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Tory Gates

00:02 all right so Tory gates so happy to have 00:05 you on the everyday enthusiast you're a 00:07 multi-talent a broadcaster for many 00:09 decades and you're also and published 00:12 author at four different books I guess 00:14 my first question is what was your first 00:17 passion was it for broadcasting or was 00:19 it for writing well it's kind of a 00:23 difficult question because I just seemed 00:25 to be someone that kind of fluttered 00:27 around a lot as a kid I think writing 00:31 but not really writing it down was was a 00:34 thing for me I think when you're the 00:36 youngest of four kids you tend to be the 00:39 person that tries to find ways to sort 00:42 of get your share of the attention and I 00:45 mean I'm also the youngest of four yeah 00:48 and I guess for me it was just sort of 00:51 my way of getting attention to maybe 00:55 entertaining other people was coming up 00:56 with stories a lot of times it would be 00:58 something I heard someplace else and I 01:00 would just sort of recycle it or I would 01:02 come up with my own ideas I know that 01:06 radio more so than television fascinated 01:10 me as a kid and I think a lot of that 01:12 had to do with just growing up in the 01:14 60s radio was and still is a very 01:18 immediate medium and just the most 01:23 innocuous things probably stuck in my 01:25 mind as a child the little things such 01:27 as listening to a local radio station 01:30 listening to the news listening to the 01:33 weather forecast because I grew up on a 01:34 farm in Vermont so my father was always 01:37 interested in the forecast interested in 01:39 knowing what was going on and in the 01:42 winter I listened specifically for the 01:45 no school announcements so I think there 01:49 was something that was just sort of 01:50 planted in me but I didn't really pursue 01:54 either of these things for a number of 01:57 years I didn't get into broadcasting 01:58 until I went to college I thought I was 02:01 going to go for a journalism major 02:02 because I liked to write and yet I was a 02:05 very undisciplined kid and so it was 02:07 kind of like I went to a small College 02:10 had a small communications program 02:12 and they were building an FM radio 02:15 station there was an opportunity to get 02:17 your hands on the equipment and and do 02:19 some things and I just thought well I 02:21 was interested and I just fell right 02:24 into wood so both of those kind of went 02:27 hand in hand and broadcasting radio was 02:30 my thing for a lot of years before I 02:33 really started to seriously consider 02:35 writing I wrote songs for a number of 02:38 years but it wasn't until I was in a 02:40 band that some of those started to get 02:42 worked out and then around 2007 I began 02:47 to write what would become my current 02:50 book searching for web you can and I 02:52 began with a very rough idea and I 02:55 haven't stopped writing for 13 years 02:57 right on now I see the here the works 03:02 are described as young adult would you 03:04 classify it as that as well 03:07 to some extent yes I really don't care 03:10 very much for the labels because we're 03:12 getting so many of them now and I think 03:15 what we're doing is we're splitting the 03:18 genres up so much that it's going to be 03:22 very hard to find readership the reason 03:24 I call it I call it young adult / new 03:27 adult mostly because I have found myself 03:31 mostly writing and creating characters 03:36 that are mostly young people dealing 03:38 with big people problems I don't really 03:41 know why that happened with me but a 03:44 number of my my published and 03:45 unpublished works have just sort of been 03:47 that and I've dug back into my 03:51 adolescence and my teenagers but also 03:53 the years of people close to me friends 03:57 of mine people that I've been around and 04:00 just pieces of myself have sort of ended 04:04 up in my books even when I was trying 04:06 not to write about myself 04:07 and I guess that gives it a base and 04:11 then there's the creative elements and 04:13 then just trying to put stories together 04:16 and sometimes they come along fairly 04:18 quickly and other times they don't but 04:20 it's I think the main reason that I 04:23 focus on that 04:26 you know maybe like 14 15 up into your 04:30 20s but really a lot of my books you can 04:32 doesn't matter what your age is you can 04:33 read them dealing with things that 04:36 people understand and also dealing with 04:41 two sides of it you're dealing with 04:44 youth from the standpoint of the 04:47 difficulties we all go through and it's 04:49 a very human thing and the other part of 04:52 it I think is sort of a celebration of 04:56 youth which is an undercurrent that I 04:59 don't remember much of and it's sort of 05:03 like a little bit of a cautionary tale 05:05 to enjoy this while you have it and if 05:09 you have it find a way to keep it as you 05:11 go on right on and so writing for that 05:16 younger voice do you do any like I know 05:20 studying perhaps or like catching up on 05:23 the culture or seeing like how young 05:25 people talk like how as a writer do you 05:27 channel those younger voices well I've 05:31 had some people tell me that my young 05:34 characters seem to talk like adults and 05:37 I'm not sure that it's just by design or 05:40 what happened there a lot of my 05:45 experience has to do with just sort of 05:48 my own recollection I think probably 05:51 what happened with me was because as I'm 05:53 the youngest in my family but here's the 05:55 other thing there's about 11 years 05:57 difference between myself and my closest 06:00 sibling and someone observed it as I was 06:04 growing up that I tended to speak a 06:08 little bit differently I used to get 06:10 picked on for using dipping words or for 06:13 talking to completely and a friend of my 06:16 own in college just observed well you 06:19 were around people much older than you 06:21 you talked up to them because that's how 06:24 you were on their level you did that but 06:26 also I read a great deal I listened a 06:29 great deal they listened a