I stumbled upon Gavin on Twitter and instantly felt an instant connection. Let me explain.
I wrote the the Lives Trilogy and Prequel about missing and sexually exploited kids, focusing on law enforcement efforts to get the kids back safely. I am pleased to have had so many positive reviews since the topic is dark. And while my work on these four books (Taking Lives, Stolen Lives, Shattered Lives, and Splintered Lives) is fiction based upon my work with an organization that seeks to educate parents and care givers about sexual exploitation and abuse, and based upon my work as a counselor, it still is fiction. Yes, based upon reality. Yes, based upon the stories of kids and parents I’ve worked with and encountered. But, the work is fiction.
Gavin, is a sexual abuse survivor. He lived it. It scared him and as I write in my books, sexual abuse steals the childhood from kids- boys and girls alike. Yet, Gavin survived and is living his life and is making a difference in the lives of others. How could I not connect with this noble author and man? His story, like the lives of my fictional characters Brett, Bobby, Stephen, Mikey and Garrett, deserve sharing.
What was it that made you decide you had a story to tell and to become an author?
From the moment the judge sentenced me to 40 months’ imprisonment, I knew my story had to be told.
As an author or writer, what sets you apart from others?
My screenplay, An Evening with Neville Heath, was penned in prison. Soundtrack to a life is my own life story so without one there wouldn’t be the other! Both have a unique concept. With An Evening with Neville Heath, I created a fictional MC Stanley Turner alongside the real life “handsome brute” Heath. Without the internet in prison and a library closed because of COVID I used my photographic memory and imagination to create something that is made for both stage and screen. With my life story, Soundtrack to a Life, every chapter is named after a relevant song. For example, Chapter 4 is called Life on Mars because of the extreme violence and drug use I witnessed on my first day in prison.
What genre do you write, and why?
I don’t have a particular genre. My next WIP is called The Rhinestone Cowboy which is about a multi- millionaire, ruthless, modern day cattle farmer in England whose life is inadvertently saved by one of his cows and he has an epiphany that leads him to redemption and finally making his disabled daughter proud of him. I guess this would be a feel good family read or watch.
If you were to name one or two books that you deem unforgettable and that had a major impact on you, what would they be, and why?
Midnight Express is a fantastic read. Also, a book on the notorious Kray Twins (from London) called A Profession of Violence and how they ruled the underworld in the 60’s.
What authors do you read regularly? Why?
Since I have been writing in the last two years, I have not read one book.
If you were to have dinner with 5 individuals living or dead, who would they be and why?
My Dad who passed away in January 2021, was my father, my best friend and my hero. The boy I was in my profile picture on Twitter to tell him we are close to justice against his abuser. Neville Heath to ask him why he killed. Winston Churchill, one of my all time heroes being an Englishman and Putin so I could ask him what he’s trying to achieve.
What is your writing routine? When you write, are you a planner/outliner or are you a “pantser”?
As a writer, I feel my work has to be perfect. If I have an idea that is not up to that standard, the monkey in my head tells me straight away. I refuse to write something for the sake of it. It has to be something that I know others will want to read and be gripped on from the first chapter.
Is there something you set out to do, but somehow, it didn’t work out for you? (In terms of writing, or something else you felt was important to you at the time?)
In An Evening with Neville Heath, there are two different events that happened on the same day in real life. It turned out they were a week apart. However, I made a vow that this screenplay would be entirely penned in prison, without the internet or a library closed due to COVID and I have changed nothing as that is a big USP.
What tips would you give to new or even experienced writers?
Do not compare your work to others. For example, you write a crime book and you say, “It’s Godfather meets Goodfellas.” It’s cringy and a big no no, in my humble opinion.
How do you handle a negative critique?
I honestly have not had one yet, but when I do, we’ll have a discussion for five minutes then decide I’m right. See, also a sense of humor!
Is there a type of writing/genre that you find difficult to write? Why?
Parts of my life story Soundtrack to a Life were extremely difficult to write. The sexual abuse, prison, missing my kids, losing Dad. On the flip side, there are also incredibly humorous times and, of course, that last ongoing chapter of getting justice against my abuser.
How important are the elements of character, setting, and atmosphere to a story, and why?
Extremely. With An Evening with Neville Heath, it is set in a Victorian prison. One prison guard spending the last 12 hours with a murderer before he is hanged. From that gloomy setting, both men bond and their stories take us to settings from all over the world telling of their life experiences.
Do you see yourself in any of the characters you create? How/Why?
Soundtrack to a Life is about me, so obviously I do! With An Evening with Neville Heath, I see a bit of my fictional MC Stanley Turner in not only me but all of us.
Is there an unforgettable or memorable character that will not leave your head, either of your own creation or from a book you’ve read?
My fictional MC Stanley Turner in my screenplay, An Evening with Neville Heath. When I was writing in prison, it was as though he was doing the time with me. Also another fictional character from An Evening with Neville Heath called Tomer, who was a young Jewish man at Bergen Belsen.
