For interview #10 we had a crime writer, for #11 we had a best-selling author, this week we have both in one person: a bestselling crime writer and blogger (they’re great posts!) who has worked as a sniper, forensic coroner, and homicide detective. His books are based on his own experiences of true crime, and have been ranked up alongside Stephen King and Dean Koontz in the bestseller charts.
Good people of the Internet – Garry Rodgers.
Name one book:
1 – everyone should read
Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Of all the self-help and motivational books, T&GR is by far the best work ever done on the science of personal achievement. The history of T&GR starts with Andrew Carnegie of US Steel/Carnegie Hall fame commissioning a young reporter named Napoleon Hill to research and write a book on the principles of success, no matter what your occupation or intention. This was in the early 1900s and Carnegie was in his later stage of life. He’d turned into a true philanthropist and wanted to leave the world with a formula on how people can better themselves – not just for richness in money but rich in spirit and accomplishment. Through Carnegie’s influence, Hill had access to the greats of the day – Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Presidents, Kings and entertainment stars. It took Hill over 20 years to produce the work – unpaid – but he produced a masterpiece that’s stood the test of time. Once you’ve absorbed the 17 principles of achievement laid out in T&GR, you live your life by them. It’s just that powerful a book.
2 – you would take with you if you were going to be marooned on Mars
Hmm… let me think. Besides T&GR that’d motivate me to try finding a way off, I’d say The Art Of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. In my opinion, the Dalai Lama is the most switched-on, in-tune spiritual leader alive today. Everything the guy says makes sense to me. I guess if I were marooned on Mars, I better decide to be happy about it and his guidance would sure help a situation that’d truly suck.
3 – you took a chance on and were pleasantly surprised by
Wired For Story by Lisa Cron comes to mind. I stumbled on it in a book store and it entirely changed my writing mind. Lisa takes a scientific approach on how human brains are designed to respond to stories and how to write in the way that engage your readers’ interest. It’s not a technical book – it’s so easy to read and understand. I think every writer MUST read this book.
4 – you’ve written that is your favourite
No Witnesses To Nothing was my first novel. I still think it’s my best work. It’s not a book for most people as it’s long, drawn out and gets quite heady towards the end. It’s based on three true stories and is a ghost story disguised as a murder mystery. Deep down, it’s a search for the science and spirituality of the human soul.
5 – that has influenced you most as a person
Think And Grow Rich, by far. Otherwise, I’d say The Magic Of Thinking Big by David Schwartz, Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz and The Psychology Of Winning by Denis Waitley.
6 – that has influenced you most as a professional
The Elements Of Style by Strunk & White is mandatory reading for all writers. You need to know the rules of writing and this little book captures them all – composition and grammar that is. Once you know the rules, then it’s fair game to break every one of them in creative storytelling.
7 – of yours that prospective readers should start with if they want to get to know your work and where they can get it.
I’d recommend reading In The Attic first if you want to get to know me and hear my voice. It’s a true story about a horrific double homicide I investigated. It’s told in first-person and takes the killer’s psychotic point of view as well. Warning, though, it’s extremely graphic.
You can find Garry at: http://www.dyingwords.net
Garry Rodgers is a retired homicide detective and forensic coroner who also served as a sniper on British SAS trained Emergency Response Teams. Now he’s an Amazon bestselling crime writer. Garry lives on Vancouver Island at Canada’s west coast and hosts the popular blogsite www.dyingwords.net.