Gregory GibsonContact the Author ° Hubert's Freaks Q & A °
Listen to Greg Gibson's conversation with Jennifer Earnest about writing, and how Hubert's Freaks came to be:
I was born in Massachusetts in 1945. My father was a traveling salesman so we moved around a lot, mostly in the northeastern quarter of the country. By the end of college I'd realized I was unfit for any kind of normal life or career. I decided to become a poet but the Vietnam war was going on and they were not giving out poetry deferments. I beat the draft by joining the Navy and spent three years as a shipfitter on a sub tender, sailing up and down the Pacific coast. It was, in retrospect, an ideal grad school experience.
After the Navy I moved to Gloucester, Mass. and got a job repairing docks on the waterfront. This was unsatisfying, since by that time I really wanted to be a writer. However, I'd gotten married and started a family, and I knew that trying to write books was too uncertain a living. So I started selling them instead. In 1976 I opened my own antiquarian book business, and in this line of work I got to read and write to my heart's content. I read histories, biographies and bibliographies, and I wrote catalogs of used books for sale. Our family went through some lean years while I was learning my trade, but in the end it proved to be a rewarding occupation.
In 1992 my oldest son was murdered, the random victim of a rampage shooting on his college campus. The shock of this event caused me to write a book investigating how such a thing could happen. The book, GONE BOY, met with some critical success, and the satisfaction I derived from writing it convinced me that I should try to write another one. DEMON OF THE WATERS was the result.
I suppose it was inevitable that I should have attempted a book on a maritime subject, since I specialize in selling old and rare maritime books, documents, manuscripts and charts. Also, many of my favorite authors write about the sea - Melville, O'Brian, Slocum and Newby, to name just a few. I don't think I'll ever leave the rare book business, but starting a second career as an author has been challenging and fun.
My most recent book, HUBERT'S FREAKS provided a wonderful opportunity to write about some of the characters that inhabit the old book world, as well as the ins and outs of the business. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it!