Reviewer Spotlight: Gareth Long

Anatomy of an Uncustomary Writer

Reviewer Spotlight: Gareth LongWhat’s the oddest thing you own?

A twig and leaves (now sadly separated) from an olive tree at Delphi.

Any writing rituals?

Now I’ve given up smoking, none other than drinking a lot of tea and coffee.

What substance (prescribed, illegal or from the freezer section) most inspires your writing?

DNA (not the consumption of it, just the fact of its existence).

What’s the biggest advantage of your greatest disadvantage?

I’m very easily distracted/bored so I guess I have a lot of different interests that could, potentially, be included in my writing.

Which language do you wish you could speak to ask what question to whom?

Ancient Greek, for many reasons, but I’d definitely have a chat with Cassandra to find out why she freaked so many people out.

Describe your relationship with inspiration.

Sporadic and usually inconvenient.

The formula for the perfect day is:

Total over-indulgence of all my appetites with no consequences and no time limit. Impossible, but that’s perfection for you.

Anatomy of the Book

Do you prefer…

…chapter titles or chapter numbers?

That depends on the nature of the book, but I do prefer some kind of segregation rather than just a solid wall of prose. Otherwise, when the bookmark inevitably falls out, I have no idea where I’ve got to.

…short stories, a series, or a collection of poems?

Definitely a series.

…footnotes, maps or indices?

Again, that depends on the kind of book: for fiction, probably maps, but for science theory, I usually need footnotes, indices, glossary, diagrams and anything else that might help me understand it.

…hardcover, softcover or digital cover?

Softcover. Hardcover books take up too much space, digital…well, digital isn’t a book, frankly.

Anatomy of the Reading List

What does your reading list look like? Is it a pile of books, a list of titles or a mental medley of thoughts?

It was a pile of books but I recently had a tidying fit so now it’s a neat row of books.

Which book do you feel obligated to read next?

I rarely feel obliged to read books at the moment. Either I want to read them, or I don’t read them! This might change soon, as I’m hopefully joining an MA Creative Writing course and will have to cope with set texts. At the moment I’ve finally got round to reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelley though.

Which do you actually wish you were reading right now?

Frankenstein, fortunately. Hopefully this won’t change before I’ve finished it.

Uncustomary Book Reviews Written by Gareth Long: Here’s the list.


  1. Mariateresa Bombardieri says:

    Softcover books are my favorite ones …. I’m the old generation and not ready for digital

    • Kat Kiddles says:

      I’m not the biggest fan of digital either, but I have a feeling I’ll have to experiment with it a little soon. There are so many wonderful books that are only available in digital form, and even some old classics like Alice in Wonderland that I don’t have in paper-form, but that I have in my inbox in a digital version. But I have to be honest – when I see people on the train reading ‘real’ books, I feel like giving them a high-five!

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