1. What is your name and where do you call home?
My name is Gill (short for Gillian) Shutt and Wales is where I live although I’m English by birth.
2. Do you have a pen name?
My pen is called Brian. Seriously... no, I never expect to become famous enough to need one.
3. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
The book is Alien Legends. It’s a book of short stories, myths and legends from alien planets collected by The Repository of Imagination.
4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I’m in the process of co-editing a follow on to Alien Legends called Weird Legends. My niece, Elena Çoban, is helping with all the technical stuff like punctuation while I get to say yea or nay to the authors when they send their work in. We are both putting a story in too.
5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing so long I can’t remember and wrote as a child. I don’t think I was inspired, I just needed to get the stories and poems out of my head.
6. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
Yes, yes I do.
7. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
Tim Taylor, my editor at Greyhart Press, found the cover for me. It’s by Dragonfly22 from Shutterstock.com
8. Which is your favourite cover of all the books you have written?
I think my favourite is still from The Legends of Light, my first book. Slava Gerj is the artist and it is so full of detail you could look at it for hours and still miss bits.
9. Is there anything you would change about your book covers?
10. Do you have a playlist in mind for any of your books?
No, I tend to forget about them once I’ve written them, I’m always thinking about the next one before the edits are finished.
11. Did you listen to any particular songs whilst writing your books?
Not that I can remember, I’m too busy listening to my tinnitus.
12. Would you have different book covers for different countries?
No, I don’t see the point. If the cover fits then why change it?
13. How did you come up with the title for your book?
It was self explanatory really.
14. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
Only if there are any typos in it.
15. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
No I don’t, I made a very short one for Legends and posted it on YouTube but it never took off. Which wasn’t surprising since it only lasted about a minute. I don’t have the doohickeys on my laptop to do a decent job of a trailer, maybe one day.
16. Do you have a “Dreamcast” in mind for any of your books?
No... see the answer to question 10. I haven’t written anything that would transfer well to film or TV, in my opinion.
17. What is your opinion of ARCs?
If you mean advanced reading copies, Greyhart always prints Beta copies and we get nice people to give it a read through, point out errors and give their opinions. And we are happy to send out copies as soon as we are happy with the finished result or as long as people don’t mind getting the Beta copy which may or may not be full of typos... it will if it’s one of mine. If you mean Attack Retrieve and Capture... I have no opinion.
18. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
My kindle has a hemp cover which opens like a book, has a pocket for a notebook and a pen holder and feels like a book... if it wasn’t for that I’d have to say paperback. There’s something about holding a ‘real’ book and turning the pages that is far more satisfying than clicking a button.
19. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
No, Greyhart Press is an Indie publisher and they (Tim) publish my books for me. I wouldn’t know where to start doing it for myself and couldn’t afford an editor to get it up to scratch.
20. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Far too many to mention but my favourites are the Ryhope Wood series of books... a combination of fantasy and Jungian archetypes or mythagos.
21. Have you ever bought a specific edition of a book because of it’s cover? (For example a UK, US or Canadian version)
No, I ALWAYS read the blurb to save disappointment.
22. What is your opinion of novellas?
I love novellas. Since I developed fibromyalgia my concentration levels are zilch and short stories and novellas are great for those days when I have no short term memory. If I read a full novel I’d have to go back the following day and reread what I’d read so far because I’d have forgotten half of it.
23. Have you ever read a book just based on it’s cover?
24. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Yes, there are a lot of books on the market these days that look like rubbish just based on their artwork. If they can’t be bothered to get a decent cover then they probably haven’t bothered to get a decent editor or even thought much past the first write up.
25. What is your favourite film based on a book?
I no longer watch films... or TV for that matter. A combination of tinnitus in both ears and an inability to sit upright for long tends to ruin it. I suppose TLOTR would have to rank as the best.
26. What is your favourite book genre at the moment?
At the moment I’m reading murder mysteries, tomorrow... who knows?
27. What books have made it onto your wishlist recently? And why?
Dodger’s Guide to London by Terry Pratchett... I loved Dodger and I’m a Londoner. Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch because I have the other books in the series and love them. And The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman because I love all his work.
28. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I’m reading a book by Susan Hill, a Simon Serrailler detective novel, The Risk of Darkness... in paperback
29. If you could invite any four celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
Dead: Isaac Asimov and Gerald Durrell because I loved their work as a teenager and still do. Alive: Neil Gaiman to get some tips on how to earn money out of writing and Dr Jane Goodall to find out all about her work with chimpanzees which I find fascinating.
30. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Don’t stop, just keep on going until you get to the end then leave it and go back to it once you have forgotten what you wrote. The best advice I have been given is to put your work away and only read it through after you have forgotten half of it. That way you read what you really wrote not what you think you wrote. It’s so easy to miss things because your brain will read what it thinks is there not what you actually put on the paper.
31. Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing?
I keep a lot of pets... 2 dogs, a cat, two mice, a rat and a snake. I make jewellery when my fingers work well enough not to scatter beads all over the house.
32. Where can your readers follow you?
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GillShutt
Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!