Guest Post from Douglas Gardham, author of The Drive In

Title: The Drive In
Author: Douglas Gardham
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 130
Genre: Short Stories
Format: Kindle/Paperback

 Have you ever been intrigued by what mysteries lie behind the doors and windows of the places you pass by on your drive into work everyday? The Drive In takes you on Tom Johnson‘s commute. Unlike Tom, you’ll get to peek behind some of those closed doors. Remember going to the “Drive-In” theatre? Each story reveals what goes on like watching the “dusk ‘til dawn” features through your car’s windshield. Meet the people at the places Tom only passes by each day. Then discover how his drive in ends like no other.  

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

It’s a question that both plagued and fascinated me after first hearing it said years ago. Its sentiment has never left me.

It seemed, from what I’d come to accept, like an ideal I could never achieve yet its very essence came in the incessant two words “why not?”

I think this was mostly brought on because I was bored with what my work life had become. It wasn’t my passion or what I loved to do which I now believe is inextricably linked to what our purpose is here on this planet. I worked hard. I did well. I liked what I did or had come to find a way to like it “enough”. I pleased those around me. And I kept busy—very busy. Being busy can mask a lot of things—important things—but not the questions, “is this it? is this all there is?”

I don’t know that I was looking for something I hadn’t already found. I just hadn’t found a way to put it all together.

I discovered writing as a teenager while playing in a band. I wrote most of our music and lyrics. When the music thing didn’t happen, I went off to engineering school and subsequently a career in the profession. Strangely, I never stopped writing and took it up in earnest a couple of years after graduating. I began to think of myself as a writer who worked as an engineer. But the rejection of my writing never stopped coming. So much so that I had come to the conclusion that “author” wasn’t going to part of this lifetime. But “never say never”. During a family trip to the west coast of Canada to take our daughter off to school, I realized, despite all my years of writing, I didn’t have a keepsake for my family. Everyone knew dad’s dream of publishing a novel yet all I had to show for it was 8-1/2” x 11” pieces of paper. Then and there I decided. I had to at least accomplish that. Thinking of a surprise hardcover of one of my novel length works under the Christmas tree, made things change. I found a publisher, worked with a couple of professional editors and halved the length of my original 800-page manuscript. Today, I like to say I not only transformed the story but I transformed my life—as that writer who worked for so long as an engineer is now a full-time writer. Not only do I have a keepsake for my family but a novel I want the world to read.

I no longer ask, “Is this it?”

And I have an answer to “what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail”.

I’m doing it!

 Douglas Gardham is the author of the STARbook-awarded novel The Actor. He lives near Toronto, Canada with his wife, dog and cat. He loves books, music and movies. This is his second published novel.