Before becoming an author G. B. Strong had been a teacher for over fifteen years. Before teaching he had many other jobs with a bank, a leisure centre, a council office, a travel agent, a legal office, a farm, a water company, an insurance broker and a delivery firm. As a teenager, he even took a job counting cars!
Children he’s taught, coached and worked with, in schools from Essex to America, have given him the inspiration to create amazing characters and exciting stories. His hope is that Running Deep makes people laugh, think and have as much fun as he did writing it!
If he’s not writing, G. B. Strong spends his time trying and failing to keep up with his two whacko kids and their magnificent mum!
Have you always been a writer?
G.B. - I’ve written a few plays for assemblies as a teacher that were great fun to watch but this is my first and greatest effort at writing an actual novel. I wanted to write a story that was funny, fast and adventurous and despite my wandering mind, I’ve done my best to “stick to the plan”!
How did Running Deep start?
G.B. - When I was living in the States, I had to pick up a mountain bike I’d won on eBay. The journey was up a long, dull and lonely Interstate (I71). Driving by myself, I started thinking about easier ways of doing things. So, I imagined drones travelling to collect stuff and how that would save a lot of time for people to do other things. Then my imagination went off and the drones started bumping into each other and tried to take other people’s stuff away. There are always heroes in villains, even in the drone world! Anyway, that’s where the idea of the D.E.E.P. came from.
What was it like to write?
G.B. - It was funny, I caught myself laughing. Not at my writing but at the idea that my imagination became this project, the project became a story and the story became a book! I definitely think that we all can write something that someone else can enjoy too. My 7 year old daughter writes about the antics of our cheeky neighbourhood cat, Jimmy. Her stories crack me up!
I’ve found that writing for young people allows me to enjoy memories from growing up. It also gives my imagination a place to work out! The one thing that sticks with me from writing is how you can surprise yourself. I have always been active (some say hyper), so to sit down and write for long stretches has made a lot of people, including me, shake their heads in disbelief.
Is there a message behind the story?
G.B. - One theme running through and the clearest message I think is the importance of family. That word can mean a lot of things but we all need to trust and be trusted, we need to love and be loved. I can’t tell anyone who is in their family but mine is full of people I have worked hard to do well for. Wherever we go, we become part of a family. The secret of its success is simple: The more we give, the more we get. We’re remembered not for what we wish or hope for but what we say and do.
Is the book part of a series?
G.B. - Yes. I have so many ideas that link to this story and I have plans for more books. I want to write more and really hope I get that opportunity!
What else do you do?G.B. - I have been a teacher for many years. I have worked in all kinds of Primary and Prep schools in England and also in Elementary schools in America. I have loved every class I have taught and had hilarious fun too. Even the toughest day teaching beats all the other jobs I’ve done and there’s a lot of those! In my spare time, I like to help out at my church as a youth leader and I also coach football.