great deal to 06:30 radio to music on television I would 06:33 just hear the way other people talked 06:36 and it just sort of fit from 06:39 me and so I left it at that that being 06:42 said Artie this is mommy this is my cat 06:45 Baldrick this is one of us hello he's so 06:49 cute is a wonder he lives - he's about 06:54 16 and I have had him for a lot of years 06:57 he's he's one of my kids what can I tell 06:59 you anyways I guess the main thing was 07:06 the the story ideas first of all when I 07:10 talked about searching for Roy Buchanan 07:11 the basic thing I have to explain is 07:13 that is a story that is set in Japan and 07:16 a lot of people asked why did you do 07:18 that well at the time I was just 07:21 influenced by first of all history 07:23 because I minored in history in college 07:25 I had an interest in Japanese history I 07:27 had an interest in some of the Japanese 07:30 cultures such as anime manga that sort 07:32 of thing I was getting into that I was 07:35 in a band at the time and my co-founders 07:38 kids were all big anime fans so they 07:40 kind of opened some doors for me as to 07:43 what kind of entertainment this was 07:46 because it was something I really didn't 07:47 know anything about and I had some story 07:50 ideas and it all just kind of threaded 07:52 together the other reasons that I did it 07:55 was because I was at a point where I 07:59 thought if I'm gonna write and I'm 08:00 really going to seriously dig into this 08:03 let's do something different 08:06 I was not prepared to write about myself 08:09 I was not prepared to sort of examine my 08:15 own situation yet that is what happened 08:18 so I decided let's go someplace I've 08:20 never been 08:21 let's immerse ourselves sort of in the 08:25 way of speaking the way of interaction 08:28 the way people speak to one another and 08:31 show respect to one another in Japan 08:33 very different it's a different society 08:36 and yet Japan is a society that has 08:38 worked very hard to adapt to current 08:40 situations so needless to say it's a 08:43 good thing it was thirteen twelve or 08:45 thirteen years before this book came out 08:46 because it needed some work 08:51 I'm sorry continue and several of my 08:55 stories were based over there just to 08:57 try something out and as I became more 08:59 comfortable I started to write else 09:01 right from the States right from 09:03 elsewhere and it's just been a process 09:06 it really has and I found parallels to 09:11 different things happening in society 09:13 that suddenly inspired me to look at 09:17 myself look at my own life and I'd like 09:20 to think that injects a bit of realism 09:21 into what I do so this is the thing I 09:24 mean it's not all my young adult is not 09:27 all sweet and light some of it is pretty 09:30 some of it is not fun and the reason I 09:36 say that is because it's life it it's 09:38 real life this is what you're going to 09:40 deal with and I have a hard time getting 09:46 into young adult it doesn't dig that 09:48 doesn't you know look at intimacy 09:51 doesn't look at sexuality doesn't swear 09:54 it's like come on you you need to be 09:58 realistic to have a good story and I 10:00 forget where I read this about 30 years 10:02 ago but someone once wrote if you don't 10:06 have conflict you don't have a story you 10:08 don't have a pal yeah of course and so 10:11 that's that's just kind of what I do 10:12 really now who would you say are your 10:15 biggest literary influences when you are 10:18 writing here or plotting your next book 10:21 well I have some interesting ones and 10:26 they kind of go back to my early reading 10:29 now I was very much encouraged to read 10:32 my mother was a huge mystery novel 10:36 fanatic she read everything by Agatha 10:39 Christie and any mystery writer that 10:41 just wasn't my thing I was very 10:44 fortunate to have two siblings who were 10:46 absolute fanatics for Tolkien so I got 10:50 the Hobbit as a gift when I was nine 10:52 years old only understood about half of 10:55 it but he started to started to sink in 10:58 I just thought it was a wonderful tale 11:00 and then yeah I got the Lord of the 11:02 Rings when I was 10 so I read it long 11:04 for it was fashionable and I would not 11:10 only read the stories over and over 11:11 again and just find them so fascinating 11:13 him so deep and I mean Tolkien's spent I 11:17 think twenty-two years creating 11:18 middle-earth and it is a universe that 11:21 we're never gonna see the like of again 11:23 and I just fell in love with the 11:25 characters I fell in love with his 11:27 writing style and that was just 11:30 something that was there for me and then 11:32 later on I would just I didn't read an 11:36 awful lot of classics I didn't read him 11:38 an awful lot of that but I got the 11:39 opportunity to read some contemporary 11:41 novels in high school and in college I 11:43 was a big fan of a British author named 11:46 Douglas Freeman he wrote a long string 11:50 of war novels of the Royal Navy some 11:55 were of the German Navy some were of the 11:57 American Navy and it was most of them 12:00 set in World War two some said in other 12:02 Wars and the thing that captivated me 12:05 about these stories where they were very 12:07 smooth dreams and he chose very 12:13 working-class very typical British 12:17 characters these were the guys that were 12:20 not on the big battleships they were not 12:22 on the big carriers they were on they 12:27 were these young fellows on the motor 12:28 torpedo boats they were the guys on the 12:31 clapped-out steamer that they turned 12:32 into a gunboat they were the guys in a 12:36 beat-up mini sub and he wrote these 12:41 fantastic characters who were very real 12:44 very tough but also very sensitive and 12:48 just very normal 12:50 not Blue Bloods and those are the kind 12:53 of things that really got to me and then 12:55 as time went on you would just you know 12:58 I would just read different things and 12:59 they were the ones that really were huge 13:01 to me in recent years I have tried to 13:06 sort of read to where I'm writing about 13:09 for Japan as an example Haruki Murakami 