Author Interview Number Eighty-Eight – Gavin Whyte

Welcome to Gavin Whyte

Where are you from and where do you live now? I’m from West Yorkshire, UK. I was born and raised in a town called Huddersfield. Since August 2014 I’ve been residing in Taipei, Taiwan.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc.I’ve seem to have slipped into the inspirational, spirituality and personal development genres, but I don’t intend to stay there (I don’t like to pigeonhole myself). My first book, Waiting for Wings, was written as a gift to help a family grieve. It’s a moving story of friendship, love and loss and is based on true events. It has a theme of life after death running throughout. The Girl with the Green-Tinted Hair is a fable about practicing the art of Being. It’s about following your heart, about accepting change and about accepting death and dying. One reviewer of my most recent book, Happiness & Honey, said it was a fantastic book on the Law of Attraction. Another fable, it’s loosely based on my own experiences about the journey one embarks upon when there is a dream to chase.

Where do you find inspiration? I read, read, read. I practice meditation and have done since I was about 18. I ask a lot of questions about life and death, and study myself meticulously. It’s through this process of self-inquiry that I’m forever refining my philosophy, and it’s through this philosophy that I get inspired.

Are your characters based on real people? My first book, Waiting for Wings, was written as a gift. I never intended to publish it. Because it was written with a grieving family in mind I put them in the story. Dan and his parents are based on real people. The rest are fictional. The Girl with the Green-Tinted Hair contains two characters. A boy and a girl. I am easily both. Reading it back feels like it’s a conversation between myself and I.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? All three of my books are driven by my philosophy on life. Waiting for Wings is all about death and how it isn’t what we have come to believe it is. The Girl with the Green-Tinted Hair is split into four chapters and each chapter is a season. Each season brings with it a lesson for the boy to grasp. Happiness & Honey is a journey about overcoming obstacles and going for what you truly believe in. Because my writing is so heavily driven by a purpose I find it difficult to write any old story. At the moment I believe this is something I need to overcome, as it can be detrimental to the writing process.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? So far my books are available on Amazon as ebooks and paperbacks. The reason they’re only available on Amazon is because at the moment I’m doing this solo and it’s easier to manage. I would like to think that I will expand onto other formats and sites in the future. Watch this space.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? I don’t see a problem with authors commenting on reviews. It can be nice for a reader to leave a review and know that the author has read it and responds accordingly. Responding to a negative review, though, is tricky and it has to be dealt with in a mature, professional manner. I think it’s a massive No-No for authors to get into arguments over a negative review.

Reviews are very important. I encourage readers to review my books all the time. I simply ask for them to be honest. A writer wants their work to be read – what more could proof is there than a review?

When buying a book do you read the reviews? All the time. I have bought books just going on reviews alone. I’ve been disappointed but I’ve also been very satisfied.

What are your reviews on authors reviewing other authors? I’m all for it. I think it’s great. Why would it be a negative thing? A writer appreciates how difficult it is to write. Let’s look after each other. Let’s support one another. I admit, I find it hard to read another’s work because it takes time. I’m not the fastest of readers and I have my own pile of books to read. I don’t accept many books to review even if it means I’ll get a review in return. I don’t think it would be fair for me to accept and not deliver, or for there to be a huge delay in my response.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers?

  1. Read. Read everything you can get your hands on, but especially what inspires you. Reading books in the same genre as you wish to write is great research.
  2. Don’t be scared of failure. We use failure as a springboard to getting to where we want to be. It’s going to be on whatever path you take and you can’t sidestep it. It’s nothing personal, either. It’s part of getting what you desire.
  3. Remember the 4 P’s: Perseverance (Don’t give up) – Patience (It’ll come if you don’t give up) – Positivity (Don’t knock yourself down as a writer – there will be plenty of people who will do that for you) – Practice (write as much as you can).

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? I didn’t enjoy reading until I was 18 because school really put me off it. It was something teachers made me do in front of the class and it filled me with anxiety and tension. Because of this experience I’m currently making up for what I missed out as a child and teenager. I’m currently going through the back catalogue of Roald Dahl. I enjoy my Kindle immensely, which has given me access to countless classics – for free! I delve into these like a kid in a sweet shop. When I read non-fiction, I read philosophy, spirituality and psychology.

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