Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Interview with Grit City writer/creator Ron Gavalik
Today is a special treat. I have writer/creator Ron Gavalik from Grit City Publications here to tell us about the Grit City serial emotobook.
Ron, please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve dedicated my life to the written word and spent the past 20 years of my career in fiction writing, journalism, and technical documentation. I’ve been privileged to see my short fiction appear in several magazines and online venues. During my journalism years several of my news articles have informed thousands of readers throughout the United States.
I conceived the new medium of emotobooks in 2010 while earning an MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Grit City is the maiden serialized story, and is receiving accolades among a large and diverse base of readers throughout the US, UK, and Germany.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, I spend much of my free time in the outdoors of southwestern Pennsylvania. There’s a lot to be said for the serenity of fishing, hiking, and riding a trail bike. My twisted mind needs a break here and there.
Please tell us how Grit City came about.
Grit City is a story idea that brewed for about 10 years, before I decided to put fingers to the keyboard. It was originally a mystery story, but I always felt it lacked a certain punch, but was never sure how to complete the idea. I stashed my notes away for a long time and moved on with life. During my time in the fiction writing MA program at Seton Hill University I wrote a thesis novel called The Trinity, which contained mystical urban fantasy elements. As it turned out, those kinds of elements were missing from Grit City. It’s then I knew what I had to do: apply the metaphysical to a modern noir tale. Its success tells me it was the right decision.
What can readers look forward to with Grit City?
Grit City is continuing story, published each month to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and other eBook retailers. In each installment the reader is exposed to a dark and calamitous world, where the nefarious rule.
Our main character is Dillon Galway, an idealistic freelance journalist in his mid-twenties, who barely scrapes out a living reporting on corruption for the metro newspaper and his own blog.
Dillon embodies a double meaning of the term grit. He is a gritty individual, who drinks and lives meagerly. But he also possesses grit. Courage and strength of character are his dominant personality traits.
I’ve constructed a world where Dillon shares a symbiotic relationship with the city. Its failures have lowered him, yet he remains hopeful for the restoration of peace and opportunity. Occasionally, he relies on the sexy and sultry Alyssa Stephano (gun for hire) to help when situations require her nickel-plated Colt .45 revolvers.
As the series progresses Dillon’s faced with unfathomed challenges, but also gains abilities most consider impossible.
Please tell us about emotobooks. What are they?
An emotobook is a short, fast read that’s consumed like any other eBook. But we inject abstract imagery, emotional representations of what the characters feel and experience during peak moments of tension. These expressionistic elements provide both cerebral and visual stimulation, which enhance the impact of each story installment. By delivering a visual of what the character feels and experiences, the reader becomes more intensely immersed in the story. To learn more, we encourage you to visit the Grit City website.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started writing seriously shortly before my twenty-first birthday. As a kid I had little use for books. It wasn’t until I went to college my first time (for engineering design) that I matured and found a love in reading. Shortly after I decided that my goal in life was to shape the world through the written word. It’s probably that kind of ambition that drove me to innovate a new medium of fiction that’s resonating with a wide and diverse audience.
What exciting storylines are you working on next?
Before I consider future storylines, it’s the mission of our team at Grit City Publications to publish the best modern genre fiction from both new and experienced writers in our new emotobooks medium. We’re currently reviewing queries for long-term serials like Grit City in a number of genres, such as horror, fantasy, science fiction, and yes, even romance and erotica.
Once our catalog is filled with successful authors I’ll step back and continue writing. The Grit City series could easily continue for two more seasons, but it’s a goal of mine to revisit The Trinity and rewrite it into the strongest possible emotobook story.
How does someone become an emotobook writer?
Read the free How to Write Emotobooks Handbook. Our team wrote this comprehensive manual to teach experienced writers the intricacies of crafting an emotobook series. It’s our goal to build an interactive community of authors, illustrators, and editors that will work together in crafting the best possible stories, but also introduce each title to the reading public in a dynamic manner.
We also require writers to read Grit City to gain an understanding of the medium. Once a writer fully understands the method to our madness we encourage them to email query letters for long-term or short-term emotobook serials. Short story submissions can be emailed without a query letter.
Thank you for your time and for sharing so much about the writing of Grit City. You've given the readers a lot to think about.