13:11 is oh that's so funny you mentioned him 13:14 that's uh financially as soon as you 13:16 mentioned Japan has 13:17 say one of my favorite artists well I 13:19 mean I I love him as well but like he's 13:22 a huge impact on like some of my musical 13:25 art like favorite musical artists like 13:26 Kid Cudi and it was like that when I saw 13:29 the the artwork and some of the artwork 13:32 associated with yours I instantly 13:34 thought of him and just like you 13:35 mentioned Tolkien that was the first 13:36 thing I thought because you know those 13:38 authors they create worlds you know to 13:41 me or told them like you know he builds 13:43 a world and you know he spent 22 years 13:44 doing his I mean you know it's that's 13:47 what I feel like you know from a cursory 13:49 glance at your work what you're doing 13:50 years you're building this world for 13:52 these characters interact but you are 13:54 using you know characters that we can 13:56 believe in and relate to but you're 13:57 building this entire fictional setting 14:00 around them and it's it's a it's a lot 14:02 more than just here's your character 14:04 here's their storyline ABC well that's 14:07 something that I've had people asking me 14:09 about I tried very hard to build the 14:13 world that I'm in and for the most part 14:17 now searching for Buchanan has elements 14:20 of time travel in it but the main 14:23 character Aki and her family and her 14:26 friends they are in the real world they 14:27 are in present time with you so it's a 14:30 world that you should be able to 14:31 recognize and it's trying to build that 14:34 and how I prepare that is something that 14:39 again I've been asked about for example 14:41 I will not just start writing I cannot 14:45 do that what has to happen is I have to 14:49 have an idea really cook in my head 14:51 sometimes for maybe three months a 14:55 recent unpublished novel literally took 14:58 two years before I could actually start 15:00 writing because it just it felt good it 15:04 felt really strong but it's like this 15:06 doesn't fit yet this doesn't make enough 15:08 sense and I ask myself the question have 15:11 I done this before am i repeating myself 15:13 so usually after about three months if 15:17 it's cooking in my head that's when I'm 15:19 writing down my character sketches what 15:21 do they look like where do they come 15:22 from 15:23 what are they where what is what about 15:25 them makes them stand out and why are 15:28 they in the story everybody's got to 15:29 have something to do 15:31 and then the setting just sort of sort 15:34 of wraps around that and this is kind of 15:39 funny and kind of not I've had at least 15:42 one person in my life 15:43 accused me of sleeping with my 15:45 characters I said well yes I do I spent 15:54 a lot of time talking to them I have a 15:57 I've always had a habit of talking 15:58 myself anyway and in broadcasting when 16:00 you're alone in the studio you talk to 16:02 yourself you just do I have interviews 16:05 with my characters I listen to them I 16:08 talk to them I have the characters talk 16:10 to one another and that's how you that's 16:12 how you build a character that's how you 16:14 build different characters because 16:17 certain people aren't gonna speak like 16:18 this other person aki for example in 16:21 searching for Roy Buchanan is 15 years 16:24 old and she's a fairly typical kid but 16:26 she is she is a girl who's fairly sharp 16:30 but kind of naive at the same time and 16:33 she's a girl who wants to fly under the 16:36 radar she doesn't want to stand out and 16:39 then she has an older brother named Hiro 16:42 who is an angsty teenager and he has 16:45 reasons for being the way he is and 16:47 being very moody and he basically was 16:50 half me when I was 16 and their older 16:53 brother kenji is you know a little more 16:56 mature he's kind of got to be the leader 16:58 so he has to kind of keep his home thing 17:00 close to the best so those are examples 17:02 of characters I spend time talking to 17:04 and finding out why do they act the way 17:06 they do why do they feel the way to do I 17:08 do that with all my projects and the 17:12 other part of it is watching 17:14 sometimes characters will come to me 17:17 visually I'll just get some ideas but 17:20 you need to fill it out and I will just 17:23 sort of look around I will think about 17:25 people that stood out for me that I've 17:28 worked with or I'm friends with and 17:29 every now and then I will just sit 17:31 somewhere with Kovan we can't really do 17:33 it anymore but I used to spend 17:36 immeasurable amounts of time in coffee 17:38 shops because I don't drink anymore and 17:40 coffee is my drug of choice 17:43 I would just you know I would be writing 17:46 but I would just be sitting and I would 17:47 just sort of be watching and I would be 17:49 listening and not eavesdropping on 17:53 people's conversations or looking at 17:55 them too closely but I would see things 17:57 about the way people dressed I would see 17:59 things about the way people conducted 18:01 themselves the way they walked and I 18:02 thought I'd see somebody I was like hey 18:04 I can work that into such-and-such 18:09 character I can develop that and I just 18:12 kind of keep it in my head and think 18:14 okay I'm gonna use you you're not gonna 18:16 know it but I'm going to use it that's 18:18 how I do it now 18:21 now you've been published by labels but 18:23 also you've done some self publishing as 18:24 well now you know how is that process 18:28 for an author I mean I imagine nowadays 18:30 it's a lot more easy than perhaps five 18:32 to ten years ago but uh you know would 18:35 you say that you preferred the 18:36 self-publishing route or going the more 18:38 traditional way that's a difficult 18:41 question right now because I have a 18:43 number of friends who are self-published 18:45 and have made themselves a business I'll 18:47 get to them in a second like back in 18:51 2013 I had written a significant number 18:56 of stories some of them just were not 18:59 ready and my writing style hadn't really 19:01 developed but the way it worked was 19:03 