We continue the Scriggler Author Spotlight series with a quick interview with Darla Hogan — the author of Duke Gomory’s Pocket Watch, "a cross between dark urban fantasy and psychological thriller"
5 Sentences about you
It’s always daunting having to describe yourself to others but here goes and in no particular order: I am a thinker, a person who finds it uncomfortable to shut down my mind no matter what I’m doing (well nearly, there are a couple of exceptions). I feel very strongly that every individual should be measured by their personal merits and not judged because of their race, religion, sexuality or eccentricity. I think I’m a workaholic and need therapy, but I’m too busy. I love creating something from nothing, my business (small but busy sandwich shop), solving all the world’s problems and of course writing. I enjoy relating to people and if possible trying to bring out the best in them; I was a physics teacher for 25 years.
5 Sentences about the book
Duke Gomory’s Pocket Watch does not fit easily into any single genre of writing; a couple of my beta readers suggested a cross between dark urban fantasy and psychological thriller. Here is a short description that may entice you to look further into this novel.
From the earliest times, humans conceived powers greater than theirs through the formation of religious belief. Those who held power within the developing hierarchy often succumbed to corrupting influences, instigating the creation of demons as a tool to supress disaffection of the masses. These demons were associated with special powers and one, Duke Gomory, exists in the past, present and future. Little does Henry King realise the significance of the unusual pocket watch inherited from an eccentric great-uncle. Within a day of receiving the unexpected gift, Henry’s life begins to change in ways he could never have imagined.
5 Sentences about one of the books’ characters
There are many characters in this book, but central to the main story is an ordinary young man named Henry King. Henry is in his early twenties, has recently completed his education gaining a degree, but like many people of his age, he finds himself working in a menial job in a fast food restaurant. He has led a relatively sheltered life and is struggling to cope with the process of becoming a fledgling, when he is bequeathed an unusual pocket watch. Finding himself catapulted into a darker side of life, Henry tries to come to grips with his growing love for Christina and overcome his anxiety about the ruthlessness of the rich and powerful.
Why do you think people should read it?
This book unashamedly explores the reasons why so many people become involved in participating in the atrocities humanity inflicts on itself. There are some very provoking and disturbing issues covered in this book, and although it is a work of fiction, the events portrayed have happened time over time. It is an intense piece of writing and my hope is that in some small way, it will influence the reader to have greater tolerance for those whose dark side has consumed them because of what they suffered in the past. The book is not antireligious, but does explore the dangers of misplaced belief and how it can be used as a tool of manipulation by the corrupt.
Who is your ideal reader?
Anyone who is not afraid to understand why evil can and has prevailed throughout time and relishes a book with multiple twists and turns.
Other authors you admire — especially contemporary. Anyone stands out in particular?
I have such a broad range of genres that I like this is a hard question. From the past, I’ll mention just three of many: Thomas Hardy, Herman Hesse and Philip K Dick. For contemporary I’m going with Patricia Cornwell and Michael Connolly, but I want to mention an unknown author I’ve come across who has written the best and most unusual vampire story I’ve ever read. Janet Brennan: Eternal Bloodlines.
How are you approaching the promotion of the book so far?
I currently have five published books and limited success at marketing them. I run a small business and work around 60 hours a week, so finding time for writing is hard enough, yet alone running any promotion. Three of the books are with a small publisher, but I know I need to work at building up a larger email list. I have grown a largish twitter following (20k) and started to build contacts on Facebook. I really like the Scriggler platform but time is always my enemy.
What resources are you using, what events are you attending?
Currently I am only using twitter, Facebook and Scriggler. I have sold a few paperbacks by placing them for sale in my sandwich shop! As yet, I’ve not taken the plunge to attend any book fairs or organise an author signing.
Cover design and editing — who did you use and how was the experience?
I have been lucky to connect with a publisher so two of my book covers were produced by them and the third one was a combination of my work and a friend. My publisher connected me with Amanda Horan from Gobookyourself. The editing experience was fantastic as it enlightened me to my basic flaws and gave me guidance on a few simple steps that could enhance story telling through showing.
Favourite author/publication on Scriggler.
I’m going to go for Kenneth Harper Finton. I find many of his short stories fascinating.
If anyone is interested in doing a review — how should they approach you?
I can be contacted on twitter through the link below of through Facebook. (Darla Etienne Hogan) I am happy to provide a free PDF to anyone willing to write an honest review.
Darla Hogan on Scriggler: https://scriggler.com/Profile/darla_hogan_darlahoganauthor