Today on Page to Page’s Author Interview Series we have Gary B. Haley! Welcome Gary.
A Little on the Personal Side:
What types of books do you read?
I tend to become more interested in authors than types of books. When I was young, I read nearly everything Edgar Rice Burroughs ever wrote, then did the same with Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. I also read a lot of Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Arthur C. Clarke. I was also always interested in history, so I started reading James Michener and Robert Dallek.
What do you love most about writing? What do you not like?
The part I love most about writing is the research necessary to make what I’m writing accurate and believable. What I do NOT enjoy is selling myself. I am not a salesperson. I know you have to sell yourself to be successful, but I do not enjoy that part. Seems a little like bragging to me. Or like trying to pressure people into something, which is SO not me.
Do you have a favorite place to write?
I do! I enjoy going to the Rocky Mountains to write. I often sit by a favorite series of waterfalls near Evergreen, or far off the beaten path in the Rocky Mountain National Park. I’ve pounded away on my keyboard while snow was falling all around me and I’ve sat perfectly still on the side of a mountain while an impressive herd of elk grazed past, above and below me.
A Little on the Professional Side:
What is your thought on eBooks being the new way to read?
I am an author only at night and on weekends. By day I am a software engineer and SQL guru, as you might surmise from The Attunement. So, being an IT Geek, I love an eBook. There is no way I could part from the real thing though, either. There is something about having an autographed first edition of a favorite book by a favorite author that is beyond comparison. I once had lunch with Robert A. Heinlein (“Bob”) back in the ‘80s, and his wife Ginny, of course. He autographed a book for me, one of his last autographs, by the way, and I cherish it. Still, I don’t mind loading a few dozen books on my Windows phone and reading them at my leisure, or referencing one of my own books easily and quickly if someone has a question.
In what ways do you relate to the characters in your latest book?
Nearly every character in The Attunement is based on someone from my past, although the two main characters (and a third, lesser character) represent different parts of the US government in the ‘80s and ‘90s; The Pentagon and the justice system (and government-sponsored spokespersons). I relate to the characters better when they seem like someone I know. Makes them predictable and consistent, so readers can recognize the character from scene to scene, and even identify them by speech patterns or behavior. While having that lunch with Bob, he said that HE was most of the characters in most of his books. Different egos and different times of his life made up his characters. Heinlein said that even his character Friday, a woman, was him trying to get in touch with his feminine side.
What did it feel like to sell your first book? Do you remember where you were when you found out you had sold a book?
It wasn’t the first book that sold that gave me a thrill. I’m sure those first few were family and friends. However, one of the coolest moments of my life (besides that lunch with Heinlein or catching a pass from Roger Staubach when I was eleven) was when I was on the shuttle on 16th Street Mall in Denver, and saw a woman at a table reading my book as I drove by. Felt pretty good.
A Little Quick Fire:
*When it comes to books*
(A quick disclaimer: I have a hard time following the rules… You’ll see what I mean.)
Good Guys or Bad Guys? My characters are usually more true-to-life than that. They are either mostly-good and sometimes bad, or vice-versa.
Fiction or Non-Fiction? I enjoy reading and writing historical fiction, or historical narrative, although I read mostly science fiction growing up.
Handwritten or PC typed? PC typed. I am 100% IT Geek. Also, my handwriting looks like hieroglyphics, so, there you go.
Cozy Nook or Outdoors Oasis? Depends on what I’m writing. Different surroundings can inspire different moods and reactions, but I usually get more done writing in a cozy hideaway in the mountains. Falling snow or a thunderstorm in the distance inspires a lot of people to write, me included.
Happily Ever After or Nail-biter? Can’t we have both? (See what I mean by the disclaimer?)
Writing or Reading? 10% reading, 85% writing, 5%…
*When it comes to you*
Ice Cream or Cake? Frozen yogurt. Seriously. You pick out 1 or 2 flavors and then carefully create your own culinary experience with all the toppings. What’s not to love?
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate. But, dark chocolate. With peanut butter.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee in the morning, sometimes Earl Grey, and then herbal tea later in the day.
Bacon or bacon? Bacon.
Dress Up or Dress Down? Dress down. Jeans or Dockers.
Barefoot or Shoes? Socks, unless I need shoes for wherever I’m going. Like the office, or out snowshoeing.
Cook or Order Out? Cook.
The Scrapbook Lecture – Featured in Fort Worth, Texas Magazine (November 2010)
The Attunement – Paperback:
The Attunement – eBook:
The Scrapbook Lecture – Paperback:
The Scrapbook Lecture – eBook: