Hello! I haven't done an author interview in quite a long time (this is 100% my fault) and so I thought I had better get back into the swing of things.
You might remember that I interviewed Gerry Fostaty a couple of years ago and today he is back with a new novel. I was allowed to interview him again and so I thought I would ask him a bit about his new book Stage Business and also about how he finds being an author.
I will be reading Stage Business and reviewing it soon, but in the mean time you can buy it either on Kindle or as a paperback. It has had a lot of positive reviews on Amazon already so I suggest checking it out!
If you want to know more about Gerry or his book, you can contact him on his Twitter which is @gfostaty.
1. What is your new novel about?
"Michael Dion is a struggling actor who just got a plum gig working in a prominent theatre company. He can't believe his luck. He is immediately drawn to Amanda, the lead actress in the new show they are rehearsing. He never seems to be able to have the right moment, however, to invite her out for coffee or lunch. Suddenly she approaches him with a request to help find her friend's son who has gone missing. Michael immediately jumps at the chance to help, if only as an effort to create a dialogue between him and Amanda. It all goes downhill from there, of course. Helping out Amanda gets Michael involved with petty criminals, rave culture, and a small drug war. The only way out is for Michael to enlist the help of his colleagues in the theatre company, and their bag of theatrical tricks and devices."
2. Can you describe the main character, Michael?
"Michael is a typical struggling actor. He is constantly looking for his next job, while honing his skills and trying to maintain the discipline that actors need to keep afloat financially, and creatively. He is honest, but finds that sometimes people make assumptions about him, and sometimes he doesn't correct them if it fits his purpose. He is somewhat uncomfortable about that. He, like many other actors, lives in a world outside that of the general public. The actors' life is a constant study of personalities, subtleties of language, and the maintenance of multiple, shifting personas. He understands that it is a struggle to balance it all. One thing he and his theatre colleagues are unaware of, is the formality of their speech in comparison to other people. It makes them a bit conspicuous."
3. What gave you the idea for this novel?
"I had just launched my first book AS YOU WERE, when my literary agent suggested that I try my hand at a mystery. I had worked in the theatre for twenty years, so it was only natural that I set the book in a world in which I was familiar."
4. Who was your favourite character to create?
"Each of the characters was a joy to create, and they all seemed to emerge naturally. I really like Bid, the stage manager, and. Tamara the costume and props co-ordinator. They really represent the resourcefulness of the technical people in the theatre, and they are indispensable to the story."
5. Where is this book set?
"The book is set in Toronto, Canada. I worked in the theatre there for a long time, and I was easily able to place it there. It could have been anywhere, or nowhere in particular, but I think a story needs to be set somewhere concrete, with an identity. I have done a few films and read a few books that were set in fictional cities, and I think it becomes a distraction for the viewer or reader to be looking for benchmarks or reference points to identify the place. It is much easier for the reader to establish the place early, and give life to the setting, almost as a tertiary character."
6. When is this book set?
"The story is very much right now, although the way life and technology changes so rapidly, maybe I should say the day before yesterday. It was a challenge to represent current technology, knowing that it will undoubtedly change soon. For that reason, I made Michael's phone and laptop conspicuously old."
7. Where there any characters that you thought were just created naturally?
"All the characters seemed to emerge organically. By that I mean I tried to represent the archetypes found in most theatre companies. Anyone who has worked on stage will readily identify with the characters, and I think, their day to day situations."
8. Are there any shocking moments or surprises in the narrative that readers will not be ready for?
"There are no vampires, werewolves or wizards; this is a story about ordinary people who find themselves in an extraordinary situation, which can only be resolved through their cunning, resourcefulness and a few office supplies-That's all I'm saying. . ."
9. Are you planning on writing any more novels after this one?
"I have a few ideas, and I am certainly looking to write another book, but I have been getting letters and comments that indicate there should be a sequel to Stage Business. Let me know what you think."
10. Do you have any advice for those writing a book in the same genre?
"Read. That really is the most important thing. And read something in every genre. You will never know what important piece of information will stick with you and inspire an idea that will take root and grow into a great story."
Thanks Gerry! Its always nice interviewing you and seeing what you're up to next.
Here is his book trailer as well, in case you're still unsure about buying the book:
I hope you enjoyed this interview, and if you are an author reading this, I will happily interview you too! All details are on my 'Author FAQ' page.
I'll have another author interview up as soon as I can!