Author: Harry E. Gilleland, Jr.
Today, Bookpleasures.com is once again pleased to interview Harry E. Gilleland, Jr.
Harry is an award-winning poet and author who has published several works of poetry and fiction. He is here today to talk to us about his most recent book, Zack's Choice.
Good day, Harry, and
thanks once again for participating in our interview.
It is my pleasure. Thank you for interviewing me.
Are you a plot or character writer?
I am very much a plot writer. I like for my stories to be fast-paced and plot-driven. I want the plot to be what keeps the reader entertained and guessing what's next.
What helps you focus when you write?
I need to be free of
distractions and interruptions so that I can concentrate totally on
my writing. I like to write late at night after my wife has gone to
bed, the TV is turned off, and it is too
late for telephone calls. I do my best writing from 11 PM to 3 AM for that reason.
Do you find it easy reading back your own work?
Yes, I do. Everyone needs
to read his work after letting it sit for a few days. The first draft
always needs to be modified and improved upon later reading. This
applies to poetry and to prose
What has been the best part about being published?
Well, it surely hasn't
been fame or fortune. (smile) The best part about being a published
author to me has been the friends and contacts I have made with
editors, reviewers, readers, and other
writers. Over the years I have made literally hundreds of friends in the publishing world due to my having published nine books.
What do you think of the new Internet market for writers?
It is undeniably the wave of the future. Although as an older person I still prefer to hold a book in my hands while reading it, I publish my books as e-books simply becausethat is how many people buy and read books now. In general, Internet marketing of books has revolutionized book publishing.
Compared to having to go to a brick-and-mortar bookstore, buying a print book on-line is more convenient and frequently less expensive.
Plus, with the advent of e-books and e-book readers, acquiring e-books is rapid and hundreds of e-books easily can be carried and read anywhere.
Internet marketing of
books opened the publishing world up to thousands of writers who now
have the option of self-publishing their book and seeing their
available throughout the world. I think the Internet has been wonderful for writers and readers both.
How did you go about
creating the character of Zack Gresham in Zack's Choice, and what
inspired you to write the book?
I like to try new genres
in writing my books. I was considering what genre to try next after
having published a fantasy tale ofknights and ladies,a contemporary romance
story, and two historical fiction, action-adventure stories set in
The idea for a contemporary crime-mystery story
popped into my head. The notion of writing in this genre appealed to
me. I mulled a possible plot over in
my mind and did some research into possible background settings.
Slowly the idea for having
a young college student face life-altering choices emerged and Zack
Gresham was born. I wanted him to be young. I
wanted his parents to be lawyers after whom he planned to pattern his life. Thus the possibility of him committing a crime would be a
difficult choice for him. Zack's goodness and gullibility helped lead him astray upon meeting the hitchhiker.
What would you say is the best reason to recommend someone to read Zack's Choice?
I think the book is a highly entertaining and fun read. I hope readers will enjoy the experience and feel their time was spent in a worthwhile manner.
The book is filled with unpredictable plot twists.
What would you like to say to writers who are reading this interview and wondering if they can keep creating, if they are good enough, if their voices and visions matter enough to share?
I'd say don't get discouraged. Publishing is a brutal business filled with rejection and criticism. You must have realistic expectations.
Most books sell less than
150 copies. Becoming an author won't make you rich or famous, in all
likelihood. All writers have
their self-doubts at times.
You have to become
thick-skinned and don't let the naysayers beat you down. You must
keep creating because it fulfills you to do so. You must believe
there is an audience for your
work. Keep trying to improve as a writer.
Write for your own pleasure at being creative. The joy of holding your new book in your hands makes the pain seem worthwhile. And someone will care about your work.
Where can our readers find out more about you and your books?
I have a Personal Website
with some of my poetry and links to all my books at Gilleland
Poetry and Prose:
I also have
an author's page at
What is next for Harry E. Gilleland, Jr.?
I plan a return to writing
poetry for the next several years. I have neglected writing poetry
for the past few years while writing
prose books and serving as Editor-in-chief for 4RV Publishing, a small traditional publisher. I want to rekindle my passion for poetry.
As this interview draws to a close, what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.
What keeps you writing books at age 69 when you are comfortably retired from your academic career instead of just relaxing?
My answer is that I write
for the pure pleasure of creating a poem or a work of prose. You have
to love the writing to keep at it. It keeps
me engaged in life and keeps my mind sharper. Plus, I take comfort in leaving behind a legacy of who I am. I take pleasure in the thought
that after I am dead my thoughts and ideas will survive me and my yet-unborn great-grandchildren will be able to learn what kind of a
man I was.
Thanks once again and good
luck with all of your future endeavors.
Thank you. You are most gracious.