around 2012 or so I was counseled by a 19:08 good friend of mine that I needed to 19:11 self publish because I wasn't getting 19:13 any bikes from agents I wasn't getting 19:16 any bites from small presses or large 19:18 ones and I was going through that whole 19:20 thing of digging through the writers 19:22 market and trying to find an agent 19:23 trying to find a publisher that would 19:26 take an unsolicited manuscript or at 19:28 least query and it's like trying to find 19:30 a job that query letter is your cover 19:33 letter and you are trying to do the 19:37 elevator pitch you are trying to find a 19:39 way that's you can stand out amongst the 19:43 hundreds or thousands of letters emails 19:45 and whatever that agents get and the 19:48 publishers get and I just wasn't getting 19:49 anywhere so this friend of mine Alice 19:53 says you need to let 19:56 when you're you gotta set one of your 19:57 kids free you've got a you've got a 20:00 self-publish you got a kick one out of 20:01 the nest and just see what happens with 20:03 that so I took a contemporary novel 20:07 called parasite girls which long story 20:10 short it's it's more straight fiction 20:13 than anything I've written and it's 20:15 about a burnt-out journalist who on a 20:19 whim goes to Japan because he's trying 20:21 to get out of burnout and get out of the 20:25 mess that his last assignment was he 20:27 just goes to Japan to see an old college 20:29 friend and he falls into her life again 20:33 and there's a certain form of social 20:35 injustice that she and some of her 20:37 friends are dealing with one is dealing 20:38 with bipolar disorder and as he's trying 20:42 to get his life back together and 20:43 remaking himself he starts to reconnect 20:48 with his friend and he starts to see 20:50 certain things that really become the 20:53 story and it was a very quick read it 20:56 had only four major characters and I 20:59 thought let's do this one so I went 21:02 through Amazon I went through what used 21:04 to be called create space I remember 21:07 this guy yes and the fellow who has done 21:10 all of my covers is a gentleman named 21:13 Mitch Bentley he is just a fantastic 21:17 cover artist he's done numerous covers 21:21 I mean he's nationally known one of the 21:23 nicest people and he did this insane 21:26 cover for parasite girls and it was like 21:29 perfect so we got that together got it 21:33 edited professionally and I had a friend 21:36 named Kristi straw toes do it and but 21:39 out there well didn't really sell very 21:41 many and I tried different things to 21:43 stimulate some sales beyond my circle of 21:46 friends and what happened was I live in 21:49 Harrisburg Pennsylvania right in the 21:51 city and I am in spitting distance from 21:53 an independent bookstore called Midtown 21:56 scholar the scholar is a former movie 22:00 theater and it is now a book collectors 22:03 Haven it is one of the most amazing 22:05 places and in those days they were doing 22:09 a lot more with 22:10 authors and I did a book signing one 22:13 afternoon with a guy named Robert Walton 22:16 Robert has written a number of books he 22:18 is with Sunbury Press books which is the 22:20 parent company of my publisher and we 22:24 sat there and you know we sold a few 22:27 books and we spent most of the time 22:29 talking about each other's writing and 22:32 sort of talking shop and Robert says you 22:34 know my publisher Lawrence nor I think 22:39 would be interested in you I think he 22:41 would like what you're doing and I 22:42 thought okay so and this is the same 22:45 thing that happens when you present 22:48 yourself and you don't have anybody in 22:50 front promoting you I sent an email to 22:53 Sunbury press I didn't hear anything for 22:55 about three months mr. Norah got back to 22:57 me and he said well you're doing the 22:59 right thing getting your book out when 23:01 you think you have something really good 23:04 submit it and we'll take it from there 23:08 we'll see what happens and I thought 23:09 okay I've heard this before but fine now 23:12 Sunbury press I need to talk about is 23:14 they've been around for about 15 years 23:16 and Lawrence noir started it primarily 23:21 because he is a Pennsylvania Dutch 23:23 descent and several years ago he wrote a 23:25 book about his family it was sort of 23:29 like a sort of a biography of his family 23:31 could not find a publisher so he said 23:33 fine I will start my own and we have now 23:37 expanded to several imprints we have I 23:41 believe he said over 200 authors we have 23:44 quite a few more titles not all of them 23:47 are in print as I understand but it's a 23:50 really interesting independent thing and 23:52 as I say I didn't know what I was 23:55 getting into but I had a book called a 23:59 moment in the Sun this also is another 24:03 novel the basic brainy awards to write 24:06 won many awards it is one one and it has 24:09 been nominated for for a few which was 24:11 really cool yeah red city review David 24:15 first prize for the young adult division 24:17 which was just really amazing to me I 24:22 mean this was the first 24:23 book that I had published and like I say 24:25 for a few months I had no idea what was 24:27 happening with that and then finally he 24:30 got back to me and he said hey we want 24:31 to do this and I'm like all right I mean 24:34 I thought of a joke first and then it's 24:36 like your heart stops and yeah you're on 24:39 an indie label and it's like okay this 24:41 is cool well a moment in the Sun I think 24:44 struck people because it was said in 24:48 Japan again like some of these others 24:50 what happened there was I touched on 24:54 something that I saw I read an article 24:57 on the BBC about not really a subculture 25:02 but an element of society in Japan 25:05 called the hikikomori there are about 1 25:08 million people in Japan alone many of 25:12 them young people most of the men but 25:16 some women and there are smaller folks 25:17 because they feel for whatever reason 25:19 they do not fit in society and society 25:25 in Japan to some extent has a certain 25:27 element on order and fitting in and a 25:31 