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.  

Question1- Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it? The Drive In is a collection of short stories with a twist. The short stories are about what goes on behind the doors and windows of the places a person passes on their drive into work. The reader gets to find out what goes on (as the driver can really never know) but along the way you discover why this particular drive in is unlike any other.
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 being a unique way to bring a collection of short stories together. I forgot about it. When I suggested to my publisher 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.
Question2- What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it? There were many challenges but three in particular. Keeping it short as it’s a “drive in” not a “road trip”. Picking out the right stories to include from the dozens I’d written over the years. The connecting story of the man driving into work and not making it a business story or a business book but a story of human emotion that a man is going through at this juncture of his life. I was very pleased with the final outcome.
Question3- Do you plan subsequent books? Yes. I’m working on the follow-up to my STARBook awarded novel The Actor. I have another novel in the works and another collection of short stories.
Question4- When and why did you begin writing? . I started writing in high school where I wrote the music and lyrics for the original songs my band performed. It was around the age of twenty-five when I took to writing with earnest going from poetry, prose and freeform writing into short stories. I didn’t take on a novel until my late twenties. I’ve written nearly every day since then.
Question5- What is your greatest strength as an author? I have a hard time with this so I’ll use my wife’s response. She said I am able to capture the passion and emotion of how people react to the situations they are confronted with that connects with readers’ hearts.
Question6- Did writing this book teach you anything? A lot. The connecting story of The Drive In with the protagonist driving to work became somewhat cathartic for me in switching from my engineering and manufacturing world into this “writing” thing full-time. Although happening in a rather short space of time, there was much more going on in my head than I realized. Much of that made its way into the story. I also learned to never give up on an idea. Ideas have a way of surfacing at the right time provided you’re open and listening and choose to act on them.

 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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