Author Spotlight time again and #7 up in the Mystery Thriller Week 2017 author interviews is Gavin Mills, another writer based in South Africa. Welcome, Gavin.


Gavin Mills
Gavin Mills was born in the little town of Springs in South Africa. He was schooled at St Brendan’s Christian Brother’s College in Springs and went on to study Chemical Engineering at Wits University. When that didn’t work out, he did two years military service becoming a 2nd lieutenant and serving as transport officer for 52 Battalion out of Ogongo in Namibia in the late ‘70s.

Coming out of the army, he went into computers as a programmer and later a systems analyst before giving up corporate to become a professional dancer, performing first in SA and later in London, Paris, Spain and Portugal – some of the highlights being principal dancer in Moulin Rouge Paris, Scala in Spain and Canary Islands, and Estoril Casino in Lisbon.

On returning to South Africa, he got into choreography and stage production which somehow led him into industrial theatre for voter education leading up to the historic 1994 elections. After the elections, he moved into event marketing and production, focusing on the corporate world..

Besides writing, he runs two successful companies, one in event management, the second in new generation IT furniture design & manufacture.

Dup Departs: A Time To Go is here on Amazon.

Seed of Reason is also written by Gavin Mills.

You may find Gavin Mills here:





The Interview

Why do you write?

I see thousands of stories in my head. I like my stories and think I’m pretty good at capturing them in words – and I hope others might find them entertaining.

What are you currently working on?

I have just finished Dup so pretty fresh, but playing with two stories, both Dup prequels. One is raunchy the other dramatic. Obviously the stories are intertwined. Not sure which way I wanna go. I will be putting ink to paper starting the hols. See which way the mood takes me.

From where did you draw your inspiration to write your latest book?

I live in South Africa. Interesting times in our history and interesting for our people. The New South Africa has brought different things to different people. The euphoria has subsided and there are lurking undercurrents. It will be interesting how the future plays out. Anyway, stunning environment and happenings to feed a novel.


Which writers had the most influence on your decision to write?

I cannot say any writers influenced me to write. However there are obviously many many writers who impressed me with their weave of words. And I have taken inspiration from lots in different ways, from message, to character, to pace to plot and beyond.

What was the last book you read?

Actually still busy reading it. It’s by my best mate Cliff Simon – an actor known for his role as the bad guy in Stargate. It’s an autobiography called Paris Nights – My Year at the Moulin Rouge, obviously telling about his times at the Moulin Rouge. We were both dancers performing together as principals in the show. Cliff went on to act in LA, I came home and got into choreography and show production. It’s cool to see yourself as a character in a book – and seeing how someone else saw the same things.

Do you suffer from writers’ block?

Can’t say I do. I’m a bit of a motor mouth and my typing finger follows suit! I do sometimes get frustrated trying to find the exact word to encapsulate what I am trying to communicate. …Oh for a helluva vocabulary!

Biggest frustration as a self-published author?

That’s easy. Marketing. Channels are as many as the sands, but there’s a lot of people walking on that beach! The trouble is reaching readers – and I’m not talking about writer/readers, I’m talking about virgins! We need to grow the industry and get people still not interested to see the magic. We compete with visual media which is a quick rush cop-out for creative intake. We need to get under their skins by being as innovative in our marketing (with no budgets) and as effective as broadcast media is with billions. But hey! We can be like quicksilver with social media. I believe it can be done.

Reviews for books are vital. Any tips on getting more reviews?

The tricks are disruption and differentiation. There are so many good authors producing good material. How are you supposed to get their attention – only the cover? Obviously, but everyone is doing the same thing. Come up with something that disrupts the normal flow of things, add a bit of differentiation so audiences remember more than just a cover among thousands, and you’re probably heading in the right direction.

Do you use social media? If so, do you like using it?

Does the Pope use the Vatican – and like it? Yeah I like it. Having that kind of access to the market would have cost millions before. But there are millions playing. You need to be smart.

Who is your biggest fan?

This is where we get corny, right. Probably my wife and kids – the way it should be…

Many people have a bucket list. What is #1 on yours?

Very simple: taking my family to Disneyland for about a month – before they are too big and the relationship changes.

Any special message for your readers?

Just stop wasting your minds with fast food entertainment. Books will paint stories in your head that no camera can – because you are part of the creation. So read our books!

Thank you, Gavin,  that really was one great interesting interview. “Motor mouth?” Ha – I like that. But don’t you think Gavin has a fresh take on things? I do and I can thoroughly recommend Dup Departs: A Time To Go. I have just finished reading it. It’s a thriller with great characters. I suspect there is a bit of Gavin in his book!

You may read my review here.


This is the blurb from Amazon:

Arnold Du Preez had had enough. It is time to get out. But how and where to? Then Louanne, the hot stripper has a plan – and connections. But there is a price. …There is always a price. From the ghettos of Warsaw to the slums of Lagos to behind the scenes glitz and glamour of the first Miss World Pageant at the spectacular Palace of the Lost City, Sun City. A rollercoaster ride of violence and deception, kidnap and subversion as Ivan Bazkaowzki the Polish underlord will risk everything to protect his business interests, Genghis Kahn the massive Nigerian movie mogul will do just about anything to clear his name, and Dup will do absolutely anything to keep his family alive. Sometimes when the cards are down, all one can do is just keep moving forward…

And the top review:

Top Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 starsFast-moving and gritty roller-coaster of a book
ByRoger Hardyon November 11, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was recommended this book by a friend and thoroughy enjoyed it; it is a strict genre crime thriller, fast-moving and gritty. I won’t bother to detail the plot…you need to read it to find out! Suffice to say that it involves a multinational cast of characters and copious quanities of illegal substances. Gavin Mills has a very distinctive ‘voice’ which comes out throughout the book and never flags. The story is largely set in South Africa which makes it a little different from the run-of-the-mill crime thriller and the setting is well described and completely authentic. In terms of style, I’d describe his writing as ‘Elmore Leonard without the laughs’. The cast is large but never overwhelming and the story is mostly set in real time with a few flashbacks to add some additional background to the characters. I suppose I should point out that you should not expect political correctness in this genre and those who don’t like to see swear words in print should steer clear. I believe that this is a self-published novel and the writer should be congratulated on the fact that the formatting is superb and so is the attention to detail; far too often, these aspects get overlooked. Overall, expect a roller-coaster ride and you’ll reach the last words feeling that you’ve been in a bit of a fight! Recommended!

If you are starting out as a writer then I thoroughly recommend checking out ProWritingAid. It is a spell-checker, ‘grammarist’ and editor all rolled into one bundle.

It saved me a fortune. I used it to self-edit my last book so it was ready to be professionally edited. Indeed, if funds are limited it can cut out the need for a professional editor.

It’s useful too even if you don’t plan to write a book.

My #1 Tip for all indie writers – it’s essential to have a social media presence. How are readers to know about your work if you don’t tell them about it? Read this article of mine and I seriously urge you to try out my recommendation – it’s FREE to try!

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