Interview with Gary Hays
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book, 21 Guns Bid me Goodbye, although published as a work of fiction, is based off a culmination of real life events, leading to the suicide of my “Wounded Warrior” son, upon returning from his fourth deployment with the U.S. Army. The story, leading to the tragedy, is dashed with humour, as the main character leads the reader through his life. From his early childhood in Florida and Alaska, to his tour in Viet Nam, to his ten years as a songwriter in Nashville, Samuel’s escapades and experiences were far from mundane or ordinary.
Who are your favourite authors?
I particularly enjoy reading the classics. There is valid reasoning for their longevity. Hemingway, O’Conner and Fitzgerald are but three of my favourite authors. I also enjoy the more modern writings of Tom Robbins, for his often quirky approach, and John Irving for his ability to create vividness.
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
What's the best thing about being a writer?
For me, writing is therapy. It’s an undefined escape route, allowing imagination to replace reality, if even briefly.
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
My favorite character is “Raul,” a Cuban immigrant during the 1960’s, who just wanted to be accepted for being a normal kid. Raul’s character provides a learning tool for accepting all people regardless of race, origin, gender or gender preference, religious affiliation or any other belief or label that divides humankind into segments.
Who designed the cover?
I have been a Photoshop “geek” for many years, so I designed my own cover.
Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
Absolutely. We teach ourselves new things every day, even if we don’t realize it. By creating certain scenarios, and dictating the outcomes, I realized what is required of me, for attaining the desired results for goals I have set for myself.
Where can a reader purchase your book?
Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and many other on-line retailers.
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
Though spending a great deal of time preparing blogs, I am writing a new book of fiction, based on nothing but the confines of my imagination, which is dangerous in itself. The story involves two runaway kids in their quest for discovering life outside the parameters of their not so happy homes. Their adventures lead them from the rural back roads of South Carolina, to the deserts of Arizona, fueled onward by a series of unintentional, and not so innocent, crimes along the way.
Does your family support you in your writing career? How?
My family is very supportive. They tolerate my long hours of absence, even though I am always just down the hallway, behind a closed door.
What are you currently reading?
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. This is not the first time I have read this story, but it’s been a long time so it is fresh and new again.