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IR Approved Author Tom Galvin: “I’m not going to let the fact I’m an Indie author get in the way of competing with traditionally published books.”

The Auction received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Tom Galvin.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

The Auction was published in October 2021 – after I waited a year because it didn’t feel right to put out a dystopian book in the 2020 Year of Actual Dystopia.

What’s the book’s first line?

One word: “Suction.” It relates to doctors harvesting the organs of a patient. Foreshadowing!

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

The Auction tells the story of a new economic system set thirty years in the future that saves America from ruin by creating a market for the future of young people, who are bought and sold like stocks. The system works well – America is the economic envy of the world – but at a horrible cost of the soul of the country. The story follows Sasha Cross, who’s about to enter her auction and is stuck between the economic powers who seek to exploit her fame to keep the system in place and the poor who want her help to destroy it.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

I’ve worked at the intersection of technology and politics for 30 years, and over time the idea of a society completely based on a person’s financial worth bubbled up inside me. Once I had the concept, I just had to create the world and then let the characters take me places.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

What I hope readers will appreciate about The Auction is it’s about a dystopian world that on the surface isn’t radically different from today. It’s thirty years in the future and most of the ways people live will feel familiar to readers. It’s not post-apocalyptic. What’s different is how placing a direct financial value on people warps society, from parents looking at their children as assets to companies protecting the elite at all costs and discarding the poor who aren’t of value.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

Sasha Cross is meant to be different than everyone else she knows – she’s a combination of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Princess Diana in that she’s born into notoriety due to her famous, late mother.  Over the years, despite her efforts to avoid the spotlight, Sasha becomes a source of fascination to people. All she wants is to be left alone, but that’s impossible in this auction society. I did that as commentary on how celebrity is now a lot like wealth in that it is handed down by families to the next generation. Who does she remind me of? No one I know.

When did you first decide to become an author?

I first choose to be a failed author fifteen years ago. I wrote half a historical fiction novel and let my obsession with accuracy get in the way of finishing the book. I solved that problem this time by writing about a future I could make up!

Is this the first book you’ve written?

The first completed book. Maybe someday I’ll time travel back to Waterbury in 1910 and finish the novel I started those many years ago.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

Unfortunately, it’s more when do I write when I’m not working. I am a strategic adviser to companies and founder of an Internet safety coalition. That keeps me busy. I write fiction when everyone else goes to sleep.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

I dive deep and then take time away. I’ve come to understand that’s my process. I let ideas ruminate in my head and then once they are ready, dive deep into writing for days (really, late nights) on end. It’s episodic; I am not a write-a page-a-day author.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

I don’t really think of it that way. I have a mindset that we’re all in the same game, whether traditionally or Indie published. I’m going to write, then do whatever it takes to make my work successful. I’m not going to let the fact I’m an Indie author get in the way of competing with traditionally published books. I may not succeed but I’ll compete to the end. Having said that, Go Indies!

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

As Indie authors, I think we have more freedom on how we create because there isn’t a traditional publisher dictating terms. My best advice is what took me a long time to learn: discover your creative process and embrace it. For example, when I was younger, I’d stay up very late the nights before I had a writing project due. I’d kick myself about tiring myself out just before I’d have to pull an all-nighter. But I came to realize that was part of my process – I was fatiguing myself to unlock my creativity. I stopped fighting it. I urge writers to discover and embrace their process.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?

It depends on what it would get me. I had the opportunity to be traditionally published with The Auction, but the agent who would’ve made that happen wanted to change me and the style of the book to something I wasn’t willing to become. How I publish doesn’t really matter to me. That I can be authentic and true to myself is all that matters because it’s my name on the cover.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

I went into The Auction hoping to produce a well-regarded book. That’s about the most I could influence. Everything after that is out of my control. But to answer you directly on fame and fortune, neither has ever been a motivator.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Hands down, William Manchester. His “Last Lion” trilogy on the life of Winston Churchill had a profound impact. The opening paragraphs of Volume 1 are goose-bumps remarkable.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

I’m giving away my reading preferences, but I greatly admire James L. Swanson’s “Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer.” It read like fiction yet told a heartbreaking true story. Swanson is the type of author I admire because he doesn’t write to impress, he is just impressive.

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