Savage Readers- Author Interview with Liam Gibbs

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1Liam Gibbs knew he was destined to write at age four, when he authored a breathtaking account of a cow who ate grass. The bovine saga failed to catch the public’s eye but earned the budding author parental acclaim. Since those early times, he’s gone on to write the novella Not So Superpowered and humorous articles for various magazines. A twenty-year veteran of the brutal world of hand-to-hand comic book fandom, Gibbs cut his teenage teeth on titles such as Spider-Man, X-Men, New Warriors, and other Marvel comics. Gibbs graduated college with a degree in professional writing, which included classes on fiction writing and story structure. He lives on the balmy shores of Ottawa, Canada, where he relaxes by watching staggeringly awful horror and science fiction movies. A health and fitness nut, he shoots lasers from his eyes, uses the word “exclusive” incorrectly, and once wrestled an exclusive brontosaurus. True story.

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1How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? 

I’ve published eight books, but I’ve written twenty-three. My favourite published book is In a Galaxy Far, Far AwRy book 4: Armageddon Trigger Finger.

 Can you tell me about your book(s) or series?

Nothing is more dangerous than a halfwit who controls all crime. He calls himself Master Asinine. Don’t laugh. With the might of the underworld at his back, Asinine plans to rule the—well, pretty much everything. He’s got a planet-destroying laser and just bullied the galaxy’s major criminal organizations into forming an unstoppable force he calls “The Bad Guys.” Standing against him is his one-time comrade-in-arms Matross Legion, a somewhat neurotic green-skinned Trioxidillian. He and Asinine haven’t spoken since Asinine killed their best friend, which, as you can imagine, somewhat soured their relationship. Gathering a small team of people with hyperabilities, Matross prepares to confront his old enemy. Trouble is, Asinine is also getting ready, and he has all the usual evil mastermind tricks up his sleeve—and a few surprises for an old friend. So don’t laugh at Master Asinine. At least, not to his face. In a Galaxy Far, Far AwRy is the new superhero space comedy. It’s a prime example of what happens when Spaceballs and superhero comics have children. Shame on us for allowing that to happen.

What do/does the title(s) mean? Is there any special meaning behind it? 

 It’s an homage to the famous Star Wars line “in a galaxy far far away.”

 When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

 I was too young to remember. This was something I’ve carried with me since, apparently, four years old. If I had to hazard a guess, a combination of wanting to emulate the stories I saw on TV and read in books and alien mind rays.

 What inspired you to write your first book?5

To be honest, waaaaayyyy back when I first wrote it, mostly Spider-Man comic books. Nothing fancy. And those alien mind rays I mentioned before. Aliens have the best mind rays.

 Where did you get your inspiration for your stories?

Comedy movies like Spaceballs and Ghostbusters, comedy shows like Seinfeld and Futurama, and superhero comic books.

How long does it take you to write a book?

 Approximately nine months from word one to the point I can show it to a beta-reader.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? How do you balance daily life with writing?

 Usually I plunk myself down at my desk and try to churn out as much fluff as I can before I hear yelling. The balance is tough, but with a day job, it’s easy to have to put the writing away before your boss tries to figure out what you’re doing instead of work.

 What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I write like I talk. My writing voice is very conversational. Readers have told me they’re afraid to read my books in bed because it feels as if I’m in bed with them. Nice imagery, I know.

How do your books get published?

 Self-published through Amazon.

 What does your family think of your writing?

They’re supportive, though I find much more interest with readers than family members.

0What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

In creating my books and publishing them, most of the hard work goes into the marketing. Also most of the yelling. Ohhh, the yelling.

 What is the first book that made you cry?

Probably a high school science textbook. They can make anyone cry.

 Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I hear from readers all the time. I rarely hear the negative, though that’s probably because people don’t want to give negative news to your face. The positive is nice, though. Some have commented that they love the stories so much that, when a new book comes out, they go back to the first and reread everything up to the current point. I’ve heard comments that Master Asinine (my primary antagonist) is people’s favourite character in fiction. Some have also picked other favourite characters, which means a great deal to me because it shows people are emotionally invested in one character or another. It’s better than not picking favourites at all.

 Do you listen to music when you write? If so, do you create a Playlist for your books?

I listen to some music, but only when I’m in a zone. Often I have to shut it out to concentrate. I could never listen to music while I’m doing very strict, hard editing. I have no playlist.

 Who are your favorite authors?

  1. Paul Wilson, Stephen King, Fabian Nicieza, Dean Koontz, whoever used to do up the Yellow Pages.

 Not all writers write all the time. Do you have favorite movies or TV shows?

Favourite TV shows will be Seinfeld, Cheers, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine until the end of time. Favourite movies include Event Horizon, Ghostbusters, Die Hard (yeah, yeah, even the junky fifth one), Shaun of the Dead, Spaceballs, The Way Way Back, Dodgeball, and Toy Story. Wwwoww, I need to get out of the house more.

Any hobbies?

Writing. Also health and fitness. I also collect dust, but that’s mostly when I sleep. By morning, I try to shake off my collection of dust.

 Any other info you would like to share? 

If anyone is up for a chitchat, I’m always an email away!

Any upcoming events?

Unfortunately Covid has put the kibosh on a lot of upcoming events, but I do plan to participate in Ottawa V Fest. As far as takeovers, watch out, Apple. I’ve got my eye on you. Oh, wait, not “hostile” takeovers. ‘Kay.

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