Where did the idea for Burying Gabe come from?
I’d had a really long dry spell when it came to inspiration and hadn’t written much new stuff in the middle of the decade. In the summer of 2015, I did a free online course on the Macondo novels of Gabriel Garcia Marquez whose work I’ve enjoyed for a long time. I was particularly enchanted by the novella Leaf Storm, which covers half an hour in the lives of three people waiting in a room with a dead body. The three viewpoints thing fascinated me, and at the same time, I began to think about what happens when someone dies in space, how the remains are dealt with etc. That was where I diverged from the Great Gabo and where Burying Gabe (BG) became its own beast.
You began BG in 2015. Why has it taken you nearly four years to finish and publish it?
I got really stuck with it for about 18 months. At first I wasn’t convinced it needed to go beyond the original concept of three people and a body in a room and put it on a back burner whilst I worked on other stories. Eventually I realised that there had to be more to this story than what I had so far, and figured I might as well push it a bit further and see where I went with it, and it worked so well that I stuck with it!
Go on, tell ’em about your in-house editor…
I don’t know that he wants me to mention him! I wouldn’t have got this far without the support and input of my fiancé Matthew. He’s helped me polish a rough story into something that makes sense, and we’ve corrected typos, formatting and grammar together. It’s our baby, and I love that he’s interested enough to be involved in the editing and story development. Don’t listen to him if he claims that he wrote the joke in the final third, though. That was definitely mine!
What should the reader expect to see from you next?
I have other stories in progress. One in particular is getting close to a completed first draft, at which point we shall begin to edit it. When I’ve published 10 or so stories as Kindle Singles, I plan to publish them all together in a paperback anthology but that’s some way off. I have enough ideas knocking around to make it a reality. I just need to put in the work!