Engineer Realizes His Dream of Authorship

Doug Gardham’s love of books as a very young child later grew into a love of writing, starting with a Contiki vacation-inspired elementary writing project of which he was extremely proud. In high school, Doug discovered Stephen King’s The Stand and The Shining and credits King’s “Constant Reader” notes with influencing him to become a writer.

As a teen, Doug became passionate about music and enjoyed the creativity in writing the music and lyrics for his band’s original songs. However, he chose to pursue an education and career in engineering. Doug spent most of his career as a successful mechanical engineer. But he never lost the desire to create, which he had always expressed in writing, whether in poetry or short stories and later, novels.

iUniverse author Doug Gardham holding his published book, The Actor, up in front of a fireplace.
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An Author Emerges

Doug wrote two novels prior to The Actor, both of which were rejected by literary agents and traditional publishers. After years of writing short stories and rewriting his novels, Doug realized that he didn’t have a keepsake of his writing for his family and decided to self-publish his book.

Doug discovered iUniverse while on the website of Canadian bookseller Indigo Chapters, worked with editors to tighten his 800-page manuscript to 352 pages, and The Actor was born.

The Actor is special to Doug as it is a symbol of moving from his previous career into one as an author. Doug explains, “I like to say I not only transformed the story of The Actor, but I transformed my life. It set me on a course that I didn’t think was possible in this lifetime.”

Published on the heels of The Actor, Doug’s second novel, The Drive In, was released in December 2014 through iUniverse.

Inspiration Behind the Stories

The Actor

Doug was inspired to write The Actor after watching Titanic when it was released in 1998. He was intrigued by watching someone get up and leave their current situation to pursue a dream, which is what he was doing by writing this book. Doug chose to write about someone chasing the dream of acting because it interested him and he knew that he would not tire of that topic.

The Drive In

Doug had started a few short stories with the intention of promoting The Actor, but he later decided that these stories would work best together in a book that eventually became The Drive In. The thoughts and questions that arose in Doug’s mind while driving to work led to the premise for the stories in The Drive In. Doug explains, “You don’t know anything about the places, you don’t know who lives there, you don’t know what goes on, but you always kind of wonder.” There are six stories that take place in different locations, but a final story connects them. The motif of the book is meant to be similar to the dusk till dawn drive-in movie presentation, in which four to six short films are shown.

Douglas Gardham describes the moment the first copy of his long-envisioned book, The Actor, arrived and what it was like to hold it for the very first time.

Sharing His Dream

Doug visits and hosts author signings at bookstores to continue to get the word out about his books.

He stays in touch with readers and fans through Facebook.

The Actor by Douglas Gardham

"When you've been trying to chase this dream for 20-plus years, it’s just such an amazing feeling to actually get to that point."

Douglas Gardham

About the Books

It is 1991 when Ethan Jones finally wins the role of his dreams in an upcoming, big screen movie. With the envelope holding the script clutched in his hand, he arrives at his California apartment where he can hardly wait to tell his girlfriend the exciting news. But when he finds the door unexpectedly ajar, he has no idea that in just a few seconds, the life he has fought so hard to obtain will be shattered.

The Actor is a gripping tale of a young man’s unforgettable journey of self-discovery in overcoming the trauma of a personal tragedy. It is a story of love, hardship, persistence and overwhelming joy where The Actor learns he can portray anything he can imagine.

Have you ever been intrigued by what mysteries lie behind the doors and windows of the places you pass by on your drive into work every day? The Drive In takes you on Tom Johnson‘s commute. Unlike Tom, you’ll get to peek behind some of those closed doors. Remember going to the “Drive-In” theatre? Each story reveals what goes on like watching the “dusk ‘til dawn” features through your car’s windshield. Meet the people at the places Tom only passes by each day. Then discover how his drive in ends like no other.

Awards & Honors

The Actor received the following awards from iUniverse:

Editor’s Choice Award

Book Reviews

“Be prepared for an exciting ride with an avalanche of surprises combined with labyrinthine plots with many turns and twists, and considering this is his first book, Gardham shows he is a master of storytelling and creating the unexpected.” Continue reading

“The Actor will entice you in from the very first pages. … The very well crafted storyline has some delightful twists and will keep you enthralled to the last page. This is one heck of a first novel!” Continue reading

“The Actor is a gripping novel about an engineer by education that realizes his true dream is to become a highly successful actor. … In the midst of his dream comes a murder suspense that keeps you guessing – who done it. Would make a great movie! Waiting for Gardham’s next novel.” Continue reading

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Jane Bennett Munro

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iUniverse author, Lisa Drucker, holding her published book Arise, O Phoenix, in front of a bookshelf.

Lisa Drucker

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iUniverse author Bill Noel sitting on a chair holding a pen and notebook.

Bill Noel

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Close up of iUniverse author Violetta Armour, face in focus, holding her published book, I'll Always Be with You.

Violetta Armour

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