Featured Interview With Gerald Gillis
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I am a native of Atlanta, Georgia. My wife and I still reside in the greater Atlanta area. We love Atlanta, love the four seasons, love the Braves, and hate the traffic. But for the allergies that afflict some of my grandkids, I would have a cat. Alas, no pets. Birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and occasional deer aren’t quite pets, but they do provide us with some interesting, enjoyable sights.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
Early elementary school I began an exploration of books of all sorts. Once I read Bruce Catton’s This Hallowed Ground about the American Civil War, I was hooked on the subject and on reading. It was the first book I fully read (apart from the Dick and Jane stuff), and I began writing short stories soon thereafter. This would have been the 5th or 6th grade. I wrote my first novel in the mid-1980s, and had to decide whether to remain in a business career that was beginning to gain some traction, or toss caution to the wind and become a fledgling novelist. The family took a vote and preferred the steady income. I agreed, but I also concluded that I would write full time at some point. It took twenty-five years, but I finally did it! Some joker asked me during an interview a few years ago if I had been in prison for that twenty-five years. I’m happy to report that I wasn’t then, nor at any other time!!
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Favorite authors: Pat Conroy; Shelby Foote; David McCullough; William F. Buckely, Jr
Favorite genre: Historical fiction
Herman Wouk inspired me with his historical novels War and Remembrance and The Winds of War.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
That Deadly Space is a novel about the Civil War. I had wanted to write a historical novel about the Civil War for many years, and now that I have completed it, That Deadly Space was the most enjoyable project I have done to date. It took me three months to write, and another three months to edit (and edit, and edit!). It concerns a young Atlantan who joins the Confederate army and participates in many of the war’s consequential battles. As an old man, he tells his fascinating story to his grandson, who himself is an army officer about to to off to war in World War I. It is a story of tragedy, heroism, love, and eventual triumph.
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