Thursday, 3 March 2016

Q & A with Gary Ross-Jordan

Austerley & Kirkgordon, #1
by G.R. JordanGary Ross-Jordan 

A long forgotten manuscript of music. A genius professor hungering for the dark creatures which drove his studies. A Russian vamp with an icy touch. A government agent pulling everyone's strings. And a former bodyguard trying to hold onto his marriage amidst Eldar creatures threatening the end of the world.

Join Austerley and Kirkgordon on a hunt for Eldar music of a long forgotten race. From America to Russia and across the British Isles, two broken misfits try to pull the world back from a cosmic disaster while keeping at bay their reciprocal loathing.

Paperback, 260 pages
Published October 25th 2015 by Carpetless Publishing

Find it on Goodreads
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Read It & Reap:  September 11, 2016

Currently working on a fantasy novel about paranormal investigators and a story about mermaids appearing off a remote Scottish island both to be published under G R Jordan. Gary first published "Four Life Emotions" a poetry book followed by a Christian work of short allegorical stories called "A Darker Shade of Light."

Previously he spent his time at Loughborough University masquerading as a chemical engineer but ultimately playing American football, Gary worked at changing the shape of cereal flakes and pulled a pallet truck for a living. Watching vegetables freeze at -40'C was another career highlight but currently he is one of the few remaining "blind" air traffic controllers. Having flirted with most places in the UK, he is now based in the Isle of Lewis in Scotland where his free time is spent between raising three young children with his wife, writing and caring for a small flock of chickens. Luckily his writing is influenced by his varied work and life experience as the chickens have not been the poetical inspiration he had hoped for!

Q & A with Gary Ross-Jordan

1. Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
Well, like any good duo, I have two opposites in Messrs Austerley and Kirkgordon. Austerley, formerly Professor Austerley of Miskatonic University, is a genius when it comes to Occult Affairs. He's ever eager to find out about anything strange and is fascinated with persons, places or objects from other worlds. All his life he has been in the darkest libraries and the weirdest places building up an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything unholy and terrifying. For this cat, curiosity always gets the better of him.

His counterpart, Kirkgordon is a former bodyguard. Proficient archer and protector, his former experience with Austerley has given him a loathing for anything strange and their coming back together has each of them at each others throats. Unfortunately for them, their joint skill sets are a perfect match to deal with the forthcoming darkness and they have to rely on each other as the world depends on their getting the job completed.

And just to stir things up a little more, Austerley's former lover, Calandra turns up. She's an 800 year old former shieldmaiden who is now literally ice cold after she was cursed by a witch. When she feels attracted to the married Kirkgordon and he fights his reciprocated feelings, the partnership is threatened as personal takes precedence over professional.

Through a journey around the globe, they are pushed, pulled and prodded until they have to face an unspeakable demon on a remote Scottish island.

2. Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
Jake Caleb Clarke ( is my cover artist, a guy who I have found to be energetic and passionate about his work. I live in the UK and Jake in the USA so communication is by email with Jake being some 6 hours behind time-wise. I'm really not talented in the graphics sense and so I try to give Jake the ideas and essence of the story, usually by giving him highlights of the second or third draft. At that point I try to go a little hands off and let Jake push ideas forward, trying to maximise his talent and not throttle it with my preconceived thoughts.This generally produces graphics I hadn't thought of and it's just a case then of honing down the images and making sure they stand up with the text in the book.

One of the things I have found as an author, and indeed really the CEO of the whole publishing process, is that the one thing you need to succeed at making a great book is talented, enthusiastic people around you to pick up the areas where you either have no or limited talent. Fortunately in Jake, I have someone with bags of both talent and enthusiasm.

3. Describe your ideal writing spot.
I have three children and am soon to have a fourth which means our house is pretty busy. So I don't have a consistent place to write. Generally the view doesn't matter to me but there are three things that do:
1) There is someone there who knows how to make a good coffee! It is my fuel and is like my comforting companion when I am writing. If the coffee is poor then I struggle to focus, it is the potion leading me into the zone.
2) I generally don't like complete quiet so I enjoy coffee shops or places where people are sporadically trundling in and out. I think it helps me to focus but also makes the odd little thirty second break a real diversion. Total silence has never worked for me.
3) A steady table. I usually write on my tablet with a little keyboard I have in the cover that wraps around it. And there is nothing more off putting than a table than rocks back and forward.
Outside of these things I am happy writing wherever. I try and not have too many essentials as it provides a barrier to getting on and writing.

4. What is the best advice you have been given?
Just write, as it's the only way to learn. Neil Gaimen says this in various comments as does Stephen King. And they are right. There is no other way to practise this art we call writing than to simply write. By all means read up on the art but you have to write, even if it is tripe at times. It's how we learn.

5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I'm forty-two now so you are really testing the grey matter. From the dark recesses I remember always being fascinated with aeroplanes. I used to make crude model ones with my Granddad and also spend hours on the Air-fix model kits. I never quite made it to being a professional pilot but I did spend some fifteen hours in a Tomahawk aircraft on the way to becoming an air traffic controller.

But as a teenager I was always writing, mainly poetry and I think life experience has taught me about people and allowed me to flourish into the novel writing.

6. Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or eBooks?
Apologies to all you modern people but it has to be in the solid form. There is something about holding a book and seeing your progress as you turn it sideways. And the flick of the pages with that smell a new book has does it for me. As to whether it's a hardback or paperback, a paperback to hold and read but a hardback always looks better on the shelf!

7. If you could have any supernatural power, what would you choose and why?
Excepting perfect animal attraction to the opposite sex, which all us guys think we have but so few rarely exhibit, it would have to be teleportation. My favourite character was always Nightcrawler from the X-men, strange and weird but incredibly fast and agile. I think I just like the little guy who can rip into the big men.

8. What book are you reading now?
I'm currently reading "Population" by Elizabeth Stephens for the read it and reap program and enjoying it. There's a possibility at at the end of the year I may be looking to write a post-apocalyptic adventure, so this is one of my books in the genre I've decided to read. I'm also reading Baden-Powell's "My adventures as a Spy" which is quite an eye opener into an old profession. In order to gain a deeper perspective into character, I like to mix it up between fiction and non-fiction.

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