Colin Garrow Interview

Colin Garrow grew up in a former mining town in Northumberland. He has worked in a plethora of professions including: taxi driver, antiques dealer, drama facilitator, theatre director and fish processor, and has occasionally masqueraded as a pirate. All Colin's books are available as eBooks and most are also out in paperback, too. His short stories have appeared in several literary mags, including: SN Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, Word Bohemia, Every Day Fiction, The Grind, A3 Review, 1,000 Words, Inkapture and Scribble Magazine. He currently lives in a humble cottage in North East Scotland where he writes novels, stories, poems

What inspired you to write?
I think at its most basic it comes down to a desire to entertain. Telling stories, making stuff up and creating worlds for my characters, is a way of doing this that doesn't require me to stand up in front of other people and perform (which I've also done a fair bit of).

Did the inspiration to write come to you suddenly, or had you been thinking about it some time?
I've been writing since my mid teens, but for a long time everything I produced was utter drivel, so it took many years before I reached the stage where what was in my head actually made it onto the paper. Having studied drama, I wrote plays for a long time and it was only in the summer of 2013 that I embarked on writing my first novel.

How did you tell your story? In other words, did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I can't do the whole plan/outline/plotting scenario purely because I couldn't bear to know what's going to happen to my characters before it happens. Instead, I come up with a title and then start writing. By writing, I discover the end of the story.

Did you receive any encouragement from family and friends, or did you work on your book alone?
Mostly I work on my own, though more recently I've begun to show the work to other people (other writers, mainly) and take their feedback on board.

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
Each book is individual, so each one has different issues. In some cases I get halfway through, having written the first half quite quickly, but then have to literally force myself to write the rest. I don't believe in writer's block, though I think it'd be very easy to attribute a lack of ideas to some sort of mental impasse. Certainly, if I waited for the 'muse', I'd never get anything done.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
Finishing!

Did you experience any personal transformation after the book was published?
No. Publishing a book always feels great, but it was only with 'Death on a Dirty Afternoon' that I had any kind of plan in place to drive people to read/buy it. So it was fantastic to start selling the book from day one.

What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
Criticism, if it's constructive, is always useful, even if I don't agree with it. But generally, I'll ignore anything that doesn't fit with the way I see things.

Do you have a favorite quote?
John Steinbeck: 'Unless a reviewer has the courage to give you unqualified praise, I say ignore the bastard.'

Favorite book?
Markus Zusak: 'I am the Messenger'.

Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
Charles Dickens. (Obviously!)

What’s something about you that would surprise us?
I once appeared naked in a stage play.