‘Stories are how we make sense of the world’ - an interview with author Stephen F. Galloway

Steven F Galloway
Steven F Galloway

Vicky Meets...Stephen F. Galloway, author

How did you become an author?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write, so it must be something I was born with, but it wasn’t until I was around 30 that I developed the patience to write a full-length novel. I published my first book, The Lake, on Amazon in 2011 and it was downloaded over 12,000 times. I’ve since published another three novels. My latest, Provenance, is the first to be available as a paperback as well as an eBook.

Which authors have inspired you along the way?

As I child, I remember stories by Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl, which must have had an effect on me. Nowadays I’m a big fan of historical fiction, so I love anything by Robert Harris and Robert Goddard, and my latest book Provenance probably owes a fair bit to Mr Goddard – I love the way his books involve an unlikely hero unravelling a huge mystery almost by accident. Although non-fiction, Bill Bryson is another favourite, as he makes the most mundane things both hilarious and interesting.

Why does our appetite for fiction endure?

In the final episode of Game of Thrones, the character Tyrion says “there’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story,” and I think that’s true. Stories are how we make sense of the often chaotic world around us. I think everyone probably sees their own life in the form of a narrative, with heroes and villains and a struggle, and the hope that good will triumph in the end. From tales around the campfire to dramas on Netflix, fiction is as old as time.

What advice can you offer aspiring writers?

It’s incredibly hard to get published traditionally. Although I had interest from publishers for The Lake, even going to London to meet with one, it still didn’t get taken up in the end, so I put it on Amazon Kindle where it did remarkably well and was read by more people than I could have hoped for. I’d say don’t give up on the traditional route, but bear in mind that in this day and age it’s a lot easier to get your work in front of people thanks to the internet. Also, learn not to take rejection and criticism personally, but be stubborn too. Write what you want to write, not what you think other people might like.

What are you working on at the moment?

It’s set in the future, which I guess makes it sci-fi. I’ve only just started, but it’s based on an idea I had about six years ago which has been parked somewhere at the back of my mind!

The book you would take to a desert island?

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Not for the survival tips, just because it’s absolutely hilarious.

Where can we find out more?

On Twitter @StevenFGalloway, where there are links to my books. Or search for Steven F. Galloway on Amazon.