Gene Myers – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Songs from Lattys Grove, PublishAmerica (August 2010) – a fictional account of a man who receives “night messages” about some of the people in Lattys Grove, OH. Some are humorous, others are criminal…

Tell us something about yourself.

I’m originally from Ohio, but spent most of my life in SoCal. I now live in Carmel, IN. I’m a former international business executive now chasing a few entrepreneurial projects. I’ve been writing all my life—mainly for my own entertainment. After Hours, Adventures Of An International Businessman was published by Strategic Publishing Group of NY last October. I’m married, the father of two grown children, and a triathlete.

What inspired you to write this book?

A strange dream. I dream every night, but never have much recall—except for that one.

How did you choose the title?

The setting is Defiance, OH (where I grew up). I changed the name of the town to a park where we used to play baseball, basketball, and tennis as kids.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

Finding an agent, which I promptly lost. However, he passed some writing samples to AEG Publishing, and they offered me a contract with Strategic to write After Hours.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I used to make up stories or record entertaining events as a kid. I just kept going.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Just one: I write something as soon as I wake. Much is rubbish, but once in a while I get a “keeper.”

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

I think of people I’ve known who remind me of the character (or for whom the character is taken) and play on their names until something sounds reasonable.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

I’ve learned a lot about life by having to watch and listen rather than act and talk. I notice everything—even small, minor occurrences—to use for my stories. When you do that, you learn about much in life including self-improvement.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would start pursuing an agent much earlier, and try to earn a living just by writing. Why? It gives me joy, and in this short life we can’t get enough of that.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?

My taste is very eclectic. I like philosophy, religion, science, adventure, and mysteries. John Kennedy Toole: the most entertaining bit of writing I’ve ever read. Clive Cussler: adventure and escape, especially during air travel. Robert Ludlum: same reason. Franz Kafka: makes me ponder. Edgar Allen Poe: I get lost in his verse. Henry Fielding, Somerset Maughm, Voltaire, Stendahl: art and entertainment.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

It is a sequel to After Hours. The writing is pretty much complete, but I haven’t come up with a working title yet.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Heart before head; that is, be a story teller first and a craftsman second. Please yourself, but seek advice from critics.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

A smart-alecky businessman.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?