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Today’s Tease – Leanna Harrow’s interview of yours truly

The full interview can be found at AuthorTeaseReadings 

Here are a couple of highlights…


LH: This is easy for me…I’d invite Johnny Depp and I would not discuss movies!  Who would you invite to dinner, living or dead, and what one topic would you NOT discuss with them?

GD: Oscar Wilde, and I would not discuss his court cases. I would sit and listen.


LH: With the traditional bookstore becoming obsolete and everyone turning to buying books online, I don’t buy the hype that “the cover is everything”. How important do you think book covers are now that almost all shopping is done online?

GD: The cover may catch the interest, but a few words from the actual book will capture the mind and imagination.


LH: I would not change one thing in my life as I would not be me if I did… If you could go back in time and change one thing in your life, what would it be?

GD: I am blind in one eye. The accident that caused it.



LH: I didn’t really have a literary influence, I just decided one day to start writing. Who influenced you in your writing career?

GD: Many influences. One of the first writers to catch my attention was the poet Thom Gunn. As a teenager I read his poems and found his life – poet, biker, professor – irresistible. In my twenties I graded papers for one of his seminars at Berkeley and was struck by the generosity of his spirit and the power of his intellect.  He was a charming, modest and yet dazzling man, and lived the life of a writer to the extreme. “On the Move” and “Tamer and Hawk” are among the best poems of the last hundred years.

PG Wodehouse – for his effortless ability to write about the most difficult-to-capture subject – happiness. Jeeves and Wooster are a delight. Pinter, for his pauses and understanding that we reveal so much in silence. Conan Doyle for creating Sherlock Holmes – a man more real than most people I actually know.

Proust – I have read him every ten years since the age of eighteen. I am due to start again in April. His descriptions of the joys and agonies of love are unmatched. Probably unmatchable.

Oscar Wilde – the unflinching honesty of “De Profundis”, the elegant loveliness of his children’s stories, the artful perfection of his plays, the unforgettable anguish of “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”.

Martin Amis – “Time’s Arrow” is one of the greatest books ever written.

Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood”

Norman Mailer’s “The Executioner’s Song”

Vladamir Nabokov’s “Lolita”

William Golding’s “Free Fall” – one of the best analyses of the terrible choices creativity presents us.

Virginia Woolf – intellect and emotion so ideally matched

And then … Shakespeare … the beacon that has shown how beautiful English can be for four hundred years.

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