Previous reviews are at Mack Pitches Up

Friday, July 16, 2010

Interview: Gary M. Dobbs, Part 3, The Wrap Up - Gary Talks About Ebooks, Social Media & Book Promotion, Acting

Part 1 of the interview.
Part 2 of the interview.
A Policeman's Lot is reviewed here.

This concludes my interview with Gary and I would like to thank him for making my first blog interview such a pleasant experience. His openness is much appreciated and it let us see the man behind the books.

10) A Policeman's Lot was published in ebook format. What do you think about ebooks and their effect on publishing.

Gary - I think that eBooks will change the way we read. And I also see that as the market stabilises they provide a great way to bring long out of print mid-range fiction back into print. More and more libraries over here in the UK are starting to offer eBooks and even the Luddites out there are having to admit that there is a great sea change coming. I'm pleased that A Policeman's Lot can be read on so many different devices - it looks great on an iPhone for instance. And although it is still early days for the medium I think it is about to explode into the mainstream and sooner rather than later.

11) I learned about A Policeman's Lot through your blog, The Tainted Archive. You are also on Facebook and Twitter. Do you think that social media is changing how books are publicized and the author's role in publicity? If so, how do the demands to promote your books affect your writing?

Gary - These days I do believe the author's own publicity is paramount and social networking and blogs are a great way of doing this. Of course The Tainted Archive exists largely to publicise my own books but if I simply wrote about my own stuff readers would turn away, which is why I try and make the Archive into an interesting online magazine that people will want to read and keep reading. I put a lot of work into maintaining the site - themed weekends, special initiative etc and posting whatever news I think will interest my readers. I enjoy the Archive and am proud of its standing in the blogosphere. I will, of course, continue to push my own books but others too. And as for the demand of the Archive affecting my writing - I think it does but in a good way. I look at the Archive as a work in progress and I sometimes rush posts to get them out there, not worrying too much about the odd mistake. A blog does not have to be perfectly grammatical - it's a great way though to develop discipline. For instance today I've just returned from twelve hours on set and I intend to place up a few posts later and that's besides the other work I have to do - I guess I'm a workaholic and am never happier than when grafting. Something that me and Frank Parade have in common.

11) I can't leave this interview without asking about your acting. I'm a bit of a Whovian and am envious that you were in the presence of the Doctor, Martha Jones, the Darleks, and you had your photo taken in the Tardis! Tell us about you as a performer.

Gary - I've always been interested in acting and any kind of performing - I've done a good amount of stand up comedy and that led to appearing as an extra in TV and film in order to raise some extra cash which is always handy. And I'm always going for any auditions I hear about - often I'm just a bit of the background but sometimes I get the odd line or a piece of action. Doctor Who was great - this was the two part Daleks in Manhattan episode with David Tennant as the timelord. Can't praise him enough - in terms of performance or as a person. It was also great facing off against the iconic monsters. Torchwood was a bizarre experience - I actually did three episodes of that series and enjoyed every minute of it, well apart from filming in the freezing cold and rain all night.  The SF/Fantasy shows are great fun to work on but it is hard work, long days and much discomfort. 

12). Is there anything you would like to tell us about yourself, personal or how you go about writing?

Gary - I grew up in the seventies and had no schooling to talk about - everything I learned I learned form reading. Incidentally my mother taught me to read, I think the school gave up on me. And ever since I started reading I have also been writing, it's something I have to do. I was a solitary child and lived much of my life within my imagination - it's not something I can switch off. I write simply because I have to write. And besides the fact that I write at all is quite remarkable given that my teachers were morons and too busy trying to ram algebra down my throat instead of encouraging creative growth.