Short, Sharp Interview: Gary Anderson

PDB: Can you pitch THE GWOUSZ AFFAIR in 25 words or less?

Apparently not. How about 28?

When the head of a developed heifer surfaces in the nation’s capital, P.I. Cornelius Planke must wade into the depths of a perilous underworld to find her killer.

PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

Bebop Jazz always floats my boat. Eric Dolphy, Lee Morgan, Diz. Lately, I’ve taken a shining to Brad Mehldau. I love the way he takes pop music and twists it into this recognizable but almost not menagerie of sound. Also, as far as boat floating goes, Medeski, Martin, and Wood, and the Bad Plus always do it, too.

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

No, sir. But let me qualify that by saying I don’t think anyone is an objective reader. I hate to bring Husserl into it, but he says “. . . we can only know what we experience.” In the case of reading, we all see reality through different lenses. These lenses color everything that we perceive, including constructs of the mind and imagination. Some might call this baggage. Whatever. As a writer, my understanding of writing is one of the lenses that color my perceptions. So, like most readers, I often stop to admire a beautifully articulate line, but I may also stop to admire a wonderfully intricate and realized plot. Or a fully developed character. This all begs the question, why even try for objectivity?

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

In a word, no. That’s a whole other animal, as far as I’m concerned—one that I know very little about.

GAnderson2 (2)PDB: How much research goes into each book?

I like research. Most of the research I do before sitting down to begin a novel is simply background research. This gets me in the right headspace, I guess. But the actual nuts and bolts of research are all done as I’m writing. The main reason for this is I don’t always know where the plot will take me. For The Gwousz Affair, for example, I had to do a bit of research on enemas. I didn’t know before I started writing the book that I would need to become an armchair expert on what goes into giving a good and meaningful enema. Just never crossed my mind until it came up in the book.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

To be honest, I’m still learning how to best use social media. I’m not by nature a self-promoter. But in these self-publishing times, you simply have to be. You have to be willing to put it out there a bit, you know. Hopefully, people understand this and don’t react with too much vehemence to another tweet about my “goddamn book about cows!”

PDB: What’s on the cards for 2014?

I’m revising a book about a man who suddenly and quite inexplicably begins to lactate. I finished the first draft some years ago and have found an interested publisher. But it will need a few rewrites. Aside from that, the sequel to The Gwousz Affair is on my to-do list. Things are percolating as we speak.

Bio: Gary Anderson was born and raised on the prairies of southern Alberta, Canada. Upon taking an advance degree in English Literature, he moved to Korea, where he worked in educational publishing. After a ten year stay in Korea, Gary returned to the West. He now lives and writes in Central New Jersey. His latest novel, The Gwousz Affair is published by Crime Wave Press. You can visit him at  or follow him on Twitter at @GAnderson_Write.


One thought on “Short, Sharp Interview: Gary Anderson

  1. I completely agree with Mr. Anderson regarding objective reading. Fiction, books, literature: these are all subjective; they’re all personal for each reader. And me, I’m always looking for a new PI series to obsess over, and Cornelius Planke (great name!) sounds like an interesting and formidable protagonist. Great interview.

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