Interview with Douglas Gardham, author of The Drive In

Title: The Drive In

Author: Douglas Gardham

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 130

Genre: Short Stories

Format: Kindle/Paperback

Have you ever been intrigued by what mysteries lie behind the doors and windows of the places you pass by on your drive into work everyday? The Drive In takes you on Tom Johnson‘s commute. Unlike Tom, you’ll get to peek behind some of those closed doors. Remember going to the “Drive-In” theatre? Each story reveals what goes on like watching the “dusk ‘til dawn” features through your car’s windshield. Meet the people at the places Tom only passes by each day. Then discover how his drive in ends like no other.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?
The short stories of this collection have been written over the past twenty years and cover many genres. Most of those short stories have been rewritten many times over the years. That effort has faded with time. The connecting story that I wrote during 2014 turned out to be very challenging. A cathartic exercise in moving from a somewhat traditional career in engineering and manufacturing into this new thing of writing full-time, the story originally was very “business” oriented which I didn’t like. After many rewrites it evolved into more a story of the emotions one goes through driving alone to work in their car. I was very pleased with the final outcome.
Do you have a favorite excerpt from the book? If so, can you share it?
I have several excerpts that I particularly like. Here’s a couple.
He never realized how much he had to change to become who he really was.
At one moment, he was extoling the purity and virtue of creativity and innovation to create a better future and the next considering actions that were contrary to being a good human being.
He smiled thinking of something he’d heard. ‘If I don’t do anything, I won’t make any mistakes. If I don’t make any mistakes, I’ll be perfect. Therefore, by doing nothing, I’ll be perfect’ … and succeed. It was a ridiculous play on words but he didn’t like how it made him feel when he really thought about it.
What do you hope readers will take away after reading the book?
I hope they are entertained by the stories and that it leaves them with some food for thought about all that goes on around them—good and bad.
Who or what is the inspiration for the book?
I’ve written short stories since I started writing. Years ago while driving to work, I was struck by the idea of the places I passed on my way being a unique way to bring a collection of short stories together. I forgot about it. When I suggested to my publisher of wanting to publish a couple of my short stories to help promote my STARBook awarded novel The Actor, iUniverse suggested I put a number of my short stories together in a collection. My “drive in to work” idea came back and hence The Drive In came to fruition.
Have you had a mentor? If so, can you talk about them a little?
I’ve had two very special mentors in my life that The Drive In is dedicated to. I don’t know why I’ve had the good fortunate to be raised by two such special people. Who picked me up when I tripped and fell and who were always there for me whether I wanted them to be or not.
I have heard it said in order to be a good writer, you have to be a reader as well? Do you find this to be true? And if you are a reader, do you have a favorite genre and/or author?
Reading was probably my first love. I liked to read at a very young age but had no inclination to write until later in my teen years. I didn’t take earnestly to writing until my mid-twenties and have never looked back. I can’t imagine a world without books.

Douglas Gardham is the author of the STARbook-awarded novel The Actor. He lives near Toronto, Canada with his wife, dog and cat. He loves books, music and movies. This is his second published novel.

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