The Diary of a Nobody is a real-time novel, updated daily at www.writersshack.com. It begins in October, 2013 and was inspired by a 19th century British novel of the same name. Gaylon Kent, 49, is an American writer. In addition to The Diary of a Nobody, Gaylon has written the novel The Regular Guys and Backstairs at the Monte Carlo: A Vegas Memoir. He also writes the columns The Daily Dose and The Bottom Ten. All of Gaylon’s work is available exclusively at www.writersshack.com.
Q: Please tell us about The Diary of a Nobody and what inspired you to write it.
A: The inspiration came from a 19th century British novel of the same name. It is set in 1885 and is about an average British bloke with an average clerk’s job, an average wife and a no-load kid who just lost his job and moves back home.
I found it completely brilliant, a captivating read, and saw no reason why I couldn’t produce a funny 21st century version.
The Diary of a Nobody starts in November, 2013 and continues to this day. It is updated daily at www.writersshack.com and 2013/14 is available in hard cover and paperback. Succeeding years will be, too.
Q: What themes do you explore in The Diary of a Nobody?
A: The joys of everyday life. The pleasures of a good marriage. The futility in trying to get the dog to poop when it’s 20 below. The thrill and satisfaction of accomplishment even if a billion Chinese couldn’t care less about your accomplishment.
Q: Why do you write?
A: It is what I was meant to do with my time on this planet, and I genuinely believe I have something to say and your readers are better off for having read it.
A writer, any artist, really, must believe this with every fiber of their being. If I am not writing so you will remember it the rest of your life, why am I even bothering?
Now, you may or may not remember something I wrote forever and ever, but I am wasting everyone’s time by not trying. I would merely be typing.
Q: How picky are you with language?
A: Quite, especially with dialogue. Every word must count, must move the story forward, must not waste the reader’s time. Naughty words must fit and be appropriate to the character and circumstance.
This is funny because ages ago I served our country on an old diesel submarine, the USS Blueback. I received a Master’s degree in swearing with special emphasis on the Holy Trinity and I still swear, as a matter of course.
Q: When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
A: Afar, no. Within, yes. Which conceptually is probably the same thing.
While I hope every single one of your readers goes and buys my book, or better yet, books, I do not write for money. I write because I have something to say. So I sit down and write what I feel needs to be said first, then go and find readers for it.
Q: What is your worst time as a writer?
A: With regards to actually writing, it is when I am tired. My mind does not produce readable material when it is tired.
Another bad time is right after finishing the first draft of a novel. You put so much work into it and it was so much fun and now it’s all over.
Q: Your best?
A: Right after finishing the first draft of a novel!
Seriously, it was so much fun and so much work it is supremely satisfying to have the first draft finished because now you can look forward to the fun of polishing and editing it.
As far as actually writing, I prefer to write first thing in the morning, when the mind is freshly rested and caffeinated.
Q: Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
A: Death. That’s about it. We were all put on this planet to do something.
Q: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
A: Every day I get to sit down and write what is on my mind is satisfying. The best is yet to come, however.
Q: Is writing an obsession to you?
A: No, in that I do not let it interfere with other things. When it is time for dinner, I eat dinner with my wife. When it is time to earn a living, I do that. When it is time to go and umpire a high school baseball game, I go do that.
However, if I am not writing I am probably thinking about it. It never ends. So perhaps the answer is yes.
Q: Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
A: Oh, very much so. A writer who does not have at least a contextual connection with what he writes is not writing, he is typing.
The Diary of a Nobody is, to a great extent, on my life. I’ve tried to get the dog to poop when it was 20 below, and I have a funny wife, though I am actually farther along in my officiating career than Sparrow is, but I’ve been in his shoes.
Q: Sparrow ran for the United States Senate in 2014. Have you ever run for the United States Senate?
A: Yes! As Sparrow was running as the nominee of the Minor Party I was the Colorado Libertarian Party’s nominee.
Sparrow’s campaign paralleled mine closely. We both made TV appearances and both came in third in a six-person race.
And we will both run again.
Q: How did you like running for the United States Senate?
A: It was a lot of fun. I had wanted to run for the US Senate since I was a boy with no guarantee it would ever happen. It was satisfying.
It is tough to get taken seriously as a third party candidate, though. More than once someone would say “you know, I like what you stand for, too bad you have no chance to win”.
Q: Remembering this is not a political blog, what is your platform?
A: In a nutshell, liberty is the solution to every problem this nation faces.
Q: Fair enough. Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Do you agree?
A: Yes. There is a lot of reality out there to distract you, mainly in the form of amusements and other distractions that take you away from the keyboard.
There are a thousand ways and a thousand excuses to not write. When I was younger I made every single one, probably twice. Not writing is the biggest battle a writer faces. Our job is to avoid them. We can only get ready to write so much before we have to dive in and start putting one word next to another.
Q: Where is your book available?
A: At my website, www.writersshack.com. You can subscribe and read my books in a pretty neat-o flipbook format, or you can by the actual books themselves.
Q: Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?
A: www.writersshack.com. The Diary of a Nobody is updated daily there, and you can also read my other books plus my columns, The Daily Dose and The Bottom Ten.
In past lives Gaylon has been, among other things, a radio announcer and a newspaper reporter, as well as working security at the Monte Carlo and Venetian/Palazzo hotels in Las Vegas and working a Brinks armored truck. Gaylon was the Colorado Libertarian Party’s nominee for United States Senate in 2014, finishing third in a six-person race with a bit more than 52,000 votes. He is a two-time graduate of the Harry Wendelstedt School for Umpires and is an accomplished high school sports official. Gaylon served on an old diesel submarine, the USS Blueback, in the Navy and still like his grandfather, Gaylon C Kent, commands his American Legion post. Gaylon and his wife Marian live in Hayden, Colorado. He is originally from Los Angeles. He enjoys a wine pairing from time to time and is known to not wash his coffee mug.
For More Information
- Visit Gaylon's website.