Colin Garrow grew up in a former mining town in Northumberland. He has worked in a plethora of professions including: taxi driver, antiques dealer, drama facilitator, theatre director and fish processor, and has occasionally masqueraded as a pirate. All Colin’s books are available as eBooks and paperback. His short stories have appeared in several literary mags, including: SN Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Grind, A3 Review, Inkapture and Scribble Magazine. He currently lives in a humble cottage in North East Scotland where he writes novels, stories and the occasional song.
What inspires you to write?
I love playing around with words and creating characters and scenarios. The inspiration to write is partly to entertain myself and partly to see other people enjoying what I write. It’s a bit like performing on stage (which I’ve done) – I get a lot of satisfaction in seeing an appreciation for what I’ve created.
Tell us about your writing process.
The only time I planned a writing project was when I wrote a stage play called ‘The Body in the Bag’. It was the story of murderers Burke and Hare and I used a transcript from the original trial as an outline. Aside from that, I hate planning, so I start with the title and then write the book to find out what it means. For instance, with the first book in my middle grade series The Christie McKinnon Adventures, I wanted a five-word title inspired by one of the best titles ever – ‘The Wolves of Willoughby Chase’. I wanted to include alliteration and, ideally, a question. I came up with ‘The Hounds of Hellerby Hall’, so then I had to work out what Hellerby Hall was, what had happened there and what the hounds had to do with it. The other thing I’ve done more recently is to create a book cover that helps me work out what the story will be about, so my process is: title, cover, story.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen to the sound of their voices by reading aloud. This sometimes results in changing their dialogue to reflect what they seem to sound like (or should sound like), so can alter the way my characters use words, language and accents.
Who are your favorite authors?
My absolute favourite would have to be Stephen King, as I love everything he writes and the way he uses language. I’d also include Robert McCammon, Thomas Harris, Margaret Attwood, George Orwell, Graham Greene, Ann Cleeves, Val McDermid and indie authors Jake Needham, JD Hughes, Keith Dixon, Maggie James and Robert Crouch. Of course, there are many others and I’m always keen to try new authors.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’d started a couple of novels many years ago and one summer decided to see if I could finish them. On doing so, I began sending them out to literary agents. Some liked what they read but most just weren’t interested in taking on ‘another new author’. After two years of rejections, I looked into indie publishing and initially put my first few books onto Smashwords. Later, I also put them on Amazon.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I don’t think traditional publishing is likely to die out, but the lack of opportunities for new authors on this path is pretty dismal, so I think the way forward is in indie publishing.
What genres do you write?
murder, mystery, horror, humour
What formats are your books in?
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.