Who’s That Indie Author? Gary D. Hillard

Author name: Gary D. Hillard

Genre: Fiction

Books: 12.5 so far: Betts’ Best, Betts’ Becoming, Betts’ Belonging, The Buckman Kids, Road Trip, The Fosters of Camp Algonquin, Page of Swords, Alicia and the Queen of the Forest, Kenny and Stan, Cora Jenny, and the Keeper, Anna, Flossy Underoak. Jessica Jett Takes Off is a work in progress, which I hope to have done in early April.

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I retired at 57 after twenty-two years as a child and family therapist, and eleven years as a school teacher. I had raised four kids, including two girls I adopted out of foster care, and was a foster parent as well. I came away from my work pretty well burned out, and filled with stories, that I thought needed to be told.

How do you balance your work with other demands? Work wins. I’m single, retired, and my youngest child is 22 years old. I don’t even have a dog at this point.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: A seven-week cross-country tent-camping trip with my two youngest girls. All done in an early 70s Toyota. It’s pretty much their favorite time, too.

What’s your approach to writing? I wait at the end of a dock, and out of the fog, a story-ship appears. When it docks, I climb aboard and explore, taking notes as I go. It’s magic. There is usually about a day or two in between finishing one book and starting on the next.

Could you write in a café with people around? I could, and have. But most of my writing is early in the morning, in my Vermont cabin. Tunes on, coffee or tea, and the story.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? Nope. Can’t imagine it.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger, is my long-term favorite. Read it. It’s pretty great. I’m currently reading Invisible Americans, by Jeff Madrick, The Poet’s Corner, edited by John Lithgow, and Sunday’s Children, by Ingmar Bergman. I can do multiple books if only one of them is fiction.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? I spend about four to six hours each day writing on my MacBook. That’s way more screen time than I would like, so I only read paper.

Do you think print books will always be around? I hope so. Something magic about paper and ink.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? I have a flip phone, without internet connection. No books on there. I have to squint to see the texts.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? Probably a guitar or a mandolin. If it has to plug in, it would be my turntable, a vintage receiver and JBL speakers. Plus maybe ten feet of vinyl records.  Currently listening to Dire Straits.

How long could you go without checking your phone? Days at a time. My kids hate that.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? Once or twice, when traveling. I’m kind of a fan of silence these days. Wanting to just sit and think about stuff. I love to drive and see where I am, and think about it.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? I’m on Facebook, and pretty much hate it. I used it to stay in touch with my students, who now have kids of their own. I push my books on FB as well, awkwardly, with some success.

Website and social media links: Bear Hill Books, on FB

Awards/special recognition: My kids think I was a pretty good dad. That’s the best one.


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11 thoughts on “Who’s That Indie Author? Gary D. Hillard

  1. I love meeting fellow writer’s who don’t check their phones or have a flip phone. That’s probably why Gary is so productive. I only ditched my flip phone recently and that was because I was worried about getting lost in the hood, while commuting to work in the dark. I love his special awards. 🙂 Great interview, guys!

    1. I knew you were going to like that about Gary! It hasn’t been that long since I’ve had a flip phone either. I have only had a smart phone for 4 years. I was a go-phone girl for a long time! Thanks so much for stopping by and meeting Gary. Hope you are doing well down there!

  2. I admire prolific authors like you, Gary. You have a well-honed writing practice which has long become a habit, maybe even an instinct. Mornings work best for me too.

    Stay well, Gary, and you too, Barbara!

  3. Mornings mean writing at this point. It is a habit, and I am trying to modify that habit for the changes that have come as a result of social distancing. I now have the evil Internet in my cabin, thanks to a weak WiFi from the neighbors. It’s already a temptation to clink instead of write, so I’m working on that. My old connection places – the library and the coffee shop – are closed down at this point, so the neighbor WiFI is a needed gift. I’m grateful, and really cautious…

    The story kind of drives the writing. A good story is pushy that way. I wake up compelled to write, because I can feel the story pushing me.

    I loved the interview, and thought the questions were fun. Thanks for the support and interest.

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