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  • Writer's pictureMaximilian Sam

Soundtrack Of My Life - Gary Cockaday

In our latest Soundtrack Of My Life post, we're meeting Gary Cockaday. He's the author of one of our best books of 2023, Full Circle. He's now back with his second book which we've been lucky enough to see in advance. Unsurprisingly, we love A Moment's Madness too and highly recommend it.





You can buy both books by clicking the images above.


What was the thought processes behind your books?


I'd always wanted to write a book, just one book. I hadn't dreamt beyond one book. I'd started the first a few times, each time life got in the way of finishing it. 


When Covid broke, my wife was an A&E nurse. We were offered a lovely barn on the edge of a small village, which had a separate annex so that Mrs C could shower and wash her clothes before joining us in the main house.


It made me blow the dust off my 70 odd pages and start again. I finished the first draft in about 8 weeks.


You’ve had an interesting publishing journey. What should authors look for, and any pitfalls to avoid?


I was lucky to find a publisher for Full Circle. I hadn't intended to write a second but made the mistake of sitting at my desk one day and the words flew. It started as a standalone but my two favourite cops from Full Circle forced their way in. A Moment's Madness can, however, be read as a standalone. 


My publishers recently merged with another publisher so are closed to new submissions. I queried for a while without joy, so decided to try the self-publishing route. I've loved the control, being able to say  "that cover's not working for me" and selecting the right people for me to work with. 


That's my biggest piece of advice don't throw hard-earned money at a project. Pick your people very carefully. 


I owe Paul Martin a thank you - Paul edits my work until ready to submit to potential agents or publishers. 


I owe Kathryn (CJ Hall) a huge thank you, she polished my manuscript until shiny and sorted my cover artwork, until I was happy. I love the published covers. She also sorted the formatting. 


So I'd say, take your time, research before spending and select carefully. 


We know you’re an avid participant in walking football. How does it work, and how do you get involved?


I'm 66, happily married to Mrs C, my hard-working nurse/wife, we share 5 kids and a slightly obsessive collie called Flint. I play golf badly. My biggest bit of wonderfulness outside family is walking football, now the fastest growing form of football in the UK. 


I've played for Norwich City CSF for 4 years, now playing for Norwich Soca Seniors, playing 2 to 3 times per week. My pacemaker enjoys the exercise. I've made several National Finals, the EFL Cup at St Georges - losing 1-0 to Sheffield Utd in the final, The IWFF National Cup which we won and two finals days with the WFA. I've been honoured to pull on two England shirts. 


Here's Gary's playlist. As always you can find it on Spotify by clicking the logo below.




Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie




Loved this from the first listen, loving the legend that they created this whilst partying. I thought that I'd start with Brighton Rock, my very first single bought for me by an aged aunt who thought I'd like it. She's  responsible for my love of the best band ever.  


Hello by Adele




Just love the voice, the words. 


Don't Stop Me Now by Queen




I was 20, driving a spitfire, this music just worked on a sunny day with the top down. 


Angels by Robbie Williams




I fell in love with this track the very first time i heard it. Went to see him twice. We all know the words. 


God Only Knows by The Beach Boys




To be truthful it could have been any track from the Beach Boys, their music was the soundtrack of my summer.


Hello Again by Neil Diamond




As with the Beach Boys,I could have selected just about any track from Mr Diamond, if I couldn't sing like Freddie, Mr Diamond would have been my second choice. 


Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers




This is my Mother, she loved this track, so it's in my head, I love it. 


All Out Of Love by Air Supply




Another from my youth, just loved the harmonies, another volume up, top down track. 


Amazed by Lonestar




I first heard this in Canada. I'm taken back to that amazing Country every time I hear it. 


Thunderstruck by AC/DC




I asked Alexa to use this track on all alarm calls. Mrs C was not amused to be woken by this at 6am. Just love the track which has to be played at max vol. 


As it's my blog, I'm going to add a track here that matches Gary's musical heroes and his books.


Mr. Bad Guy by Freddie Mercury





I can't recommend Gary's books highly enough. Check out his website at www.garycockaday.com too.



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