Bookpleasures.com welcomes as our guest Author, Actor, Screenwriter and Psychotherapist Gary Edward Gedall.
Norm: Good day Gary and thanks for participating in our interview.
Could you tell our readers a little about yourself and your professional career?
Gary: Well, I’m a British born, psychologist and state registered psychotherapist, living in working in Lausanne, in the French speaking part of Switzerland.
In the first part of my professional life; I gained a Business Degree at Aston University, UK, worked as a computer programmer, and network administrator, also as a professional psychic, amongst other things, before moving at the age of 38 to begin my studies in psychology in Lausanne.
I now work in a transcultural clinic that I run with my wife, who is a psychiatrist, and I am trained and accredited in family therapy, hypnosis and EMDR, we are now completing a post grad., professional training in Equine Assisted Therapy, (therapy using horses).
On the ‘spiritual’ aspect of my life; I have lived in the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland, frequented the Osho ashram in Puna, India, had a contact with Luis Ansa, and his form of shamanism, but over the last 10 years, have been mostly training with the Federation for Shamanic Studies, with whom I’ve taken most of all the trainings on offer.
I have been writing, off and on for most of my life, but it was not until 2003 that I began my first serious book writing project.
Norm: When did you consider yourself a writer and how many books have you authored?
It took me 8 years to write my first book, Remember, but it was only after I had finished my 2nd book, Adventures with the Master, that I thought of myself as a writer. Although, I had no expectations to write anything else afterwards.
However, I now have 8 published and printed books, one only in e-book form, one finished but not yet published, and a number of short stories, which I don’t count.
Norm: What keeps you going?
Gary: Writing is a drug for me. I have ideas coming to me all the time, and I have many writing projects that I feel that I am obliged to fulfil, (even if only for myself and my muse).
Norm: How has your environment/upbringing coloured your writing?
Gary: I have used many autobiographical details and events in my writing, but I cannot clearly point out any particular writing theme that links to my past.
Norm: What has been the best part about being published?
Gary: As I am only published via my own publishing house, I have not benefitted from any of the perks that come from outside. However, I was invited to a book signing even, for which I brought along my 10 yr old son, who was much impressed and quite proud of his dad. That has been the best part, so far.
Norm: What genre are you most interested in writing about and why? As a follow up, where do you get your material for your books?
Gary: All my books are in some ways motivational and in some fashion, ‘educational’. I write technical, self-help, fictional, and fantasy books. I feel that, as well as entertaining people, I wish to offer them, something that adds to the quality of their lives.
Where do I get the material? From everywhere. Of course, I am presented, on a daily basis with people’s stories, but I also create ideas, whilst talking to them, although everything in life comes as an inspiration.
Norm: What helps you focus when you write and do you find it easy reading back your own work? As a follow up, what's the most difficult thing for you about being a writer?
Gary: I don’t have any special tricks to be able to focus while I write, other than being alone. Reading back my work is not a problem, and I am surprised at the question.
What’s the most difficult thing? At the moment, trying to generate a public and not losing all hope and confidence because it hasn’t clicked yet.
Norm: Is your work improvisational or do you have set plans for each of your books?
Gary: Both. Each book, more the academic than the fictional, has to have its structure. However, some of the fictional books are only loosely plotted , where I know vaguely what will happen in the chapter, where-as others, with much more complicated threads, I clearly need more construction.
Norm: What purpose do you believe your books serve and what matters to you about them?
Gary: I hope that they will both entertain and inspire. And, more than fame or fortune, I would wish for them to be read.
Norm: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Gary: That my imagination seems limitless. (And so, ultimately is everyone else’s)
Norm: Does your writing career ever conflict with your career as a Psychotherapist?
Gary: Only as far as time is concerned. I would very much like to be able to afford to reduce my consulting hours, so to have more time to write. Although I would very much hesitate to give up my work as a psy, (not that my patients would let me to).
Norm: Can you briefly tell our readers about your most recent work, The Zen Approach to Modern Living and The Island of Pleasure, Vol 2?
Gary: The Zen book is very much a self-help book, but in the Gedall style. It is a mixture of straight forward advice, mixed in with a solid base of systemic and family therapy, spirituality and inspirational stories, both fiction and non-fiction.
The Island of Pleasure, Vol 2, (Japan), is the 4th book in the Island of Serenity series. In this ‘episode’, Faron, the (anti)hero, finds himself in a Japan of the past, in the body of a young geisha girl. (S)he is instructed to escort and translate for a depressed Japanese-American visitor, the son of Madame Butterfly, ‘her’ cousin.
Norm: What inspired you to write these two books?
Gary: The Zen book is the ‘child’ of another Zen book that I wrote, The Zen Approach to Low Impact Training, of which I have found the concept seeping more and more into my private life, and into my therapies. So I decided to apply it to relationships, and offer it to my clients / readers.
Japan, as the 4th book of a series has a clear place in the general arc of this work. The reason of choosing Japan and a geisha girl, was to give my protagonist an environment in which he could honestly learn how to care for and serve others. This is the only true fashion to really become able to receive pleasure.
Norm : Where can our readers find out more about you and your work ?
Gary : Most of my works can be found on Amazon, please see my AUTHOR'S PAGE
Norm : What is next for Gary Gedall ?
Gary : At this time, I have written 2 film treatments, that would be fun to advance with.
I am writing a series of ‘conspiracy theory’ type books, (just open any newspaper, and you will already know what we are writing about), with 2 collaborators, ‘Heresy’.
I am also supporting my son (10 ½), in writing a novel.
The Serenity series will be nearing its half way mark after I’ve written the 6th book of the series, (the 5th, The Rise & Fall, is done, just needs finishing off). That will be titled The Island of Esteem. (Being the 3rd island of 7).
I still have the 2nd and 3rd volumes for ‘Zen’ and ‘Picturing the Mind’ books to write, so, short term, I won’t be too under-employed.
Norm : As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.
Gary : Where I hope to be in 5 years.
In 5 years, I would like to spend at least half my time writing, maybe appear in a feature film, (I also think that I can act - !), and continue to see a limited number of ‘old’ patients.
Norm : Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavours
And thank you very much for asking.