Author: Douglas Gardham
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It is 1991 when Ethan Jones finally wins the role of his dreams in an upcoming, big screen movie. With the envelope holding the script clutched in his hand, he arrives at his California apartment where he can hardly wait to tell his girlfriend the exciting news. But when he finds the door unexpectedly ajar, he has no idea that in just a few seconds, the life he has fought so hard to obtain will be shattered. Eight years earlier, Ethan is attending university in Ottawa, Canada. One evening after seriously contemplating suicide, he finds his way into a club where he meets Mila Monahan, a beautiful acting student who saves him from himself. After he watches Mila rehearse a university play, Ethan catches the acting bug and decides to pursue his own creative passions, causing a collision with his more secure ideals. But when Mila suddenly disappears, Ethan vows he will never stop chasing the dream she inspired in him, believing in a world entirely different from the one he is living in. The Actor is a gripping tale of a young man’s unforgettable journey of self-discovery in overcoming the trauma of a personal tragedy. It is a story of love, hardship, persistence and overwhelming joy where The Actor learns he can portray anything he can imagine.
What part of the writing process is the easiest/hardest for you?
I don’t see writing as a “process”. A process is where you follow steps 1 through 5 and you get a result “A”. Following those 5 steps will give you “A” each time. Writing doesn’t work that way for me. Its messy and disorderly—you’re creating. The routine or orderly part is writing everyday. That said, all the parts some days are easy and some days are hard. I never know what it’s going to be. Some days getting the story down goes quickly, other days its painful and really hard work. Editing can follow the same route sometimes is hard and very disconnected, at other times words and sentences seem to almost correct themselves.
If you could pick one thing from your book that you want people to take away from it, what would it be?
That life is a journey no matter where you’re at in your current circumstances. Being well is more important that almost anything else in life.
Where did the idea for your book come from?
The idea came about quite some time ago. My wife and I were returning to the movies after being on a movie hiatus for a number of years in raising a young family. We went to see Titanic on the big screen in early 1998. During the movie, I became fascinated with the idea of someone getting up from what they were doing and chasing a dream. I started writing the next day.
Was there a lot of research involved in writing your book?
There is a lot of background information in the book but it wasn’t like I sat down and did a lot of “research” per se.
Do you listen to music while you write (if so, do you have a playlist I can share?), or do you prefer quiet?
It’s usually the mood I find myself in when I’m writing or editing. Sometimes music works, other times I prefer quiet.
Douglas Gardham is a writer who loves music, movies, and books. He lives near Toronto, Canada, with his wife and dog. This is his first published novel.