The Thursday Throng author interview with Michael Cargill, author of ‘Shades of Grey’

‘Throng’ is n. – A multitude of persons or of living beings pressing or pressed into a close body or assemblage; a crowd.

Welcome to The Thursday Throng and this week I’d like to welcome Michael Cargill, the author of several books of short stories including ‘Shades of Grey’.

shades of greySince being given a Kindle for Christmas a couple of years ago I have found that my reading has become much broader and I was recently invited to read Michael’s book of short stories ‘Shades of Grey’ and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the stories as I had assumed that I ‘never read that genre’. Each one of them invited me to look at the world with different eyes. However, the thing that impressed me the most was that the stories told me about the individual experience in a way that is little explored. I’m looking forward to my next outing with one of Michael’s stories because I know it will give me an insight into a world I will probably never experience myself.

So, on to the interview.

michael cargillHi Michael and I’d like to open by asking you my favourite question,  ‘What is One thing that No-One Normally Knows About You?’

I have a tattoo of a question mark on my upper left arm.

What did the worst review you ever had say about you and your work?

I seem to have collected several horrendous reviews for one of my books on Barnes and Noble. The humour in it is an acquired taste so some love it and others hate it. However, at the very least, I expected people to actually read it before reviewing it. Here is an example of what I mean:

“I aint gonna read it. Cover looks booooorrring! I luv dork diarys but dout this one!! No afencd to”

Thank you Mr Anonymous person for awarding my book one star because you don’t like the cover.

Are the names of your characters important to you?

Not really, it’s a fairly minor consideration. I have written two stories where the main character is a young child so I have chosen names that seem to fit the role but other than that I don’t think about it too much.

Some names definitely wouldn’t fit a story though; Gertrude is an obscene name to use for anyone or anything other than a horse.

How did you choose a title for your book?

It can be quite agonising thinking up the title for a book, especially when you realise that it doesn’t actually matter too much. For the book I am working on now, I sort of knew the general theme that I wanted but it wasn’t until I found a good image for the cover that I settled on the name.

I think book titles are skewed heavily in their impact; ‘The adventures of Luke Skywalker as he waves his light thingy in space’ would get derided and laughed at, but ‘Star Wars’ generates little more than a shrug.

No-one gets excited over a title but everyone can be put off by a stupid one.

Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?

Yeah. It’s very much a solitary thing so you end up spending lots of time on your own in a dark cave on the Isle of Wight. You can also go through periods of self-doubt whilst you work on something new and it often seems as if I am constantly seeking approval from other people for the things I write.

Are you jealous of other writers?

Only the rich ones.

What is the strangest thing you have ever had to do to promote a book?

I don’t really know if this counts but I uploaded all my books to some torrent sites a while back (torrents are usually used by people pirating films, games and music).

I took the view that if someone really wanted to pirate my work then they would do it no matter what steps I took to try and stop them. I made it clear on the websites that it was me, the author, making them available there and I got some positive feedback. My blog got lots of hits from people searching for me on Google afterwards.

What is your favourite TV moment of all time?

Hmmm, something from Arrested Development probably. Maybe when the entire family is doing the chicken dance or the Bob Loblaw bit. Scratch that, it’s Tobias auditioning for the fire sale advert.

If you could commit the perfect murder where would you hide the body?

In a thousand Big Macs.

There’s some interesting answers there Michael and I’ve enjoyed our brief sojourn together today. Thanks.

Where to buy the book and find out more about Michael

You can find out more about Michael on his website at:

You can also buy all of his books in all formats on Amazon in the UK and on Amazon in the US too.

Oh, and don’t forget to go and meet Michael on Facebook too – I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed by his humour and satire:

Oh, and you can find my reviews on Goodreads here: and on Amazon UK here: and on

These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not email me to find out more.

If you would like to see past Authors featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here:

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  1. Isn’t that the way of tattoos though … I suspect a lot of women especially rarely think what they’ll think when they are old and grey and the tattoo is wrinkled and barely legible … 🙂

  2. You are very welcome Michael & didn’t you know that the video is a cunning plan to get you to keep coming back to visit … LOL

  3. Well what a treat this page is. There is the cover to my book; my own, bald-headed face staring gormlessly out at me; and my favouritest Arrested Development clip!

    Linda, you am the best. Thanks for the interview.