lot of these folks rarely if ever leave 25:35 their homes they just don't and I read 25:39 some of these case studies some of these 25:41 actual stories and it was mind-blowing 25:45 because I suffer from depression and 25:48 anxiety I've had it all my life 25:50 and there was a period in my life about 25:53 30 years ago where I was like that for a 25:55 while part of it was my own immaturity 25:57 and foolishness at dealing with 25:58 something that had happened but I got I 26:02 got through it and I just kind of 26:04 flashed back to that and I looked at 26:05 these stories and then I found another 26:07 story of a guy who got out of his he 26:11 sort of came out of his shell and he 26:13 started his own business and he employed 26:15 former hikikomori 26:16 to give them something to do and that 26:18 fellow ended up in the book I just came 26:21 up with a story of a girl who by choice 26:24 shut herself away for nearly 4 years and 26:27 then she got out and then for her the 26:32 story 26:32 is having to come to terms with her path 26:36 of course she can deal with her future 26:38 because she's trying to help others out 26:40 including one of her friends who had 26:42 gone missing and now he's one of these 26:44 people who has shut himself away and 26:46 this character ray decides I'm going to 26:50 help him but then as the story goes on 26:52 and she meets these other people she 26:53 realizes I've got to reconcile in my 26:55 past I've got to come to terms with what 26:57 I ran from before I can do anything and 27:00 apparently that really hit and that got 27:05 me signed so you know we went from there 27:08 and so I have three books with the 27:13 fiction imprint of Sunbury Press which 27:15 is brown cozy press and the sequel to 27:19 searching for Roy Buchanan call it love 27:20 is going to be coming out later to see 27:21 her hopefully and you know and getting 27:26 back to part of the original question I 27:29 think everybody has a certain level of 27:33 well if I'm on a label then the doors 27:35 are going to open it still doesn't 27:37 because depending on how much a a 27:43 publisher can help you you still have to 27:45 do the work you still have to write you 27:48 still have to create you still have to 27:49 be working on the next project but you 27:51 also have to be your own promoter 27:53 sometimes you can get some help and we 27:56 do have some help at Sunbury press with 27:58 that but you really are discovering your 28:02 own audience and constantly searching 28:04 for it so I have tried numerous things 28:07 over the years I use social media I use 28:09 different ones to show people what I'm 28:12 doing I try different things to give 28:13 them like it's a dialogue bits of 28:17 imagery to give them an idea of well 28:18 what is this really like could this be 28:20 something that I want to pick up and 28:22 read and then it's get out into book 28:24 signings go to conventions go to events 28:27 I'm really quite happy where I am and 28:32 and I believe that they've given me sort 28:36 of a vote of confidence in what I'm 28:38 trying to do because I am now the audio 28:42 book project coordinator for Sunbury 28:44 Press this just happened 28:46 so we are getting into the audio book 28:48 business 28:49 in a big way we are just starting to get 28:51 some titles out I'm sort of helping 28:54 coordinate authors if who want to do 28:56 their own recordings and be their own 28:57 voice finding the other talent and 29:00 that's a process that you probably want 29:03 to ask me about this six months down the 29:04 road and see how we're doing but it's a 29:07 process and there's that now to answer 29:10 the rest of your question I have friends 29:13 who do work as self-published authors 29:17 and do their own thing I can give you a 29:20 couple of names Megan Oh Russell is a 29:24 very talented actress and theatrical 29:26 performer but she is also a very 29:28 prolific writer mostly of young adult a 29:31 good friend of mine Olivia barrier is 29:34 writing her own things she goes to 29:36 events another gentleman named willow 29:39 Shire I met him at sci-fi Valley Con in 29:43 Altoona Pennsylvania last year he has 29:45 got a string of really really good work 29:48 and these are folks that are writing but 29:52 they're also you know getting their own 29:54 deals in terms of getting their books 29:56 printed getting their covers done doing 29:58 their own self-promotion doing their own 30:01 podcasts getting out to events and it is 30:04 a job and a half and I have nothing but 30:08 respect for people who do that and 30:10 that's the thing if you feel comfortable 30:12 doing it and you love doing the work and 30:14 you love doing it like that 30:16 there is nothing today that says you 30:18 can't be successful and the thing though 30:22 I do say to people is you know for a lot 30:26 of us it is kind of an expensive hobby 30:28 but it's worth doing because the more 30:33 you do it and the more work you do and 30:34 the more your body of work expands the 30:37 more people will notice you that is 30:39 something I still tell myself after all 30:41 these years and the main thing for me is 30:43 I mean I hate yes 30:46 I have dreams about what I want to do I 30:48 would love to see searching for Buchanan 30:49 turned into an animated film I would 30:52 love the great Miyazaki to get his hands 30:53 on it I had one of those studios to take 30:57 the story and take it where it hasn't 31:00 gone yet 31:02 and if not that someplace else yes I 31:04 think about that in the meantime I still 31:06 have to be practical and keep doing it 31:09 and keep doing that work it's 31:12 interesting too because we were talking 31:13 like like Haruki Murakami his writings 31:16 are so deep and yet when I think about 31:20 it I you take his imagery and you take 31:23 his style I fit it to Gabriel Garcia 31:26 Marquez when you read 100 years of 31:28 solitude or chronicle of a Death 31:31 Foretold that seem mad imagery it is so 31:36 vivid and it is so there and it may be 31:40 too strong for some people but those are 31:41 those are the kind of authors I think of 31:43 that have that ability and have