My name is Joshua Gayou (I typically just go by “Josh” and my last name is pronounced the same as “Bayou” – long story, that) and I have recently decided to translate a lifelong love of books and writing into a collection of stories covering themes and ideas that I think will resonate with others (what we typically call “books”).
I’m a 38 year old husband and father living in Southern California. I tend to be an introvert, which is challenging when it comes to being a writer. I didn’t realize this until publishing a book for the first time but you really have to put yourself out there to get people to notice your work. I mean: aggressively. I’d have to say that this is one drawback I’ve encountered in the writing “scene”. I imagine it’s the same whether you’ve published traditionally or independently – I always hear about the bigger name writers going on book tours and such. It sounds terribly exhausting to me. That isn’t to say that I dislike any of this; it’s just very tiring. I tend to be a homebody – mostly because I work so much. Between my commute to and from work and the time I spend there, I don’t get a great deal of time with my family during the week (they’ve usually eaten dinner before I get home). So when a weekend comes along, I like to keep my butt home and spend time with them. It helps them to remember what I look like, anyway.
Aside from that, I’d say that I tend to be both mechanically and artistically minded. I’ve read from various sources (and have also found in discussion with friends) that people either gravitate towards the arts or science but seldom pursue both. I suppose I can understand this but it’s hard for me. In my case, I just need to be creating something. It doesn’t matter terribly what that thing is as long as it’s hard to do and requires me to solve problems. If I had to produce a distribution, I’d say I’m more mechanical – I have wheels and gears turning in my head. I enjoy writing software that simplifies complex or mundane processes (automation). For a good period of time I had a little side-thing where I became relatively well known (within the cigar box guitar community, anyway) for making custom guitars and even wrote a book on advanced guitar making for which I still receive messages from strangers thanking me for the material.
In my writing, I enjoy the challenge of maintaining all of the little relationship interconnections as well as mapping out realistic cause/effect scenarios over a given timeline. “Literary Problem Solving”, I call it.
Did that sound horribly nerdy?
I had decided I was going to write a book when I was fourteen years old. I had just finished reading some fantasy series that I was absolutely crazy for at the time (It was Dragonlance, if I’m remembering right) and at the end of the book, the author made it a specific point to mention that, “No, sorry, I’m really not planning on writing any more books with these characters.”
I was irate. I wanted much more and this jerk wasn’t going to give it to me. So I thought, “Okay, screw you. I’ll write my own.” I made my first attempt at writing a novel when I was fourteen and I think I may have gotten only forty pages in before I lost steam and couldn’t figure out what to do next. I’m old enough that I had started writing the book on a typewriter and then migrated to a computer later on when I got a PC clone for Christmas. I only ever had a hard copy of this “book” and it has long since been lost to time in some landfill somewhere, thank God. I can vaguely remember a few lines of what I wrote and I’m here to say: the world is better off without it.
The desire to write stories has been with me for a very long time now; however I feel that I’m only now finally at an age where I have enough life experience and seasoning to effectively do the job. When you’re a kid, you don’t really know anything about anything; you have no context or basis of reference.
As I approach forty, I have a few things under my belt now. I’ve traveled all over the world from Mexico, most of the Continental United States, and Canada to more distant countries like England, Wales, Scotland, Germany, Korea, and Communist China (when Hong Kong was still a British province).
I’ve lived under a palapa on the beaches of Mulahay, waking up with the sun every morning to dive under the waves with a mask and snorkel in search of new life (and food). When I was a boy of thirteen, I helped a group of men in Ensenada to build a house piece by piece, weekend by weekend, until we had a home in which their parents could retire. I have fished for and landed sea monsters off the tip of East Cape and have been stranded adrift out in the ocean, our horse’s ass of a skipper having forgotten to put oil in the Evinrude.
I’ve drunk myself stupid on a $300 bottle of Chateau Lafite and have flown on a private 737 that included a bedroom, two conference rooms, and a rather comfortable couch. I have walked through lands encircled in razor wire and guarded by armed, hardened men. I have left these lands via train, bombarded in the station by a little ocean of starved, homeless children; many of whom had improperly healed limbs bent in unnatural directions, missing eyes, and other heartbreaking deformities.
I have been both overweight and heavily muscled. My appetites are enormous and my addictions are nigh ungovernable. I must keep moving, keep creating something (anything) or I’ll consume myself in nervous energy. I am simultaneously my own best friend and my own worst enemy.
My greatest achievement has been in finding the love of my life at only eighteen years of age and having the good sense to marry her. We have had a son together and it is my pleasure to do everything in my power to help him grow into a strong and honorable man.