One-On-One with Warren Thurston

Our Interview with Warren Thurston...

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  By Diane Thomas

"Gladiss stopped drinking from the trough and raised her head. She shook her head and flicked Sally with her tail, then let out a loud moo.

Sally quickly drew away from the horse, not believing what she had just heard. Gladiss was also in a state of shock, rearing up on her hind legs.  The noise she had just made confused and frightened her." 

This is the beginning of an exciting adventure for 6-12 year old children, written by Warren Thurston. The eBook is entitled Gladiss and the Alien and reflects the grit and determination of a young girl to protect the horse she loves so much.

Warren Thurston lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife, Kay and two daughters, Meiling and Tara and is employed by the the Australian Department of Defense as an Office Manager. "Gladiss and the Alien" is his first children's novel.

In addition to his full time job, and authoring children's books, Warren is also the Webmaster at where he showcases his work and provides a free ebook review service and writing resource links for aspiring authors.

In our interview, Warren provided very sound advice for emerging writers and some interesting views on ePublishing. I believe we will be hearing a lot more about Warren Thurston in the near future.

...Our Interview...

Hello Warren. Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me. I'm going to delve right in to the nitty gritty questions, so here goes.

Diane: When did you begin writing? Has it been a lifelong passion?

Warren: My earliest recollection of writing a story was when I was 16 yrs old. It was a few paragraphs in length and attempted to describe a jetliner taking off from an airport, from the jetliner’s point of view. Then I pestered my friends for critiques of it.

It has been a passion for me for many years. I like writing fiction stories; it gives me a sense of achievement when I finish whatever project I have worked on.

Diane: An employee of the Australian Department of Defense seems an unlikely author of children’s books. What brought about your decision to write for children?

Warren: Twenty years ago my wife did a lot of jogging around our local athletic track. My role was to keep the kids entertained, while we waited for her to finish. To do this I made up stories to tell them. The trouble was I could not remember the detail when the kids wanted the same story told to them again. So I began to write them down as soon as we got home from the athletic track and it just developed from there.

Diane: I thought “Gladiss and the Alien” was a delightful story. Without giving away any secrets, can you tell me what inspired the story line?

Warren: I wrote the story as a film script in 1983, but could not interest any people to finance it. So I converted the film script into a children’s novel. The actual inspiration I cannot remember, but let me tell you how I get a lots of ideas for my novels.

The technique I use is to keep a journal. I write in it everyday for about 30 minutes on any topic or word that appeals to me. By doing this I have found inspiration for many children’s stories. The keeping of a journal I would recommend to anyone wanting to write, it is amazing what you draw up from your subconscious.

Diane: As the author how, would you describe “Gladiss and the Alien”?

Warren: I would describe the book as an adventure that shows the power of determination. If you want to achieve a goal bad enough you will overcome obstacles put in your path. The heroine of the story is very attached to her horse (Gladiss) and will go to any length to ensure that she is safe. I have not intentionally set out in the book to preach about morals to children. What I set out to do was for the reader to have some fun and to get involved with the characters.

Diane: Now that you have been “ePublished”, what is your view of ePublishing?

Warren: I think epublishing has allowed writers such as myself to be exposed to an audience that would not normally get the chance to see the books we write. For 25 years I was not able to get a Australian publisher to accept my work. The process only took a matter of weeks when I submitted my work to a epublisher.

Reading ebooks I find to be just as enjoyable as reading a hard cover book. The older generation may not have many converts but the young do not deem to mind ebooks at all.

Diane: What do you feel is the future of epublishing?

Warren: I think it will become more popular as the technology to read it becomes cheaper. Having said that I feel authors such as myself have only just begun to scratch the surface in presenting our stories to readers. Ebooks allow authors to explore a new world, which will increase the interplay between them and their readers. The reader in the long term is the one who will benefit.

Marketing of cheap and easy to read portable readers I think is required. Current readers are too expensive with most of them not being able to read every ebook format. Unless this problem is solved ebooks will not be widely read. But I am an optimist and feel in my bones that the future of ebooks is indeed bright.

Diane: Are you currently working on any new projects you’d like to tell me about?

Warren: Currently I have three projects that I am working on. I am halfway through the third, hopefully the last, draft of my next book titled “Tassie and Eddy and the Great Jewel Caper”. Another book in the first draft stage is titled “Gargor of the Underworld”. My third project is a book titled "Fire Bandits” and I am in the process of writing the first draft.

What I have found to be useful for getting the planning and the first draft completed is as follows. I use 128 page blue lined textbooks to write up the original story idea, plan the chapter sequence then write the first draft. This is all hand written and usually takes place on the train on my way to and from work. The train journey takes an hour each way and allows me the time to carry out this work. Once I have completed the hand written first draft, I then convert it to electronic format and send it off to my editor. The film script of “Gladiss and the Alien” is now electronic. It will be forwarded to my publisher in America in the next two weeks.

Diane: I noticed on your web site that you do book reviews for FREE. I would think an author with a full time job and a family would be busy enough. What made you decide to do this service for other authors?

Warren: When I got “Gladiss and the Alien” published I needed to get someone to review the book so I could use the review to publicize my book. I sent the book off to several reviewers who ignored me. So I decided to review other authors’ books to build up a web presence.

By doing this service I now have a link on several authors web sites as well as my review of their book. At the bottom of the review under my name are my web site URL and my email address. I also do reviews for a site called eBooksnbytes, where the reviewers name, URL and email address appears at the end of the review.

Diane: Do you have any last comments?

Warren: To all those aspiring writers out there do not give up your dream. Write, write, write and one day you will be successful.

Diane:Thank you again Warren, for your time - and the best of luck to you with "Gladiss and the Alien".

Read our review of "Gladiss And The Alien".

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