Tell us about your most recent book. How did you come up with the concept? How did you come up with the title? From your book, who is your favorite character? Who is your least favorite character? Why?
Soundtrack to a Life is my life story. It deals with issues like child sex abuse, professional football, the action I took against my abuser in 2017, my arrest, trial and conviction. Some horrific experiences in prison, but also some hilarious ones. My mental health, the epiphany to write An Evening with Neville Heath as well as Soundtrack to a Life, my release then sadly losing Dad and finally the last chapter that is ongoing when we receive justice. It is called Soundtrack to a Life, as every chapter is named after a relevant song. For example, Chapter 3 is called “Comfortably Numb” due to me self-medicating before my trial. Some songs are melancholy but some are uplifting. A bit like my life, really!
Gavin doesn’t have a link to his work yet. As he explains, “Soundtrack to a Life is not quite finished, so I have nothing published thus far. However, I’ve had plenty of offers to publish it as a book. And a London documentary maker is making a film on my story. An Evening with Neville Heath will get there eventually!”
You can find him on Twitter at: @GavinGeddes7
I hope you enjoyed this interview. I am looking forward to seeing and reading Gavin’s work in print or on stage/cinema, so until then, I will quietly cheer him on and help him in any way I can.
I’ve included a description and links to my books if you have an interest. As always, upon closing the book after reading it, I hope you write a review. Feel free to communicate with me through Twitter or on any of my social media, especially, this website.
Blaze In, Blaze Out: A Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read! A BestThriller’s Editor’s Pick!
Eiselmann and O’Connor thought the conviction of Dmitry Andruko, the head of a Ukrainian crime family, meant the end. It was only the beginning. They forgot that revenge knows no boundaries, vindictiveness knows no restraints, and ruthlessness never worries about collateral damage. Andruko hired contract killers to go after and kill O’Connor and Eiselmann. The killers can be anyone and be anywhere. They can strike at any time. They care nothing of collateral damage. Andruko believes a target is a target, and in the end, the target must die. https://amzn.to/34lNllP
Betrayed: A PenCraft 1st Place Winner for Thriller-Fiction! A Maxy Award Runner-Up for Mystery/Suspense! A Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read Award Winner! A Reader’s Favorite Honorable Mention Award Winner for Fiction-Crime-Mystery!
Betrayed is Now Available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback! https://amzn.to/3AfUUpS
A late-night phone call, a missing kid, a murdered family, but no one is talking. A promise is made and kept, but it could mean the death of a fifteen-year-old boy. Greed can be all-consuming, and seeing is not believing. No one can be trusted, and the hunters become the hunted. https://amzn.to/2EKHudx
Spiral Into Darkness: Named a Recommended Read in the Author Shout Reader Awards!
He blends in. He is successful, intelligent, and methodical. So far, he has murdered eight people. There is no discernible pattern. There are no clues. There are no leads. The only thing the FBI and local police have to go on is the method of death: two bullets to the face- gruesome and meant to send a message. But it’s difficult to understand any message coming from a dark and damaged mind. Two adopted boys, struggling in their own world, do not know they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement. https://amzn.to/2RBWvTm
Caught in a Web: A PenCraft Literary Award Winner! Named “One of the Best Thrillers of 2018!” by BestThrillers.com
Caught in a Web is also available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback! http://bit.ly/2WO3kka
They found the bodies of high school and middle school kids dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. A violent gang, MS-13, controls the drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors. They send Ricardo Fuentes to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach them a lesson. But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old boy, George Tokay. Detectives Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CKF7696
The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they live in separate parts of the country, the lives of Kelliher, 11-year-old Brett McGovern, and 11-year-old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their futures grow dark as each search for a way out. https://amzn.to/34nXBH5
Book One, Stolen Lives: Editor’s Pick by BestThrillers! Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! A Crime Thriller finalist in the 2021 Best Thriller Book Awards!
Two thirteen-year-old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they will end up like the other kids they found- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. To make the investigation that much tougher, Kelliher suspects that one of his team members might be involved. https://amzn.to/3oMo4qZ
Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
The boys are home, but now they have to fit back in with their families and friends. Their parents and the FBI thought the boys were safe. They were until people began dying. Now the hunt is on for six dangerous and desperate men who vow revenge. With no leads and nothing to go on, the FBI can only sit back and wait. A dangerous game that threatens not only the boys, but their families. https://amzn.to/2RAYIk2
Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
Three dangerous men with nothing to lose offer a handsome reward to anyone willing to kill fourteen-year-old Brett McGovern. He does not know that he, his younger brother, and a friend are targets. More than anyone, these three men vow to kill George, whom they blame for forcing them to run and hide. A fun vacation turns into a nightmare and ends where it started, back on the Navajo Nation Reservation, high on a mesa held sacred by George and his grandfather. Outnumbered and outgunned, George will make the ultimate sacrifice to protect his adoptive father and his adoptive brothers- but can he? Without knowing who these men are? Or where they are? Without knowing whom to trust? Is he prepared for betrayal that leads to his heartbreak and death? http://bit.ly/SplinteredLives