Thanks for letting us
you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to
be an author?
I write because Mother Nature planted the seed in me. I never made a conscious decision to be a writer. It was made for me.
I have followed my heart and trusted my instincts my entire life. Almost – almost! – interesting is as a kid I wanted to be a radio announcer. I was an avid reader, of course, and I did well with writing projects in school, but I never dreamt of being a writer growing up.
I was a radio announcer for a few years, but I wasn’t all that good at it and after getting laid off from a job with a baseball team I lost interest.
I then found work as a newspaper reporter and that was when the writing bug bit.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
Oh, go ahead and tell.
The God-honest truth is writing is supremely satisfying.
For a writer. If you’re not a writer and you try to write, you may not like it, just like if I tried to make a living at auto repair or pole vaulting I would starve because I have some zero interest in either auto repair or pole vaulting.
Fortunately, my mechanic has a high level of interest in auto repair.
The perk, life’s ultimate perk, really, is spending your life doing what you were meant to do. There is no greater satisfaction.
And it really doesn’t matter what that is. For me it happens to be writing. For others it might be building a chair or being a doctor or painting. We are all different and we all have something we can do well.
The demands, though, are there are times your wife might want to go out and you have something on your mind that needs to be said. My wife, however, understands this. She may not like it, but she understands it.
You also have zero spare time, because all your time is either spent writing or thinking about writing.
Not that I am complaining. It is nice to have a worthwhile purpose for your life.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
I publish my own work. Many years ago I tried to get an agent, but I could never interest one and ultimate I decided to stop banging my head against the wall.
Looking back, I probably couldn’t find an agent because my early books stunk. Now that I am America’s Foremost Humorist, though, I find I enjoy doing it myself. I like the control over the process I have and I like writing for myself, writing from the heart, then finding an audience for what I’ve done.
The publishing and promotional part of it, however, has been a lot of trial and error. You must remain patient and never quit, because there will be lots of opportunities to do just that.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
They’re probably glad it keeps me out of bars.
Seriously, they like that I have a purpose for my life. It keeps me happy because if Daddy ain’t happy, well, then Daddy ain’t happy. Big deal. It’s not as if Momma ain’t happy.
Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?
Our cat Bonfiglio gets fed before almost anything.
Here’s the morning drill: I wake up, very early, around 4am. I am older now and usually I have to go to the bathroom at this time. After the morning constitutional I will put the coffee on. This is inviolable. I must have coffee. Even when I’m well rested I need coffee.
Then the cat is fed. She has dry food 24/7, but I will give her a can of yummies. Her anticipation of yummies is as great as her expectance of them.
Then I write. The cat has lobbied for yummies, then Daddy’s constitutional, but Daddy isn’t going for that.
In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?
No one calls me! I am like my dad: not the type of person people like to bother for something as trivial as saying hi. My phone seldom rings and if you do call me, it is for a good reason.
Besides, I do most of my writing very early in the morning, before the wife is up and before polite folk are working the phones. Presuming people called me. Which they don’t.
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
I like Facebook, a lot, but have never really taken to Twitter, so to speak. I find the 140 character limit annoying.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
“WE HAVE ONE CHANGE AT THIS LIFE, FRIENDS. THE PEOPLE WHO ARE HAPPIEST, LIKE ME, ARE THOSE THAT SPEND THEIR LIVES FOLLOWING THEIR HEARTS AND TRUSTING THEIR INSTINCTS, BECAUSE THEY WILL INVARIABLY TAKE YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO GO!”
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
Thank you. I like watching the waves.
The best part about being a writer is writing, sitting down every day and doing my work.
Of course, it is nice selling books and it is really nice when someone says they like your work. But books don’t write themselves and every good thing stems from sitting down and actually writing.
It’s a long life and it took many years to realize this. When I was a young writer I would have said “phooey” if someone tried to tell me this, I want to sell books and be famous.
Now, while I would present no violent objection to selling 40 million books and being famous, I would rather sit down and put the work in required to make that happen.
Thank you for the tea.
The Diary of a Nobody is a real-time novel, updated daily at www.writersshack.com. It begins in October, 2013 and was inspired by a 19th century British novel of the same name. Gaylon Kent, 49, is an American writer. In addition to The Diary of a Nobody, Gaylon has written the novel The Regular Guys and Backstairs at the Monte Carlo: A Vegas Memoir. He also writes the columns The Daily Dose and The Bottom Ten. All of Gaylon’s work is available exclusively at www.writersshack.com.
In past lives Gaylon has been, among other things, a radio announcer and a newspaper reporter, as well as working security at the Monte Carlo and Venetian/Palazzo hotels in Las Vegas and working a Brinks armored truck. Gaylon was the Colorado Libertarian Party’s nominee for United States Senate in 2014, finishing third in a six-person race with a bit more than 52,000 votes. He is a two-time graduate of the Harry Wendelstedt School for Umpires and is an accomplished high school sports official. Gaylon served on an old diesel submarine, the USS Blueback, in the Navy and still like his grandfather, Gaylon C Kent, commands his American Legion post. Gaylon and his wife Marian live in Hayden, Colorado. He is originally from Los Angeles. He enjoys a wine pairing from time to time and is known to not wash his coffee mug.
For More Information
- Visit Gaylon's website.