brought 31:46 it to life in ways that we haven't seen 31:49 and it's okay to it's okay to take from 31:54 those things I this thing I'm most 31:56 afraid of is stealing from another 31:57 author so I just try to I try to take 32:01 what I'm seeing but make sure that I'm 32:03 still doing my own job and not ripping 32:06 off someone I've I can't remember the 32:07 name of the author but I came across an 32:09 author who had written a novel and he 32:11 was trying to out Murakami Murakami and 32:13 I was like okay this is good but yeah 32:17 thank you much but for him I'm sure that 32:21 was a part of his process well I imagine 32:24 you know the first time you hear back 32:26 from them and you hear you're gonna be 32:28 published that must be so thrilling to 32:31 be like wow it's happening like what was 32:33 that like when you when you got that 32:35 letter back or email or contact when I 32:38 got that email back it had been several 32:41 months this was probably the end of 2015 32:44 and I had sent in the moment in the Sun 32:48 oh you know months before I was already 32:52 starting to plan out another self 32:55 release and then it was like in December 32:59 of 2015 this email comes across and it's 33:04 for mr. Noor and he's saying we really 33:07 like a moment in the Sun and we want to 33:09 publish this and my immediate reaction 33:11 was looking at that I'm going this is a 33:13 job 33:15 somebody is pulling a joke and then I 33:18 read it again and yes my heart stopped I 33:22 was like this cannot be 33:26 and so it's like wow you know and so the 33:30 way I looked at it was okay 33:31 it's not one of the big ones but so what 33:33 this is a known quantity this is a known 33:37 publisher that is well respected now it 33:40 is true that Sunbury press is more of a 33:43 nonfiction label probably 65 to 70% of 33:48 our titles are nonfiction a lot of 33:50 histories a lot of biographies a lot of 33:52 Pennsylvania centric stuff but they had 33:54 been working into fiction for a number 33:56 of years and a moment in the Sun I guess 33:59 stuck out enough for them and the fact 34:01 that I live right here in Pennsylvania 34:03 so that probably was a hand in it as 34:05 well but I also want to think a moment 34:07 in the Sun was well written enough and 34:09 was just a good enough and cohesive 34:11 story they had caught on and you know of 34:16 they've been very supportive in terms of 34:19 trying to build up my work and me 34:23 talking to them endlessly about the 34:25 series that started with searching and 34:28 finally at this point you know it's like 34:31 we did a moment in the Sun and then in 34:33 2017 I put out a book called live from 34:36 the cafe which was more more close to 34:38 home for me 34:39 that in a nutshell was remembering my 34:44 growing up in northern Vermont as a kid 34:46 and my close proximity to the Canadian 34:49 border I had this thing in my head of if 34:52 I ran a coffee shop what would I do just 34:55 this idea and so I thought of all the 34:58 places I've been and hung out in and I 35:01 thought I am going to create the most 35:02 uncor per incursean on earth I am going 35:06 to create the weirdest coffee shop I've 35:08 ever been to and so I remembered being 35:14 you know spending time in Quebec around 35:16 the Montreal area and I picked this I 35:18 created this tiny little village in the 35:20 middle of nowhere Quebec and this tiny 35:24 little village with not too much in it 35:26 but a lot of old houses 35:27 and very little business and this old 35:29 pub that had been turned into a coffee 35:32 shop and it's about my recollections of 35:36 growing up in a small town how people 35:38 deal with change how people deal with 35:41 transplants you know new people coming 35:43 in people leaving how do they deal with 35:46 each other how do they deal with 35:47 prejudice how do they deal with sort of 35:49 the old habits that die hard and why did 35:53 to people who blew this town years ago 35:55 for their own reasons suddenly come back 35:57 after all these years and decide we're 36:00 gonna open a coffee shop it's that those 36:03 strange characters who show up and hang 36:05 out but it's also the mysterious and 36:08 sometimes famous characters who just 36:11 show up to hang out and to play music so 36:15 it's kind of a guessing game it's kind 36:17 of like a callaghan's crosstime saloon 36:19 without space travel and so it's a 36:22 guessing game of who are these people 36:24 because some of them you can probably 36:27 guess if you think hard enough and some 36:29 of them are not some of them are friends 36:31 of mine and some of them are very 36:33 mysteriously odd characters who just 36:35 show up for no apparent reason but they 36:38 have a reason and it was a fun story and 36:42 I guess they liked that one so that was 36:44 it and then searching came along this 36:47 project that I've been working on all 36:48 these years and this is where we are and 36:51 the sequel is coming up in the next few 36:54 months I'm getting the audio book thing 36:57 together for searching and just trying 37:00 to look at all of my projects and look 37:04 at the ones that are really important 37:05 right now because this series is going 37:07 to be something that I'm invested in for 37:09 the next couple of years and there's 37:11 going to be three books in the series we 37:14 stopped at the third because it's a nice 37:16 stopping point and I want the characters 37:18 to have some time off and to grow up and 37:20 then we go from there so that's what I'm 37:22 doing will you be doing the reading for 37:26 the audiobook yes oh yeah well I mean 37:30 I've spent 36 years in broadcasting and 37:32 like yeah you're perfect for it 37:33 well it is a different thing though 37:36 because being behind a microphone as a 37:38 DJ or as a journalist or 37:40 anything like that is completely 37:42 different from an audiobook because it's 37:45 it's a different skill set some of us 37:49 are prepared for it ie 37:50 when I did the a moment in the Sun Audio 37:53 three years ago we're gonna release that 37:56 soon it still sounds good it still 37:59 sounds about right for the