August 7, 2011

Made It Moment: Gary Hoover

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 11:22 pm

The Artifact

The world wide web is a funny world indeed. Some of the people we feel closest to we’ve never actually met. This summer has been a great time of having real, live, F2F encounters with many of my internet friends and family. And today’s Made It Moment is written by someone I was lucky enough to have a grand lunch with at a terrific NJ diner. Gary Hoover knows how to tell a joke, and from everything I’ve heard, knows how to tell a pretty epic story as well. He’s part of Fantasy Island Book Publishing, a writers collective and radical new way of publishing for this brave new world of books.

Gary Hoover

Like most authors, I think it’s hard to come up with a specific “Made It” moment – not only because there are so many steps along the way, but because there are always more things to do.

One memorable moment happened a few weeks after I first published on Smashwords. I jumped very quickly to the #1 spot in Science Fiction/Adventure. The much broader Science Fiction/Fantasy category was dominated by Randolph Lalonde and his Spinward Fringe series (and I should say that Mr. Lalonde is something of an inspiration to me for his ability to do as well as he has as an independent author). I checked in periodically and was pleased to see that my book was doing well . . . and then one day I was surprised to see it had actually taken over the #1 spot in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category. It was great to see it there . . . but it also felt a little embarrassing. I felt I hadn’t earned it yet. I actually took the step of sending a note to Mr. Lalonde to apologize (I had an image of him sitting somewhere saying: “Who the **** is this Gary Hoover jerk?” and I would have hated to think that someone I respected so much might feel that way.) But he was very gracious. He congratulated me and wished me continued success.

Since that, a lot of great things have happened. Most recently I’ve signed on with Fantasy Island Book Publishing and I can’t wait to see my book actually in print . . . But I don’t know if I’ll ever feel I’ve ‘made it’. Even if I make it to the #1 spot on the New York Times best-seller list I won’t be able to avoid thinking: “Yeah, but how long is this going to last?” I don’t know if there’s ever any end-point to this because as each goal is achieved, there are more coming along right behind.

I also think the idea that there are no strict definitions of success can be a big positive. Every day I talk to other authors who feel frustrated because they’re not selling as much as they’d like. They’ll say things like: “I wish I could sell more books like you do. I’ve only sold 50 books since I started.” And I have to stop them and say: “Wait a minute, think about that. There are 50 people out there whose lives are a little richer because of the time they spent enjoying your book. How can that not be something worth doing?”

When you think about it, none of us will ever sell as many books as Snooki, so I try to keep that in mind and just enjoy the journey.

Born 1965 in Pittsburgh, a graduate of Penn State and currently residing in New Jersey, Gary is a father, husband, and currently the Technical Manager for a manufacturer of very specialized, high-performance adhesives, sealants and coatings.

His first work of Fiction is Land of Nod, The Artifact.

Interests include motorcycles, music, martial arts, technology, cars and other things too numerous to list. Recently he has begun running half-marathons . . . but he doesn’t know if he’d call that an “interest” . . . more just something he does to keep from getting too fat.


  1. I love it when a person admits that they may not ever really feel as if they have made it. However, I have read The Land Of Nod -The Artifact, and I must say that Mr. Hoover is an excellent story-teller! Someday, whether he admits to it or not, he will have made it!

    Comment by Connie — August 7, 2011 @ 11:57 pm

  2. Great interview Gary! Not only are you a great writer but you’re also a half marathoner!! I’m impressed that you have time to work, write and train for marathons. No question in my mind that you’ve ‘made it.’

    Comment by Johanna — August 8, 2011 @ 2:29 am

  3. Thrilled for you Gary. Compare with my results!

    Books on Smashwords – 2
    Months on sale – 1
    Combined sales – Zero.

    I simply can’t figure out why some seem to have spectacular success, whereas others have zip. It makes no sense to me, whatsoever.

    It’s a good job I don’t do this to make money, or I’d give up!


    Comment by Mark Whiteway — August 8, 2011 @ 4:18 am

  4. What a great interview, Gary. I think you’ve summed it up quite well – it’s hard to define “made it” and harder to believe you’ve actually done it. But it sounds like you’re well on your way. Wishing you continued success!

    Comment by mountainmama — August 8, 2011 @ 5:06 am

  5. Great post, and it’s fun to put a personal face on a public acquaintance from Book Blogs–I have waved across the forums to Gary several times :)!!
    You have made it Gary, because you have given pleasure to many readers of your genre, and your voice has been heard. Good luck in the future; what’s next for you? Rae, Best O’ Books Reviews

    Comment by Rae — August 8, 2011 @ 9:09 am

  6. What a great interview. It is nice to know how one of my fellow Fantasy Island Book Publishing writers has made through hardwork and perserverance. Gary will be a great role model for many writers to come.

    Comment by Lisa Zhang Wharton — August 8, 2011 @ 9:25 am

  7. Great post. You nicely summed up the nebulous thoughts that many writers have about what constitutes success. I especially liked your interaction with Randolph Lalonde. Your reaction to taking “his” spot was so very human. I wish you both much success. Liz

    Comment by Elizabeth C. Main — August 8, 2011 @ 11:08 am

  8. Gary is one of the most entertaining authors around, and his book is fantastic. Thanks so much for having him on, Jenny!

    Comment by Alison DeLuca — August 8, 2011 @ 11:25 am

  9. Thanks for all the great comments everybody! Hang in there Mark. Eventually word will spread and I know what you mean, Rae. It seems there are so many names that I see in different places, but it’s hard to get to know them as well as I’d like. Eventually though, with enough exposure, I can start remembering who’s who.

    Comment by Gary Hoover — August 8, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

  10. Great interview! I enjoyed reading, and giggling here and there. :)

    Comment by Katrina — August 8, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

  11. What a nice guy. Wonderful interview.

    Comment by Sandy — August 8, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

  12. What a great “Made it moment” Gary! As always, I enjoying reading everything that you write. In the Land we call publishing, I give you the Nod for making great Art, in fact. Okay, that was cheesy, sorry. It’s been a long day. :) Gary, you are a great author, a great friend at FIBP, and I look forward to working along side you for many more years.
    Kind regards!

    Comment by Dean Lappi — August 12, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

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