Saturday, 29 September 2012

Spotlight - Tom Gillespie

Shah Fazli

Tom Gillespie, Welcome to Spotlight, tell us Tom what people say about you as a writer or as a person, don't worry people say lots of different things, tell us the positive ones, or even the negative ones if you want to, before we talk about Painting by Numbers?

Tom Gillespie Hi Shah and friends.. What do people say about my writing..that's a good question.. to my face or behind my back? har har.. My writing has been described as terse, minimalist, hyper- realistic and ambiguous, where layers of meaning are conveyed using a concise and economical style, but I lie to think of it as a lovely thing to do..

Shah Fazli Tom thanks, now Painting by Numbers, it is a very a interesting title?

Tom Gillespie I'm glad you think so.. My novel started out as a very short short flash fiction story and that was the title I gave the piece..It seemed to fit the initial idea.

Shah Fazli What is this book about Tom?

Tom Gillespie It's about an Earth Science lecturer who becomes obsessed with an old painting that hangs in an art gallery in Glasgow, Scotland. he believes that within the painting there is a hidden mathematical formula that may help solve natural conundrums and also help predict phenomena such as earthquakes.. But the further he digs and the deeper his obsession becomes..his world and his life start to fall apart .. His wife goes missing and the object of his obsession begins to move.

Shah Fazli Thanks, how did you develop your short story into this, I mean how the idea came to you in the first place?

Tom Gillespie While I was living in Spain, I was on a weekend in Madrid and I dropped into in El Prado Museum Madrid ..(an amazing museum!!) And while I was in the Velazquez gallery, a well dressed man came in and started rolling out lengths of thread on the floor next to the Velazquez masterpiece Las Meninas .. after a few minutes, two over assertive security guards man handled the guy out of the gallery. I thought this was interesting and that night. wrote out a very short two page flash story. Then it lay in a drawer for about a couple of years but the strange besuited man and his odd behaviour wouldn't let me go.. It was as though he had a longer tale to tell.. and that's what he did.. tormented me until I gave him a life and a back and forward story.

Shah Fazli What do we read in the book, a lot of action, grief or crime?

Tom Gillespie At its centre there is a love story, believe it or not.. but there's a lot of suspense and strange goings on in between..

Shah Fazli Thanks, what does your main character do then that his life is nearly falling apart, does he spend a lot of money on his idea, what is his name?

Tom Gillespie Jacob Boyce is searching for the truth and he thinks that it's hidden in his painting... but he might be wrong.. I think when we search for truth we're often attracted to lies and self deception.. if only to avoid the truth.. our true intentions are not always as obvious as we think or within our grasp ..until we really want them to be.

Shah Fazli Tell us about the love side of the book please?

Tom Gillespie When Jacob's wife goes missing, his world really starts to fall apart.. and he begins to realise that he may not have been the husband he hoped he would be.. He travels to Spain, to Barcelona and Madrid searching desperately for her..hoping that its not too late to save their relationship ... but as his quest becomes more frantic, his life spirals forever downward into a terrifying pit of chaos..

Shah Fazli Fascinating, can you read from your book for us please?

Tom Gillespie Apologies for the delay.. I had a short network blip.. here is the opening

Tom Gillespie In the dark, the painting remains motionless, silent, expectant. But when the morning sun glistens through the skylight windows of the gallery, the surface begins to move, slowly at first, but then with increasing purpose and urgency. The minutiae of the moment gather together and spill out across the canvas. The colours assimilate and align. The geometry calibrates to exact specifications. Objects and players assemble at their marked positions. Every motif and emblem returns to its designated space within the frame. The gilded wooden border creaks as the flow of paint pushes against the joints. Then the cracks and blemishes of age race across the reformed arena, and like the memory of water, the network of predetermined patterns follow hidden and mysterious pathways, scattering, dividing and multiplying as they rush to complete their journey. At last, the painting is one. It sinks back into the wall and settles on the three brass hooks that hold it in place. Soon the attendants will arrive to take up their daylight vigil. The doors will swing open, the ambient air temperature will be checked and regulated, and he will come to sit and look and wonder.

Shah Fazli Thanks, what else do you want us to know about your book?

Tom Gillespie There is a twist in the tale!

Shah Fazli Tell us about a few reviews of your book please?

Tom Gillespie My book is receiving rave 5 star reviews on Amazon by respected review has been described as brilliant, mesmerising, beautifully written and a gripping thriller. You can read reviews here.. Customer Reviews: Painting By
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Shah Fazli Give us some tips about writing please?

Tom Gillespie Tips? Oh.. well.. I'd say keep going, keep writing.. and develop very thick skin.. Find yourself some trusted beta readers (that is readers you trust to give you constructive criticism) but trust your gut above everything else.. If it doesn't sound ain't right!

Shah Fazli Really enjoyed our time, thanks so much for giving us the joy Tom, appreciated.

Shah Fazli Visit:

ShahSight Literary Book Shop: Painting By Numbers - Tom

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Tom Gillespie Thank you Shah for inviting me ..It was great fun !

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