Today’s Meet the Author post is an author spotlight for the Rave Review’s Book Club Spotlight Author Blog Tour. His bio information is taken from his website, so it’s easier to keep it in first person.
Who is Gordon?
I was born and raised in Glasgow but spent my student years in Edinburgh. On summer vacations, I learned plumbing, garden maintenance, and I cut the grass in the Meadows. I also learned some biochemistry and taught it for a while before I retired to write fiction.
I do some aspects of DIY moderately well and other aspects not so well. I suddenly get very tired when it’s time to clean up the mess. I live with my wife in the west of Scotland where corrupt academics, mystery, murder and intrigue exists mostly in my mind. I enjoy walking in the hills, 60s & 70s music, reading and travel.
I have been writing fiction since 2011 when I retired. Until then I had been writing academic and teaching material and there are a couple of academic books bearing my name. Retirement has allowed me time to do more of what I’ve wanted to do since I was a child – write stories for entertainment.
I published my first novel, Deadly Secrets, with Endeavour Press in 2013. followed by Everything To Lose in 2014. At the beginning of 2015 I decided to leave Endeavour Press and publish myself as an indie.
Then in 2015 I published The Black Fox. To celebrate going indie I had my first two books completely re-edited and refreshed.
My fourth book in the series, Toxic Minds, will be available towards the end of 2015
On writing a trilogy
Keep a Notebook
Writing a trilogy is a large job so it’s essential to keep detailed notes of characters, places, events, injuries, and all the things that describe, interact with or impact on the characters and the story. You are working on three 100,000-piece puzzles at once as opposed to a single 100,000-piece puzzle. The parts have got to fit together perfectly and many of the pieces must fit in all three puzzles. This can be done with a notebook. I started off with a ring-binder folder so I could keep all manner of things in one place.
Now, I use Microsoft OneNote. I have a separate OneNote book for each novel that I write. There are many ways to keep everything together but it is important to keep notes – and keep them up to date –otherwise John A in Bk1 might be rather different to John A in Bk3. You don’t want to have to read through the first two books to find that detail that you need to keep consistent in the third one.
Zoe has an injury. Next time Zoe is in a fight, was injury on her left arm or right arm? – can’t remember!
It is also useful for keeping the timeline so you know what time of the year it is for the characters and you don’t get the weather mixed up, but that’s probably not so much of a problem for books set in UK where snow in the summer is not impossible. In my trilogy, there is a pregnancy that is a trilogy story arc so it was easy to keep track and make sure it didn’t last twelve months.
Have a pad and pencil nearby at all times.
It’s important to remember that your brain will be working on your trilogy 24/7 so have a pad and pencil nearby at all times. Suddenly your brain will resolve an issue or add a new idea. I always try to have a small notepad and pencil nearby because my brain throws up good ideas, but at odd times. If I don’t jot them down, ten minutes later they are gone forever.
The last occasion I was caught out was when we went to see Barry Humphries’s Farewell Dame Edna Experience at the Kings Theatre in Glasgow. I can’t remember what Barry was talking about, but all of a sudden bump-bump-bump I had worked out the sequence of events to conclude a scene. I didn’t have a pencil or paper so I had to detach my listening for the last twenty minutes of the performance, and keep refreshing my mind with the new scene. On the way home, my wife thought
I’d fallen out with her, but I needed to keep refreshing the scene in my head. Pencil and paper – always.
The Black Fox
Zoe Tampsin is resourceful, smart and Special Forces-trained, but she has been given an impossible mission.
She has to protect scientist, Gavin Shawlens, from assassination by the CIA, and discover the secret trapped in Gavin’s mind that the CIA want destroyed.
As the pressure to find Shawlens escalates – the CIA send Zoe’s former mentor to track her down and her fate seems sealed when he surrounds Zoe and Gavin with a ring of steel. With each hour that passes, the ring is tightened, and the window for discovering Gavin’s secret will shut.
Zoe is faced with a decision that goes against all of her survival instincts. If she is wrong – they both die. If she is right – she will discover the secret and become the next target for assassination.
Where to buy Gordon’s books
Where to find Gordon