Wattpad Wednesday: TheOrangutan

Basic Info

Gavin Wilson (real name)
39 Years old
UK

Author of 24 works on Wattpad, including Merlin’s Gold and A Gift in the Dark.
Visit his Wattpad profile here: TheOrangutan

Show us your workspace. Don’t clean it up first!

Well I’m afraid that’s it. That is a picture of my air cooled bald head (advertising space for hire). That is my workspace and I take it with me everywhere I go. It’s messy, could do with some shelving and has a few corners that quite frankly I fear to tread, but it seems to do the job.

We have a small house, four kids and little spare time, so I write wherever and whenever I can, whether it be in a notebook, on my laptop, at the dining room table, or even in brief notes on my phone.

Other than high school English class, how did you learn to write?

Through experience I guess. I went down the science route from 16 onwards and my knowledge of English is strictly limited to what I’ve read, what I’ve learnt as I’ve gone along and endless tapping away in the corner. I’ve always been a firm believer that you can’t write unless you’ve read a lot first.

What is one of the best sentences or paragraphs you’ve ever written?

One of the first I ever wrote and one that I’m pretty happy with is the opening section of my short story A Gift in the Dark which is also soon to be the opening story of an anthology of works I’m publishing on Amazon.

“If I close my eyes, I can still hear the sounds that haunt my dreams. Not the booming whoosh of the steam powered pumps or the clattering of the picks and shovels but the quiet sounds that whispered from the darkness when the men were resting. With the Davy Lamps turned low to preserve fuel, the flickering shadows breathed life into the darkness that surrounded us. The gentle drips of water and steady hiss of the lamps; the distant rumble of the surf above our heads and the knocks of stone and echo. These are the sounds that fill my nights.”
A Gift in the Dark

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from another author’s novel?

I love so many books and authors, and there are little moments of genius in so many works. The one that got me really thinking about writing seriously though was a short story by Neil Gaiman. In his story The Price, it ends with these words:

“The thing that comes to my house does not come every night. But it comes most nights: we know it by the wounds on the cat, and the pain I can see in those leonine eyes. He has lost the use of his front left paw, and his right eye has closed for good. I wonder what we did to deserve the Black Cat. I wonder who sent him. And, selfish and scared, I wonder how much more he has to give.”
The Price, Neil Gaiman

It ends there and, as all good short stories should, really got my brain firing on all cylinders. I’d been toying with the idea of writing for ages before that, but that last couple of absolutely killer paragraphs to a superbly atmospheric short story was the catalyst that finally got me slamming a few things onto paper.

Do you have pets? Show us!

I have a pet Thesaurus around here somewhere, but he’s not very photogenic…

What was your best experience on Wattpad?

I have a few. Getting the first early comments on some of my work was wonderful and gave me the boost I needed to carry on writing. After that, I managed to get the finals of the Watty Awards a few months after I joined which was cool. I had six different works in the final. Shortly after that I become an Ambassador which is a great privilege. After writing a novel length Arthurian style historical fiction I was Featured, that was very cool. Ultimately though I think being asked to become a Moderator by Wattpad HQ was my best moment and it’s a lovely thing to be able to work with and talk to the team at HQ, they’re good folk.

What other talents do you have?

I can play a bit of music, although I’m not exactly Joe Satriani. I can play piano, recorder (it helps when you have kids) and guitar enough to get a tune out of them. I used to play a lot of sport and got to county level as a badminton player. Does juggling count as a talent? Keeps the kids amused though.

What is the most disappointing book you have ever read?

That’s a tough one. I think it might’ve been Feersum Endjinn (however the hell you spell it) by Iain M Banks. Not because he’s a bad writer, because he’s not, the man’s a genius. However, I’d just read The Crow Road which was awesome and being a bit of a SF nut someone loaned me that one and it was just really hard going and I didn’t like it at all. I finished it, but it was like wading through treacle. Last year though someone gave me a copy of A Player of Games and I absolutely loved it. ‘Tis always nice to have one’s faith restored.

Do you keep a writing notebook? Show us a page!

If you can read it, you’re doing better than I am…

Read us a short excerpt from your work.

Recommend another Wattpadder.

Have a look at anyone I’ve fanned, they’ve been fanned for a reason =]

Other than your Wattpad profile, do you have another site you’d like us to visit?

www.gavin-wilson.org is my homepage. It’s still under construction and is a bit rough and ready but you’ll find a few interesting bits and bobs on there. Also, I did a radio interview with Allen Lau from Wattpad on Monday. You can hear it here.

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