographer was evasive, and didn’t want to provide any information. The major insisted. In those days, one didn’t refuse a request made by a senior officer in the Austro-Hungarian army. Rolling his eyes, the photographer relented with a shrug, reached under the counter, and opened his appointment book.
‘The young lady is the daughter of a prominent doctor,’ he said. ‘The photograph was taken in the family home here in Prague a month ago.’
‘May I have a name and an address, please?’ asked the officer.
‘The family lives near Bertramka …’
‘The villa where Mozart composed the overture to Don Giovanni a few hours before its premiere?’ interrupted the major.
‘That’s the one. The doctor lives next door.’
‘I know where it is.’
The major called on the doctor the next day, introduced himself and described the curious incident with the photograph in the window.
‘I can’t quite explain it, but something about the young lady has affected be deeply …’ he told the doctor. ‘Is she here? Would it be possible to meet her?’
‘Yes,’ said the doctor, smiling, ‘come.’ He took the major to an open window overlooking a beautiful garden at the back of the house, and pointed to a young woman of about 18, sitting on a bench with a book in her lap. Looking up, she waved to her father. When her eyes turned to the handsome stranger in the uniform standing next to him, her heart missed a beat.
Three months later, the major and the young woman were married. That’s how my grandfather met my grandmother.”
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book – The Hidden Genes of Professor K, a medical thriller – is book four in the Jack Rogan Mysteries series. It was inspired by the extraordinary research being carried out by scientists at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney where I am a director. Medical research is another serious interest of mine.
Writing The Hidden Genes of Professor K was an ambitious project. For a layman like me, exploring subjects touching on cutting-edge medical research and complex science is never easy, and would not have been possible without the guiding hand and generous help of leading experts. The learning curve was steep but very rewarding. It took me two years to write the book.
There has probably never been a more exciting time to be a research scientist than right now. Progress is breathtaking, the possibilities endless, breakthroughs come almost daily, and the speed of progress is head-spinning. Advances in technology are making the unthinkable possible, and what would once have taken two scientists several years of painstaking work, can now be done by a machine overnight!
I firmly believe that we are about to open a treasure-trove of knowledge buried in our genome right here, inside us all, that will transform the future of medicine and the journey of man.

Now, let me tell you a little about the characters and the plot:
Professor K— world-renowned scientist—knows he’s close to a ground-breaking discovery. He also knows he’s dying. With his last breath he anoints Dr Alexandra Delacroix as his successor and pleads with her to carry on his work. Unwittingly, Delacroix enters a dangerous world of unbridled ambition and greed that threatens to destroy her. Desperate and alone, she turns to Jack Rogan—celebrated author and journalist—for help.
Alistair Macbeth—self-made billionaire and enigmatic founder of Blackburn Pharmaceuticals—has a murky past. He knows he must secure Professor K’s discovery for his empire, or perish. Powerful and ruthless, he will stop at nothing to achieve his dark and deep desires.
Meanwhile, when the parents of famous rock star, Isis, are brutally murdered, Jack Rogan is asked to investigate.
On a perilous journey of discovery which takes them around the globe, Jack and Lola Rodriguez—Isis’ resourceful PA—join forces with Jana Gonski, a former police officer; Dr Bettany Rosen, a tireless campaigner for the destitute and forgotten; and Tristan, a gifted boy with psychic powers. Together, they expose a complex web of fiercely guarded secrets and heinous crimes of the past that can ruin them all and change history.
Will Rogan succeed? Will the dreams of a visionary scientist with the power to change the future of medicine fall into the wrong hands, or will his genius benefit mankind and prevent untold misery and suffering for generations to come?

Intrigued? I hope so. If I’ve piqued your interest, you can read the book right now! Please visit my website to find out more.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am a self-published author with my own publishing entity – Bear & King Publishing – which I own and operate to publish my books. To assist other authors, I have written a personal guide to self-publishing entitled: Going It Alone: Why writing your book is not enough. It contains all the advice I can offer based on several years of experience. The book is available on Amazon and all other major platforms. More information about the book can be found on my website.

