Guess I’m sort of on an interview kick. Got a ton of other articles to write, but it’s nice to talk to real people sometimes too. Today, we get to meet Tony Gavin, author of The Kill Shot. I’ve not yet experienced this book but I’m looking forward to reviewing the audio. Welcome, Tony.
What do you do for fun?
Until a recent spinal injury robbed me of the pleasure, I enjoyed competition shooting, horse riding and archaeology. Since then, writing has become the prime pleasure in my life. I still accompany my wife (A professional archaeologist) on archaeological digs and adventures and have travelled extensively around the world with her over our 35 years together.
Who or what inspires you the most?
Without a doubt I would not be writing today if it were not for the inspiration received during a chance encounter with Jenna Miller of ‘Ravenna old and new west vestures’ fame. She was my riding partner and wrangler on a dood ranching vacation and she just oozed western spirit and enthusiasm.
About your writing:
What other writers/people do you consider inspirational? If they’re authors, what about their work captures your interest?
I enjoy books by Ken Farmer as well the late Max Brand and Louis L’Amour. They bring the wild west to life in a way that I can only aspire to achieve.
What got you into writing?
My writing began only five years ago with a script for an independent movie production company. Born out of necessity (Keeping down the cost of the short) I wrote the script myself after studying and learning the required skills online. The experience was successful and more importantly enjoyable. Therefore almost immediately I re-wrote that story as a full length book. From there I have progressed to producing number of books, e-books, audiobooks, digital braille books, stage plays and screen plays. All with varying degrees of success.
What is your writing process?
For me the hardest decision is which project to complete next. I still work full time so my time for writing is limited, which is not the case with my ideas. There must be 15 to 20 outlines for various scripts and books just waiting in line. I tend to rotate between the different writing disciplines unless a deadline is looming near.
When do you consider a work complete?
I tend to finish a project and then set it aside for a month or two and come back to it. It’s surprising how many faults that are found when you do this.
About your book:
Are there any deep themes or messages in the book the readers should be aware of?
In “The Kill Shot” in particular, what is little known and appreciated is the amount of research that has gone into the book. The characters in the book are mostly real people. Camillus Fly the famous photographer of the time for example. Even the lesser throw away characters such as Louis Souc the check in clerc, Gus Westcamp the porter and Mary Tack a housekeeper were all real people working in the Occidental Hotel in 1883. I use them in a fictitious manner of course but I like to imagine that their lives were as exciting as I make them.
What gave you the idea for this book?
I noticed the vast number of photographs of dead people taken back in the 1800’s and researched the reason for this macabre subject. A photographic record was a less stinky means of proving a bounty hunters kills to the authorities to collect a reward than delivering a rotting corpse in person. Hence the title “The Kill Shot.”
How long did the book take to write?
Off and on, just over a year.
Who designed the cover?
I went for a different design for the audiobook cover from that on the paperback just to set them apart. It was created by a good friend of mine, Gavin Rymill.
About Other Books:
Do you write in other genres?
Yes. I use the pseudonym Pastor Pat Lalor for the “Godly Law” series of Christian based books for younger people.
Tell us about one other book or series and why it’s important to you.
The Dictionary of the American West by Win Blevins has been invaluable to me for finding words and phrases used in the 1880’s.
What’s one thing very few people know about you?
I was born in England, UK.
What are you non-writing hobbies or interests?
In addition to the hobbies listed above I am a follower of Cowboy Mounted Shooting. The fastest growing equine sport in the USA right now.
(Me: Sounds like fun.)
Thanks for joining us today, Tony. Please tell the readers how to get in touch with you.
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