Interview with Gil Waugh

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I read a lot of non-fiction books. What I read is usual subject based. So, I search on a given subject, then sift through the choices for books that look like they may contain what I'm looking for. Finally, I download a sample of the text to confirm that it is well written and have a quick read. I have discovered some real gems this way.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I have been writing since I was a child. We didn't have a television, and even when we did, it didn't get used very often. Instead, I wrote plays that my brother and sister and I acted out for friends and family. When I was 10 years old, I wrote my first play entitled "The Last Flight" which was about a plane crash in Canada's high arctic. It was about the actual crash, and the hardships faced by the survivors.
What is your writing process?
I have tried many different methods, but the one that still works best for me is working from a synopsis that outlines the general framework of the story. What happens within that framework is often magical as the characters come to life, and wend their way through the adventure, gradually peeling back the embedded mysteries one layer at a time.
I also enjoy drawing from my pool of life experience and bending it in ways that simply aren't possible in the realworld--yet...:-)
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first full novel I read was Tom Sawyer. Twain drew me into the story very quickly and I found that I was alongside Tom and Huck and was experiencing what they experienced in their world. In a sense, books became my first experience with time machines and were pure magic. I felt I could defy gravity and was invincible or as vulnerable as the books protagonists.
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design for me has to in some way echo a central theme or one of the key aspects of the book. Art is a sumptuous, sensual medium that can draw readers into the story before they even open the cover of a book. I also write a theme poem and song for each of my novels. I believe that readers can be drawn into the reading experience through many channels, and they all help make the experience more robust.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Good Times/Bad Times by James Kirkwood.
Jupiter's Travels by Ted Simon.
Gödel, Escher and Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter
Chaos: Making of a New Science by James Gleick

The vastness and capacity of the human spirit is captured in many ways. All of these books were written by very different human beings about very different topics and situations, but all explore the wondrous qualities of the human spirit.
What do you read for pleasure?
My pleasure reading seems to go in cycles.
I enjoy a good Ed McBain (Evan Hunter), R.A. Savatore, Charles de Lint or Robert Sawyer novel, but more often than not find myself drawn to reading non fiction, to stories of travel and adventure and hard science involving mathematical discoveries with practical applications in science.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Android tablet and phone. I started with a Sony eBook when they first came out and went on a reading orgy that slowed after 1000's of pages. I do like the idea of non-proprietary, brand agnostic tools, so the Android platform is appealing to me, resplendent with choice of different looks and feels of eReading applications. Of those applications, I prefer Kobo functionality.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Any venue where I have been able to meet people and conduct a reading and Q&A. Personal contact has always been most effective. I find online tools have truly helped Indie authors. Also, having credible reader reviews really help.
Describe your desk
Clean and organized. Cup of fresh coffee. Computer front and center. Window looking out onto the cedar trees in my back yard.
Notepad with pen.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and spent my early life in Callander, Ontario which is situated on the shore of beautiful Lake Nipissing, a large fresh-water lake in Northern Ontario. We also spent a good amount of time in Coniston, Ontario near Sudbury.
Callander has large wild forests and beautiful natural landscapes; Sudbury when I was young, looked like a lunar landscape. Then while I was still young, we moved to Bells Corners, a suburb of Ottawa, Ontario. The mix of the three areas created an internal appreciation of both wild rural and urban landscapes, and I believe fueled my imagination and experiences to reach out of my comfort zone and find harmony in myself despite where I ended up. My childhood, and wealth of subsequent life experience has helped create my overall worldview, and a large toolkit which I am able to draw from when writing my tales.
When did you first start writing?
I have been writing my entire life. I love writing poetry, although not particularly good at it, find beauty in the mathematics and logic of compressed rhythmic text.
I wrote my first play at 10 years old, my first novella at 13 years old, then a ton of poetry, the first of which was published when I was 15 years old.
I felt a huge gap just before I turned 40 years old, like I had a story to tell that I hadn't told. This resulted in Mind Surfing.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, which is in progress, is about the discovery of documented evidence of an ancient piping tune played by a famous piper in Scotland in the 1700's. Discovery of the tune calls the genetic lineage of a high-profile government official and aspects of piping history into question as its mystery is unfurled. At the helm are master Private Investigators Karen Simpson and her husband Steve Johnson of Sandalwood Investigation Agency who have appeared in Mind Surfing and Evening Song.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Well there was Impatience, hundreds of rejection letters, encouragement and support of my initial readers and friends, and impatience. Just because an author doesn't fit into a publishing house's marketing vision, or niche, doesn't mean they don't have something valuable to say.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It hasn't yet. My first two novels were published in hard-cover format, in trade paperback format, I have done book launches, signings, appeared on radio, television and at a conference in Mexico City as a keynote speaker. I have only recently added my books to the Smashwords library. However, with that said, I love the Smashwords concept, and am committed to going green by publishing in eBook format. Time will tell whether it will help feed my children...;-)!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Living vicariously in the settings I create with my characters, and living with them as they help unveil the story one page at a time. And of course, meeting fans who enjoy my writing. There's no greater sense of satisfaction than knowing that someone has allowed you into their soul, into their mind, and enjoyed the exchange.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are awesome! They are the ones who help validate that I have resonated as an author.
Published 2014-08-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Scottish Gàidhlig - The Secret Sauce
Price: $11.99 USD. Words: 3,700. Language: English. Published: August 29, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Language Instruction » Celtic Languages
A quick reference to Scottish Gàidhlig language essentials. Includes IRREGULAR AND REGULAR VERBS, PREPOSITIONAL PRONOUNS, POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS, QUESTION WORDS, NOUNS AND CASES, THE COPULA – TO BE (Bi/Is), HOW NUMBERS WORK, NEXT STEPS AND RESOURCES.
Mind Surfing
Series: Karen Simpson, Book 1 · Sandalwood Investigation Agency, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 67,170. Language: English. Published: June 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
A botched surveillance during a drug bust in an abandoned bowling alley leads Karen Simpson, a young Ottawa Police officer to an encounter that changes her life forever.
Evening Song - Òran Feasgair
Series: Karen Simpson, Book 2 · Sandalwood Investigation Agency, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 62,300. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
Evening Song is a blend of Scottish language and history, original Celtic music, Einstein''s relativity, a murder mystery, and a tale of eternal love.