The entire publishing landscape has changed—dramatically—and is still changing as you read this. The changes have been staggering, and self-publishing has become a viable, respected alternative to yesterday’s ‘traditional’ publishing.
The unwarranted stigma that once applied to publishing your own work— the vanity press of old—has long gone, and not only unknown ‘first-timers’ are striking out, but many well-established, best-selling authors are now actively looking at self-publishing as an attractive alternative to being ‘locked into’ a publishing contract where the publisher makes most of the decisions, has most of the say, and keeps most of the money.

Let’s have a closer look. Would you rather be the master of your own destiny, have complete control over your work and how it is presented, promoted, marketed and sold, and keep most of the money generated by it? Or are you prepared to surrender your independence, abdicate from decision-making, hand over the lion’s share of the money earned by your hard work in return for the publisher ‘doing it all’ on your behalf? And perhaps most infuriating of all, would you rather have your work judged by the market, or are you prepared to let the publisher have the final word about the quality and merit of your work, and decide whether or not it should be published at all?

For me, the answer was obvious. Self-publishing was the way to go.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The joy of learning and letting my imagination run free, closely followed by the relentless pursuit of excellence.
What do your fans mean to you?
The world! They are the main reason I keep writing!
What are you working on next?
My next book: The Stolen Recipes of Suleiman the Magnificent which will be book five in the Jack Rogan Mysteries series. This is a thriller about the intriguing world of celebrity chefs with huge egos, Michelin starred restaurants and cooking; cooking; cooking! The book is set in Florence, Venice and Istanbul. I have visited all of these places again last year and have completed most of the research for this project. I travel for about two months every year and visit all of the places mention in the book I am working on at the time. I hope to release the book at the end of next year.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have a degree in literature, and enjoy reading the classics, especially Russian, German and French classics by authors like Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Pushkin, Goethe, Schiller, Thomas Mann and Günter Grass. French writers like Dumas, Flaubert and Balzac are favourites. Without doubt, they have all had a profound influence on my writing. As for who inspires me, well, somehow all of them do. I draw on literature generally for inspiration, and try to hone my craft by studying the work of many authors.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
For me, every day is a good day, and an opportunity to do better!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I travel a lot; about two months of every year. For authenticity and research, I visit all the places mentioned in my books. I love the outdoors, and am a keen gardener, surfer and bushwalker. I also spend a lot of time promoting my work. I give talks and seminars not only about my books, but also about self-publishing and try to help new authors to find their way in the treacherous publishing jungle. In addition, I attend book fairs, mainly in London, Frankfurt, and New York to promote my work.
Published 2016-11-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Kimberley Secret: A Jack Rogan Mysteries Prequel
Price: Free! Words: 33,580. Language: English. Published: October 2, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
A Prequel to the Jack Rogan Mysteries Series. When celebrated war correspondent Jack Rogan receives a phone call during a bloody battle in Afghanistan, he knows something is wrong; his father is dying. With his last breath, Rogan’s father makes a disturbing revelation that rocks his son to the core and leaves him pondering who he really is, and where he came from.
The Forgotten Painting
Price: Free! Words: 29,850. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
When celebrated author Jack Rogan stumbles upon a hidden diary, he can’t resist investigating. Honouring the last wish of a dying friend, he is irresistibly drawn into a web of intriguing clues, hinting at a long forgotten treasure.
Going It Alone: Why Just Writing Your Book Is Not Enough! A Personal Guide To Self-Publishing
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 21,580. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing, Nonfiction » Reference » Publishing & books
Becoming a self-published author doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It is a journey of discovery, with highs and lows, many challenges – sometimes disappointments – but also triumphs and success. Self-published international thriller author, Gabriel Farago, shares his journey to demystify self-publishing, and provides a practical guide to help you understand this complex, and often misunderstood subject
Letters From The Attic
Price: Free! Words: 15,800. Language: English. Published: May 9, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime
(5.00 from 1 review)
What you always wanted to know ... Step into the attic where the Jack Rogan Mysteries were conceived and created, and discover the intriguing world of the best selling and multi award-winning historical thriller writer.