Gary L. Doman's official family name is "Thomann;" his pen-surname rhymes with "roman," the French word for "novel." He was born a long time ago, in Syracuse, New York, and has spent the majority of his life in Connecticut. He has earned a degree from Fairfield University and one from the University of Connecticut. He considers the most important event in his life to be his acquisition of Christian faith as deep as that which a believer ought to have. He has come to have an interest in just about everything, especially history, geography, religion, language, and the natural world. In addition to writing, he devotes considerable time to creative and intellectual endeavors that include his "weblog" the Doman Domain and one of the items of interest found there: The Best Comic Strip Ever!
Visit him online at http://domandomain.blogspot.com/
Welcome Gary. Can you please tell our readers a bit about yourself?
I am an eccentric, and I'm pleased to be one, since our world has all the conformists that it needs (and more). I refer chiefly to psychological idiosyncrasies, but I have physical ones as well, such as being, for instance, a short man with a tall voice. I am a perfectionist. I "collect knowledge," by which I mean that I enjoy learning almost anything and that I save (by adding to one of thousands of electronic files that I've created on sundry subjects) any knowledge-item that I find especially interesting or valuable.
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing on-and-off for so long that I don't even know how long it's been; for example, I wrote a book of sorts no later than the early years of grade school.
Are you a morning or an evening writer?
I'm a whenever-it's-possible writer. I do, however, prefer to wait on my scribbling each day until after I've done all things that need to be done.
Who or what is your greatest source of inspiration?
Hopefully, it's the Holy Spirit.
Tell us about your latest book. What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
Vinland Viking: An Original Saga by Gary L. Doman—I use both the word "original" and my name in the title to emphasize that this is a work of fiction rather than an academic tome—is an "epic novella" and a "Christian historical fantasy-adventure" set at the time of the conversion to Christianity of Iceland and Greenland. The protagonist is a young Northman who longs to lead the storied life of the pagan Vikings; his opportunity comes with Leif Ericsson's exploration in North America, but his fortunes change in a way and by a means that no one could have anticipated, and which lead him ultimately (in a surprise ending) to the one true god.
Inspiration came from the convergence of three things. When the year 2000 came along, people spoke of "the" millennium, which prompted me to explore my imagination as to what kind of story might take place at the end of the first millennium AD; I had interest in the Vikings, but I didn't want a pagan for a protagonist; and, I noticed the parallels between Norse myth and Christian belief.
Have you always written in this genre?
I haven't always, but all the stories that I plan to publish are adventures, and "adventure" is the category into which Vinland Viking primarily fits. (As I've indicated above, it also qualifies as fantasy).
Was the road to publication challenging?
The only publishers of print books to which I offered Vinland Viking were the AmeriCorps Press (which gave me a no-decision, as they decided against publishing any fiction that year) and PublishAmerica, which accepted it. Shortly after the contract with PublishAmerica expired, I learned about Kindle Direct Publishing; it's thanks to KDP that the improved, electronic Vinland Viking exists.
If you could be any character in your book, who would you be and why?
There's a certain character that I might like to be, but I can't identify him or say why I might like to be him without ruining Vinland Viking's great surprise. (See my answer to the next question.)
What is different about your book compared to other books out on the market?
So far as I know, the plot of Vinland Viking is unique, but I can't tell you how without giving away the surprise ending.
Do you currently have a favorite author?
My favorite among prose writers is perhaps Jules Verne; among poets, Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
What is the most memorable book you have ever read?
Aside from books of the Bible, the most memorable must be Sir Thomas Malory'sLe Morte d'Arthur, which is the definitive collection of stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
They can do so from the Amazons, at www.amazon.com/Vinland-Viking-original-Doman-ebook/dp/B00AMV8KW2/.
What is up next for you?
Vinland Viking is not actually my latest opus, but merely the only one that I've published so far. Once I've finished getting the amount of attention for this work that it deserves, I'll see about publishing the second novella that I've "finished" (pending whatever revisions might occur to me the next time that I look at it). That's not a sequel, but it's also an historical adventure, and the protagonist of the story (and of three others that I intend to build around him) shares a common ancestry with my Vinland Viking Brand-Yngar Magnusson. In fact, the hero of every tale that I plan to tell is of that extended family, and in that way I hope to give unity to what I regard as a kind of epic cycle (encompassing a span of 13,000 years), the main characters of which together represent all humanity. I hope that I'll have time to complete this project along with all the other things that I want to accomplish.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
When I completed Vinland Viking, I had a feeling of satisfaction that I'd never experienced before; I felt that if I were to die now, I could do so knowing that I had accomplished something worth doing.