book but it 38:01 was kind of like I remember how 38:02 difficult it was to focus on like long 38:07 stretches of copy and dialogue and 38:10 you're reading a lot more and you're 38:12 focusing more or you're trying to and 38:15 then you realize that you've written 38:17 this book and it's not quite reading the 38:22 way you wrote it and it's like you're 38:25 starting to ask yourself this doesn't 38:27 make sense and then you look at it again 38:33 you're like oh okay so it's just it's 38:35 just a refocus and it's an interesting 38:38 way of really getting back in touch with 38:40 something that you wrote and remembering 38:43 why you wrote the way you did and 38:45 looking at your style at that point in 38:47 time and so like I say when I first 38:51 wrote searching for Roy Buchanan in 2007 38:54 it was so different and I did have an 38:58 agent for about four years and I will 39:02 say she did an honest job trying to get 39:04 me signed but just could not find anyone 39:06 and head to it just said look I can't do 39:08 it and I said that's okay I appreciate 39:10 it 39:10 I'm glad it didn't happen because I 39:13 reenact after a few years and suddenly 39:15 realized first of all my writing style 39:17 has changed it is much different now 39:20 this book is so incredibly thin and so 39:25 not original I had written several 39:29 pieces since then and I looked back and 39:31 I thought I'm glad this didn't get 39:33 published this is crap I can do better 39:35 than this 39:36 and so over I would say a couple of 39:40 years I massively rewrote it and I wrote 39:43 I wrote songs for it I wrote more lyrics 39:45 for it and made it as original as I 39:49 possibly could so after several years 39:52 and after all of this 39:54 I wanted this first one of the series to 39:56 be as good as it could be and I think 39:58 I've managed to beat it to death enough 40:00 to make it that way so I'm I'm happy 40:03 with it I looked back and I was doing 40:05 the audiobook and I I suddenly looked at 40:07 I'm like oh I used that word again and 40:11 wait a minute I just repeated myself why 40:15 didn't I see that in the Edit why didn't 40:17 we see that but you know what at that 40:19 point it was as good as it was going to 40:21 get and I tell people you know what it's 40:24 okay to have a misgiving after cut the 40:26 book comes out and you read it and you 40:27 think oh man I could have written that 40:29 scene better it's okay you did the best 40:32 you could at that point and you were as 40:35 far as you were gonna get and it was 40:36 time to publish there's nothing to be 40:39 there's nothing to beat yourself up over 40:40 and that's why other thing I tell people 40:42 is give yourself some credit because you 40:44 have done it you have published either 40:46 with an imprint or on your own and I 40:50 would rather sell a handful of books and 40:55 not make any money rather than do 40:59 unfortunately what certain people I know 41:02 of in my life who sat there for years 41:05 and just said oh I got this idea for a 41:08 book I've got this great idea for a book 41:09 oh I got this great idea how did you do 41:12 it and I said I did it I did the work 41:15 and I said to them we'll listen tell me 41:17 about this idea and they'll tell you a 41:18 little bit and it's like okay sounds 41:21 good 41:22 do it get to it they're like I don't 41:25 know and I'm like you have to do it know 41:28 this is the thing an old and very dear 41:32 friend of mine an artist and 41:34 photographer named Sonny Chung told me 41:36 way back around 1991 or 92 that when I 41:42 expressed doubts about my ability to 41:43 write or work a project and get it done 41:45 she said the only way you do it 41:48 paraphrasing is to do it very directly 41:51 to me and I was like okay and that's 41:56 what I tell people I just say just go 41:58 ahead and do it and make the time I mean 42:01 we all have their very busy lives and 42:02 it's like that's another thing now I 42:05 live alone so I have a certain amount 42:08 of downtime and that downtime I use for 42:13 writing because I love it and I have 42:16 absolutely enjoyed this trip for the 42:19 last 13 years I mean when I'm not 42:22 working on something in terms of my 42:25 career that way I'm working on this 42:27 other career I'm working on this 42:28 business I'm thinking about it 42:32 constantly and the reason I do it is 42:34 because I really enjoy it it's a use of 42:36 my time that is important to me and at 42:39 least it is fruitful and I'm gonna say 42:40 this at the end of my life before I 42:43 leave this body I'm gonna be able to say 42:45 look I did as much as I could do and I 42:49 didn't spend years sitting around 42:51 thinking about it and I am at the end of 42:54 my life not saying what if oh man I 42:58 couldn't think of a better way to wrap 42:59 that up although I could you know 43:01 there's one more question so you said 43:02 you're working on a sequel to searching 43:04 for Roy Buchanan yes a little bit about 43:07 that yeah well the basic premise of 43:09 searching for Roy Buchanan is this it's 43:11 a key is a 15 year old a Japanese 43:14 teenager she has the gift of time travel 43:16 but does not know how to use it and she 43:20 and her brothers have a strange meeting 43:23 with this weird retired blues musician 43:26 and what happens is he offers to teach 43:32 her older brother Hiro how to play 43:33 guitar because he's been taken by the 43:35 music and by the music of Lloyd Buchanan 43:37 and in an effort to test her powers Aki 43:40 and her brothers have misadventures back 43:42 in time and what they are learning about 43:45 is the music the ability to time travel 43:50 and what you're deriving from it and 43:52 what you are to learn from it but also 43:54 it's the power of music it's the power 43:57 being able to deal with grief being able 44:00 to deal with your past being able to 44:02 deal with loss because these three young 44:05 people do not have their parents they 44:07 lost their parents so and it's also for 44:10 Aki a connection to her late mother 44:12 because her mother passed the ability 44:15 down so that's where we are with that 44:18 and