Winning April 2016 Novel.
Watch the Transcript Reading of PANTERRA: THE MACHINIST:
Performed by actor Dan Cristofori
Get to know writer Gary L. Ward:
Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?
Gary L. Ward: Arlington Moore is shipwrecked in a strange land. Separated from his crewmates he’s learned to adapt and has found a new life in a fishing village where he’s accepted and appreciated. Nearly four years later news comes to his village that other members of his crew have survived. As he’s preparing to set out in search of them, one of his crewmates finds him. With her is a three-year-old girl, and chasing her are imperial troops intent on returning her to her prison.
MT: Why should this novel be read by people?
GLW: This is a unique story, populated with characters who pull you into their lives and their struggle to find, not just their friends, but themselves.
MT: How would you describe this novel in two words?
GLW: Colorfully original.
MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?
GLW: “Let It Ride” with Richard Dreyfuss. “You could be walking around lucky, and not even know it.”
MT: How long have you been working on this novel?
GLW: Between the thought and the publication was 17 months.
MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel?
GLW: “Dhalgren”, by Samuel R. Delany.
MT: What motivated you to write this novel?
GLW: I had previously attempted to self-publish a long novel, but it was far too complex and fixing it required a new approach. I wrote this as an attempt to step away from that and to create a new style that was simpler in approach and content.
MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?
GLW: My old friend, mentor, and inspirational poet, James Bertolino.
MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
GLW: I’m a renaissance man. My passions play across a wide spectrum of science, history, and art. My particular focus is early American history. If time were my friend, and leisure my occupation, I’d learn the rough but delicate craft of building wooden boats.
MT: What influenced you to enter the Novel Festival?
GLW: I know what I wrote. I know what it means to me, and I can see the world I’ve attempted to describe in a sensory field that only I can perceive. What do others experience? I wonder. It doesn’t have to be aligned with my intent. Reviews can provide some answers, but to hear someone else give voice to your words can provide an insight beyond expectation.
MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
GLW: Take a rock of an idea, any rock, and run with it. Develop it. Let it take you to places you never thought you could possibly go. Then polish it, hard, until it’s a bright shiny treasure. It doesn’t have to be perfect, no diamond is, just dazzling. And who cares if the only person who admires it is you. That’s enough.