Author Interview with Garry Abbott
I’m interviewing Garry Abbott today, author of science fiction “The Great Connection”. Welcome to my blog!
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I couldn’t really pinpoint it to a specific time or event. I always enjoyed reading and have always been creative, so I suppose I got to a point where I wanted to try my hand at writing a full length novel or collection of stories. The first time I tried it I wasn’t very good, so I enrolled on some creative writing courses and that’s when I found I really enjoy writing, even if it is a lot of hard work! That was about seven years ago, in my late twenties. I haven’t stopped since (and I got better! Though as an author, you are always looking to improve on your last work).
What inspired you to write The Great Connection?
I was ready to write my first novel having already published a collection of short stories, and at the time I had a few ideas and concepts that were buzzing around. As with a lot of speculative fiction, these ideas were about the progression of current technology into the future and where they may lead us to as a species.
The main premise is about exploring space through observation coupled with virtual reality, and that gives us the backdrop of the story and the instigation of the events that follow. After that, ideas of grid computing, citizen science, genetics and global politics all play their part, but it is very much centred around a small central ‘cast’ of characters who I think are still contemporary enough to identify with.
What do you find the most challenging about being an author?
As a self-published author I am not a fan of the marketing side of things. What I really want to do is get on with writing the next book as I enjoy every stage of that (even if editing can get a bit tiresome after a few drafts!). But I’ve found that if I balance my time, be patient, strategic, and focus on activities I enjoy (like this interview!), it’s not so bad. Worrying about it isn’t going to sell any more books, I’ve found.
What is your editing process like?
I write a first draft with little editing other than to correct continuity and obvious errors. When I have finished this I do a full sweep of the manuscript, correcting mistakes and tweaking or rewriting anything from single sentences to whole chapters if needs be. Then I will get a reader or two to read a copy and give me some feedback on the manuscript as a whole (not copy-editing). If needs be I will repeat all steps based on this! When done, I send this to a copy-editor and I go through the corrections and suggestions myself to produce the final manuscript, with possibly another beta reader to help check I’ve not missed anything.
Are you working on something now?
I am half way through my third book, a science fiction comedy currently called ‘Transported!’. As a fan of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, I’ve always liked the idea of genre comedy, but it’s only now I am writing one that I am finding how much fun it is to do, and how much scope there is to explore big concepts.
It is about the first human teleportation machine, the after life, and the collapse of reality. I’m hoping it will be ready for Spring 2017… just before my first baby arrives! (if not, I may have to put that release date back a bit…)
About the Book
Title: The Great Connection: Worlds in Waiting
Author: Garry Abbott
Genre: Science Fiction
Following an unfortunate incident involving a delivery drone, a fishing net, and a very tall tree; Raif Masters finds himself forced by his overprotective alpha parents to spend his last school holiday exploring extraterrestrial worlds in ‘The Great Connection’: a real-time simulation of the observable universe, rendered into virtual reality home entertainment.
But Raif, a “child of three”, is not alone. Terry, bound to the service of the Masters family, is looking forward to a very early retirement after one last summer looking after his young charge.
Together they meet Cinder, a fellow simunaught who is seeking a crew to share a secret discovery from the other side of the galaxy that could change the life of the Masters, and the future of the Earth, forever.
But are some discoveries best left unconnected?
Garry Abbott is a science fiction author from Staffordshire in the UK where he lives with his wife and two cats.
Garry has published the short story collection ‘The Dimension Scales and Other Stories’, and his first full length space opera novel: ‘The Great Connection: Worlds in Waiting’. He is currently working on his third title, a sci-fi comedy, working title: ‘Transported’.
As well as writing science fiction, Garry has regularly contributed topical comedy sketches for the BBC and produced scripts for community arts productions and performances.
Garry’s influences include Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Philip Pullman, George R. R. Martin and Dennis Potter.