it's just this wonderful ride 44:19 through music and through time 44:22 and through the roots of rock and roll 44:23 which is just the thing now call it love 44:27 is going to be the name of the sequel we 44:30 jump ahead a few months and what happens 44:34 here essentially is that a key has come 44:37 to the determination which she already 44:39 knew her ability to time travel does not 44:42 help her solve problems in the real 44:45 world a key is going to be dealing with 44:47 some very real teen issues very real 44:51 issues for any human being and what is 44:53 going to happen is as her brother Hiro 44:57 is playing music and restarting a band 44:59 that fell apart she's going to be a part 45:01 of it and then two new characters are 45:04 going to show up each one is going to 45:06 drive the music in a very unique way one 45:10 of them is going to have a real impact 45:12 on Aki as a person and as what you will 45:17 become as a singer and the other is a 45:19 very mysterious character who is a 45:21 teacher but this guy is also a musician 45:25 and there's just something very familiar 45:28 and very odd that Aki can't put her 45:33 finger on so for her it's dealing with 45:36 real life again dealing with some 45:38 serious problems dealing with some 45:41 different people and also getting a grip 45:44 on her powers so that's what college 45:45 love is going to be about and the third 45:48 book is hopefully in the next year or 45:50 two that one is going to be a little 45:53 further down the road 45:54 aw he's gonna be a little more grown-up 45:56 but we're going to see her in a very 46:00 different way because now she has a 46:03 massive conflict within her ability to 46:06 time travel and that conflict is going 46:09 to force her to make decisions and it is 46:12 going to manifest and we're going to see 46:16 a very different side of her we're going 46:19 to basically see the darker side of Aki 46:22 because she has been forced to it so 46:25 those three stories were the only ones I 46:27 was going to do and the third book is a 46:29 nice it's not the end it's a nice 46:32 stopping point 46:34 and down the road we'll bring them back 46:36 a little bit older a little bit wiser 46:38 and give them a little time to grow up 46:40 and in the meantime I have some of these 46:42 stories that I'm working on and you 46:45 don't stop writing you don't stop 46:47 working on it and it's a lot of fun I'm 46:51 telling you what I'm having a lot of fun 46:52 and now for our listeners where can they 46:55 find your published works okay 46:58 essentially you can go to brown Posey 47:01 press comm you can see my work there you 47:05 can see also the the great work of my 47:08 fellow authors we've got some really 47:10 fantastic people on the imprint you can 47:12 also find us on and you can 47:16 also get our work at say Ingram and some 47:19 of the other online imprints audiobooks 47:22 they are coming primarily we're going to 47:25 be working with a CX which is part of 47:27 Amazon but we may be working with other 47:29 platforms too and also I host on the 47:34 book speak Network a show we have 47:37 several shows on the book speak Network 47:38 which is part of blog talk radio and I 47:42 do the show for the fiction imprint I 47:44 have some independent authors and so 47:46 published authors on there we have other 47:48 hosts who deal with our other imprints 47:51 the Sunbury press imprint our suspense 47:54 horror imprint is called hellbender 47:56 press some really interesting folks 47:58 there we have an arts and metaphysical 48:00 one we have a children's imprint we have 48:02 a lot of really really talented writers 48:06 and a lot of them are like myself kind 48:08 of undiscovered I think if you go to 48:11 brown Posey press com 48:12 I hope that you will like one of my 48:15 books or I hope you'll like something 48:17 that one of my fellow authors have done 48:18 because we have a lot to offer and we 48:22 all do this for different reasons I do 48:24 this because I am absolutely loving it 48:26 it's great therapy it's a lot cheaper 48:29 than and I've done that and like I say 48:34 I'm having an incredible amount of fun 48:37 creating a world that it's a different 48:40 world in each book but I think it's 48:42 stuff people can relate to and I think 48:44 people of any age can relate to my stuff 48:47 they'll find a character they like 48:49 they'll find a story that they like and 48:51 I hope that in the long run when they 48:56 see some of the things I put these 48:57 people through they'll realize that 49:00 maybe they recognize this problem but 49:03 maybe also they realize that what these 49:05 people are going through is no different 49:07 than their own issues and maybe they can 49:09 find something else as a tool to step 49:12 forward and deal with their own thing I 49:13 know I've dealt with some of my issues 49:15 through my writing I've been able to 49:18 sort of touch base with some of my 49:19 issues some of my pasts some of my 49:22 dealings and I find I can move forward 49:25 and of I guess I'm a little more mature 49:29 not terribly but at this point in my 49:31 life you know I just realize I'm doing 49:34 this for a good reason it's yes 49:36 primarily for me and I'm doing it 49:38 because I love it but when other people 49:40 tell me or write a review and say that 49:43 they got a story or that they really 49:47 really connected with a character or 49:50 just felt something and were inspired 49:52 then I've done my job 49:54 why urge all of our listeners to go 49:57 check out Tory's work will include links 49:58 down below Thank You Tory this was a 50:01 wonderful conversation thank you thank 50:03 you Brian I really appreciate it all 50:05 right take care

theTUNDRA sits down with Tory Gates, the award-winning author of "Searching for Roy Buchanan”, "A Moment in the Sun” and other young adult hits. In addition to being an accomplished author, Gates is a broadcaster for over 35 years and currently hosts "The Brown Posey Press Show" on the BookSpeak Network. Follow this link to check out Tory Gates’ published works:


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