Just Another Rabid Reader recently got a chance to sit down with Ray Gorham, author of 77 Days in September. Ray had some interesting things to say and I hope you enjoy this chance to get to know him a bit better.
I’m a married father of 5, currently living in Montana where I operate a log home business.
2. What do you do when you are not writing?
Work and family takes up most of my time. I wish I had more time to write.
3. Is there anyone who has influenced/encouraged you to write? Who and how/why?
My father-in-law has been the most encouraging and supportive, thought all of my family has been good. My wife has been very supportive, but very surprised as well that things have been as successful as they have.
4. Can you give a brief synopsis of your journey to publication with your first piece of fiction?
It took me close to a year to have the book ready to submit to agents. I submitted to almost a hundred agents with next to no success and became quite discouraged. I was about to toss in the towel, when the self-publishing digitally opportunity came to my attention. It took me about 6 months to get things in good shape for that, and then have been trying to promote is from there.
4. Do you have a day job as well?
I’m self-employed. I have a small log home business in Montana that is quite busy right now.
6. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I first attempted to write about 10 years ago, but only got a few thousand words in. I started again in 2008 and took about 2.5 years to get the book out.
7. How did you choose the genre you write in?
I chose the story and the genre picked me. I didn’t set out to write in a specific genre.
8. Where do you get your ideas?
Can’t say I know for sure. I just have ideas that seem interesting, and sometimes they are enough that I can get a novel out of.
9. Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Not really. The hard part is finding the time to sit down and do it.
10. Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I have about a one page outline, then I just sit down and write.
11. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
No. I read a lot in different categories and works by different authors. I find if I read too many books by the same author they become repetitive.
12. If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
Overall it was a good learning experience. For the first time, I think it was very beneficial to me. Going forward, I’ll do things different than I did at first, but I’m glad I learned what I did along the way.
13. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
Amazon has been wonderful, with their rankings and reviews and links. I’ve done a little advertising and I’m trying to work with review blogs to get word out there.
14. Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
Being self-published that isn’t such an issue. It would have been this book if Amazon wasn’t around.
15. Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
I’m working on a sequel to this one, and one about a guy who can see the future.
16. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
It is pretty much all imagination. I used some names of friends, but that is about it.
17. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Favorite was in Lubbock, TX, where he meets up with a preacher. I enjoyed the characters and their interactions, though can’t make anything too long because the character has to keep on the move.
18. How did you come up with the title for your current novel?
Just tried to come up with something intriguing and original. I think the title is about the 20th one we came up with. Still not sure it is the best, but at this point I think I’m committed.
19. What project are you working on now?
Just the books I mentioned above. I have lots of ideas but not much time to write.
20. Will you have a new book coming out soon?
At this point I’m not sure when my next book will be out. My day job is real busy, so writing time is non-existant.
21. Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I’d like to continue the story and get the characters to a better ending, but it will take a lot of time.
22. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Haven’t had too much criticism that has hurt. My wife edited the book for me, so when they complain about that I don’t like it, but for the most part things have been good. It’s all so subjective, it’s hard to be hurt by someone else’s opinion.
23. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Nothing profound. Stick to it and don’t count on success. I read message boards with other writers, and so many of them struggle to sell any books at all. It helps me be grateful for the success that I have had.
24. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thanks so much for your support. I really appreciate you taking the time to give me a chance.
I want to thank Ray for taking the time to sit down with us and get to know us. Here is a little more about 77 Days in September and about Ray Gorham
77 Days in September
By Ray Gorham
On a Friday afternoon before Labor Day, Americans are getting ready for the holiday weekend, completely unaware of a long-planned terrorist plot about to be launched against the country. Kyle Tait is settling in for his flight home to Montana when a single nuclear bomb is detonated 300 miles above the heart of America. The blast, an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP), destroys every electrical device in the country, and results in the crippling of the power grid, the shutting down of modern communications, and bringing to a halt most forms of transportation.
Kyle narrowly escapes when his airplane crashes on take-off, only to find himself stranded 2,000 miles from home in a country that has been forced, from a technological standpoint, back to the 19th Century. Confused, hurt, scared, and alone, Kyle must make his way across a hostile continent to a family he’s not even sure has survived the effects of the attack. As Kyle forges his way home, his frightened family faces their own struggles for survival in a community trying to halt its slow spiral into chaos and anarchy.
77 Days in September follows Kyle and his wife, Jennifer, as they are stretched past their breaking point, but find in their devotion to each other the strength to persevere.
About the Author
Ray Gorham was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1966. Prior to settling in the United States in 1991, Ray had the good fortune to live in a variety of locations around the world. Years in Australia, England, Lebanon, Japan, Canada, and the United States all helped shape his background, worldview, and appreciation for other people and cultures.
Upon graduating from college with a degree in Accounting, Ray decided he couldn’t foresee spending a future studying tax law and sitting in front of a computer all day, so he took a management position with Wal-Mart and spent the next 10 years in retail management where he had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of employees and thousands of customers on a weekly basis. After growing tired of working for large corporations, Ray next opened and tried running a restaurant but decided after a year that the restaurant business wasn’t for him either. From there, he found a small, log home business for sale in Montana in 2006 and settled in for what he hoped would be a long-term career.
When the construction industry slowed down in 2008, Ray knew he was going to have a lot of time on his hands, so he determined to cross off one of the items on his bucket list—writing a novel. After thousands of hours of writing and editing, he had the final draft of his first novel, a 108,000-word story of a husband struggling to return to his family after a major terrorist attack incapacitates the country. While agents and publishers have passed on his efforts to this point, Ray has found significant success in digital format, selling over 10,000 copies of his work.
© 2012, lisapottgen. All rights reserved.